Mr William Bertram Greenfield

William Bertram Greenfield

Mr William Bertram Greenfield was born in Newark, Essex, New Jersey on 11 May 1888.

He was the only child of Leo David Greenfield (1863-1934), a furrier, and Blanche Strouse (1867-1936). Both his parents were born in New York and of German heritage.

William appears on the 1900 and 1910 census records living with his parents and grandmother Hannah Strouse in New York. By the time of the latter record he was described, like his father, as a furrier. He became vice president of Leo D. Greenfield & Co Inc., a manufacturer of fur garments for ladies.

Mr Greenfield was a frequent traveller, making annual trips to Europe where he would purchase fur pelts in Russia. He boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg with his mother Blanche Greenfield and they held ticket number PC 17759 which cost £63, 7s, 2d and occupied cabins D-10/12.

After the collision Mr Greenfield played cards in the first class smoking room with Alfred Nourney (Baron von Drachstedt) and Henry Blank. He and his mother were rescued in lifeboat 7, the first boat to leave the ship.

William rarely spoke about the Titanic disaster largely out of respect to his mother who was forever haunted by the screams of those who died in the icy waters. He later confided to family that it was not the sounds of humans perishing that haunted him most, but the dogs left behind who he heard barking and shrieking.

William continued to travel frequently on business, particularly to France, but also Britain, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. He was married in Manhattan on 7 October 1914 to Flora Stern (b. 11 November 1892), a New York resident born in Poland. They settled in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York and had two daughters: Anne (b. 1915) and Nell (b. 1919). He served during WWI following which he spent the 1920s and 1930s living in Queens before relocating to Manhattan by the time of the 1940s.

William died on 12 November 1949 at the age of 61. He was buried at the Salem Field Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York where his parents were interred. His widow Flora later died in 1965.

Greenfield Grave
Courtesy of Michael A. Findlay, USA

Credits
Gavin Bell, UK
Nell Greenfield (Daughter of William Greenfield)
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Craig Stringer, UK
Geoff Whitfield, UK

References and Sources
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Borough Of Manhattan Certificate Of Death
New York Times, 14 November 1949, Obituary

Pictures

Anne Greenfield

ANNE GREENFIELD

 
William Greenfield playing the piano.

WILLIAM GREENFIELD PLAYING THE PIANO.

 
William Greenfield

WILLIAM GREENFIELD

 
William and Blanche Greenfield holding Williams daughter Anne.

WILLIAM AND BLANCHE GREENFIELD HOLDING WILLIAMS DAUGHTER ANNE.

 
Lola Stern : William Greenfields Mother In Law

LOLA STERN : WILLIAM GREENFIELDS MOTHER IN LAW

 
William Greenfield and his wife Flora Greenfield.

WILLIAM GREENFIELD AND HIS WIFE FLORA GREENFIELD.

 
Mrs. William Greenfield (Flora Stern) as a young woman.

MRS. WILLIAM GREENFIELD (FLORA STERN) AS A YOUNG WOMAN.

 
Mother of Blanche Greenfield

MOTHER OF BLANCHE GREENFIELD

 
Greenfield family.

GREENFIELD FAMILY.

 

Articles and Stories

TRIBUTE	TO STRAUS PAID IN SYNAGOGUES

New York Times  (1912) 

TRIBUTE TO STRAUS PAID IN SYNAGOGUES

 
William Greenfields Account

WILLIAM GREENFIELDS ACCOUNT

 
Postpone Silver Wedding Celebration

New York Times  (1912) 

POSTPONE SILVER WEDDING CELEBRATION

 
  • Link and cite this biography

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