Arthur John Rous was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in early 1886. He was the son of James Rous (b. 1852) and Frances Park (b. 1861).
His father may have hailed from Middlesex and his mother was a native of Woolwich, London and they had married in Southampton in 1883. Arthur had two known siblings: Agnes Maud (b. 1884) and Harry Alfred (b. 1887).
Arthur's father may have held a seafaring job and would be absent from the 1891 census when his family were living at 30 Canton Street, All Saints, Southampton and his mother was described as a tailoress. His father died aged 41 in 1893 and the 1901 census shows Arthur and his family living at 19 Raven Terrace, St Mary Southampton. He was described as a Master in the Boys Brigade at this point.
His mother was remarried in 1908 to Sidney Herbert Penton (b. 1882 in Fordingbridge, Hampshire), a petroleum merchant and would be listed on the 1911 census living at Haslemere, Rampart Road, Bitterne, Southampton. Arthur was listed elsewhere as a boarder at 18 Radcliffe Road, Southampton and was described as an unmarried plumber.
After completing an apprenticeship, Arthur worked for Harland & Wolff and later John Thornycroft (both in Southampton). He then joined the White Star Line as plumber on the Adriatic in May 1911 and served on the Olympic before moving to the Titanic.
When he signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, Arthur gave his address as 18 Radcliffe Road, (Southampton). His previous ship had been the Olympic and as the ship's plumber he could expect monthly wages of £9.
Arthur died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. He is remembered on various memorials dedicated to the Titanic's engineers.
Arthur's mother, step-father and unmarried sister moved to Sussex where his mother died on 18 March 1936 in Storrington. His stepfather passed away in 1947.