William George White was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England on 21 October 1888 and he was later baptised on 4 November that same year at St Martin's Church, Salisbury.
He was the son of Alfred Thomas White (b. 1855), a dock labourer, and Edith Ellen Blake (b. 1868), both natives of Salisbury who had married around 1886. One of ten children, William's known siblings were: Alfred Thomas (b. 1888), Agnes Jessie (b. 1890), Frederick Charles (b. 1891), Florence Ellen (b. 1893), Bertie (b. 1894), Samuel (b. 1896), Walter Frank (b. 1898) and Annie Matilda May (b. 1900).
William appears to have moved around as a young child, spending time in Devon and Cornwall before settling in Southampton around 1894. When he first appears on record on the 1891 census he and his family are resident at 5 Strand, South Brent, Ilfracombe, Devon. The 1901 census shows them by now living in Southampton at 6 William Street, Northam. By the time of the 1911 census they have moved several doors down to 12 William Street and William is described as an unmarried dock labourer.
When he signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, William gave his address as 9 Colbert Street, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a trimmer he could expect to earn monthly wages of £5, 10s.
William survived the sinking, escaping in lifeboat 15.
William George White in a 1920s ID card
(National Archives / Gavin Bell)
He later returned to sea and was still working as of the early 1920s. His later whereabouts are sketchy1 but he is believed to have married in following years and died in Southampton in 1927. He is buried in Holybrook Cemetery
- One family source suggests he returned to his native Salisbury where he died on 12 May 1957 (although the man who died on this date would have been four years too young). Another source claims he remained in Southampton and died there in early 1927 and is buried in Holybrook Cemetery.