Mr Albert Edward Coleman

Mr Albert Edward Coleman (Saloon steward, 1st class) was born in Hampstead, London, England in on 23 December 1883 and he was baptised on 29 June 1884 in Holy Trinity Church, Hampstead.

He was the son of Joseph Coleman (1858-1918) and Fanny Leverton (1860-?). His father was a native of Ketton, Rutland and his mother from Boston, Lincolnshire and they were married in London on 6 May 1883.

Albert had four known siblings: Harry (b. 1885), Frank (b. 1886), George (b. 1888) and Ada (b. 1882).

On the 1891 census Albert is living with his family at 33 Fairfax Mews, Hampstead, London and his father is described as a coachman and groom. On the 1901 census Albert and his sibling George are living with their paternal aunt and uncle Thomas and Sarah Burrows at The Green, Ketton, Rutland. Albert, aged 17, is described as a pageboy.

What became of Albert's mother is not clear but she appears to have died prior to 1896. His father was remarried in 1896 to London-native Jane Thompson (b. 1868) and together they had three children: Sidney Joseph (b. 1903), Philip Edward (b. 1906) and Jack (b. 1910). He is listed on the 1901 census living and working in Parkstone, Dorset and by 1911 he was operating a public house, The Black House in Poole. He died in Poole on 30 June 1918.

Albert first went to sea in the Royal Navy on 14 February 1897 aged just 13, although he stated he was three years older. His first ship was the Impregnable before he went on to serve aboard Lion, Agincourt, Magnificent, Pembroke I, Wildfire and Encounter. His last service was aboard Dido and he was discharged on 18 February 1908. Of generally good character, he stood at 5' 2½" and had brown hair, blue eyes and fair complexion.

Albert was married in St Dunstan and All Saints Church, Stepney, London on 20 February 1910 to Harriett Seagrove Heather (b. 1879 in Grimsby, Lincolnshire). Their son Albert was born in 1911 in Southampton.

Albert and his family appear on the 1911 census living at 2 Myrtle Bank, Oak Tree Road, Bitterne, Southampton and he is described as a ship's steward.

When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as Oak Tree Road, Bitterne Park.  His last ship had been the Oceanic. As a saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s.

Coleman died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. He is remembered on a family grave at the Hollybrook Cemetery, Shirley, Hampshire.

Coleman's widow Harriett, who had been pregnant at the time, gave birth to a son named George later in 1912. She continued to live in Oak Tree Road and did not remarry, passing away on 7 March 1929. Her estate of £239, 8s, 8d was left to her unmarried sisters Alice and Elizabeth Heather.

What became of Albert's two sons is uncertain, although George is believed to have settled in Wiltshire, dying there in the early 1990s.

Credits
Gavin Bell, UK

Notes
  1. Birth registered as Albert Edwin Coleman in December quarter of 1883. His baptismal record and the 1891 and 1911 census records give his middle name as Edward.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
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