Mr Alphonse De Pelsmaeker (1), 16, was born in Kerksken, Belgium on 29th September, 1895. He was one of six children in a family who lost their father in 1905. Alphonse's father had been one of the many independent weavers in Heldergem, Belgium, who owned a weaving loom. He had been driven out of work by the competition from the new textile mills that opened in the nearby cities of Aalst and Ninove. He gave up weaving and became a labourer working at building sites in Brussels. It was there that he was killed by a falling wall, leaving his wife Marie to raise the six children alone. The oldest child, Gustave, left for America first.
De Pelsmaeker boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number 345778, £9 10s). He was travelling to join his brother Gustave in Gladstone, Michigan. He travelled with a group from Denderhoutem, among them was René Lievens who lived very close to Alphonse.
Alphonse's actions aboard the Titanic remain a mystery because he died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.