Encyclopedia Titanica

William Bertram Greenfield

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

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr William Bertram Greenfield
Age: 23 years 11 months and 4 days (Male)
Nationality: American
Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 17759, £63 7s 2d
Cabin No. D10
Rescued (boat 7)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Saturday 12th November 1949 aged 61 years
Cause of Death:

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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

Newspaper Articles

New York Times (28 April 1912) Postpone Silver Wedding Celebration
New York Times (14 November 1949) WILLIAM B. GREENFIELD

Documents and Certificates

(1949) William Bertram Greenfield (Death Certificate)
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Comment and discuss

  1. Darren Honeycutt said:

    William and his mother Blanche were traveling first class on the Titanic. William was playing cards in the salon, when the crash occurred. The men each took an ace from the deck to hold till they met again- which they never did. Being a long time boat owner, William immediately went to their cabin insisting Blanche get dressed "Go on deck and get into a lifeboat, when its safe you can always return to the Titanic". They needed someone to row so William volunteered. Blanches husband in New York City had no idea that they were alive or not. He met the Carpathia with an ambulance just in case.... Read full post

  2. avatar

    Jason D. Tiller said:

    Thanks for posting that Darren. That was interesting to see. Best regards, Jason

  3. Brandon Whited said:

    Yes, very interesting to see those images and hear their story.

  4. Rachelle Rowe said:

    Any news on Virginian descendants? I researched the site and found information on the Daniel family, but not many others--or at least not many with detailed stories. This was a surprise.

  5. Darren Honeycutt said:

    I should have asked this question before I posted this photograph. Is it ok to post photographs that I have acquired on ET? I have some more I would like to share with everyone.

  6. Daniel Klistorner said:

    Darren, Sharing photos is most welcome, however as long as they are not copyrighted and wherever or whoever you got them from has no problem with you sharing them. Regards, Daniel.

  7. avatar

    Kyrila Scully said:

    Post all the photos you like, Daniel! I'm enjoying them very much, and the anecdotes are priceless. Kyrila

  8. Andrew Maheux said:

    Those are nice photos, I have never seen photos of the Greenfields before. Thanks Andrew

  9. Ben Holme said:

    Excellent finds there, Darren! Both mother and son had been eluding me for quite some time, photo-wise. Real prizes! Ben

  10. Grant Woollacott said:

    If you go to the Greenfields bios you may see the photos i recently added of them.

  11. Grant Woollacott said:

    This is Blanche Greenfield's husband Leo D. Williams father. Thought this might be of interest. Thanks to Nell Greenfield.

  12. Kayla Marie Demers said:

    Forgive me for asking, but who were William and Blanche Greenfield?

  13. avatar

    Jason D. Tiller said:

    Look here, Kayla:

Reply Watch Thread


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

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2016) William Bertram Greenfield (ref: #142, last updated: 21st April 2016, accessed 18th October 2021 04:05:35 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/william-bertram-greenfield.html