Mr William Alfred Gaskell was born at 20 Dexter Street, Toxteth Park, Lancashire, England during the second quarter of 1893 1 and he was baptised in St James Church, Toxteth on 3 May that same year.
He was the son of Thomas Harrison Gaskell (1859-1933), a cooper (barrel maker) and his wife Eliza, née Brideson (b. 1865), both Liverpudlians who had married in 1890. He had four siblings: Annie Isabella (b. 1891), Florence Edna (b. 1895), Thomas Brideson (1897-1970) and Ethel (b. 1901).
William, or Alfred as it appears he preferred to be called, first appears on the 1901 census living at the address of his birth, 20 Dexter Street in Toxteth Park, Lancashire and this would be his home for the rest of his life. On the 1911 census he was described as an apprentice cooper, following in his father's footsteps.
Alfred boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger; travelling with him, on the same ticket (number 239865 which cost £26) was Joseph Fynney, a rubber merchant in his 30s. The pair were headed to Montréal, Québec where Fynney had family.
Both Alfred and Joseph Fynney were lost in the sinking. Alfred's body, if recovered, was never identified.
- Age frequently given as 16. Although his exact date of birth is currently unknown, it is clear that he was just shy of his 19th birthday.