Mr Arthur William May

Arthur William May

Arthur William May was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in the early months of 1890.

He was the son of Arthur William May (1852-1912) and Ann Roberts (1867-1948), both Southampton-natives who had married in 1885, and he had eight siblings: Dennis Mark (b. 1892), Annie Florence (b. 1895), Ivy (b. 1896), Grace (b. 1899), Mable (b. 1900), Annie Louisa (b. 1906), Philip Nelson (b. 1908) and Gladys Mary (b. 1911).

He first appears on the 1891 census when he and his mother were listed as boarders living at 2 Oriental Place, Southampton, his father absent and presumably at sea. The 1901 census showed Arthur and his family living at 5 Guillaume (?) Terrace, Southampton.

Arthur was married in his native Southampton in late-1910 to Amelia Barrett (b. 1890 in Northam, Hampshire). Their son George Arthur William was born on 20 February 1912.

When he signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, Arthur gave his address as 75 York Street, Northam (i.e. 75 Upper York Street), the same address as that of his parents. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a fireman he could expect monthly wages of £6. Joining him on Titanic was his father Arthur, a stokers' messman.

Both Arthur and his father were lost in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.


His family await news
(Daily Sketch)

His widow Amelia and his son later received financial aid from the Titanic Relief Fund.

Amelia, Arthur's widow, was remarried in 1915 to William John Beecher (b. 1888 in London) and had two daughters, Ivy Amelia (b. 1916) and Florence Ellen (b. 1918). William Beecher served with the Royal Horse Artillery and later died on 2 November 1918, being buried in Southampton's Old Cemetery.

Amelia was remarried the following year to John Bartlett May (b. 1890), her first husband's cousin (son of John Bartlett May and Alice Golding), and they had several more children: twins Dora and John Bartlett (b. 1921), Millie (b. 1923), Grace (b. 1926) and June (b. 1929).

Amelia predeceased her husband when she died in Southampton in 1951. Her widower John died in 1955.

Arthur May's son George Arthur William was married in Southampton in 1941 to Lily Lacey (1921-1990) and they raised a family of six children. George died in Southampton in 1980.



The May Family Await News
Daily Sketch 

Articles and Stories

Daily Mail (1912) 

Comment and discuss

  1. Lyn Reader Was May said:

    This Was My Great Grandfather

  2. Lyn Reader Was May said:

    This was My Great Uncle

  3. John May said:

    Amelia was my grandmother, and not the luckiest lady in the world when it came to husbands.After losing Arthur on the Titanic, she married a man called Beacher, who was killed in WWI. From that marriage came me aunties Florrie and Ivy.Amelia then married John May, a cousin of Arthur, and from that came my dad (also John), and auntie Millicent, Grace and June.

  4. paulmay1966 said:

    am very very pround of my great uncle and are memorys will allways remain in are hearts

Leave a comment


Gavin Bell, UK
Chris Dohany, USA

References and Sources

The Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund Booklet
Ticehurst, B. (1995) Titanic Victims discovered in the Old Cemetary - the Common, Southampton
Daily Sketch, Monday, April 22, 1912
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2020) Arthur William May Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1571, updated 1st April 2020 17:17:04 PM)