Mr Arthur White

Arthur White

Arthur White was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England on 11 March 1875. He was the son of John William White (1843-1929), a painter and decorator, and Sarah Mary Ann Ward (b. 1841). Both his parents were also Portsmouth-natives and they had married in St Marys Church, Portsea on 8 August 1864.

Arthur had six known siblings: Sarah (b. 1865), John (b. 1867), Louisa (b. 1869), Edwin (b. 1873), Emily (b. 1879), and Ada (b. 1881).

When Arthur first appears on the 1881 census he and his family were living at 4 Dawson's Square, Portsea. The 1891 describes Arthur as a barber and still living with his family at 64 Upper Church (?) Park, Portsea.

Arthur was married in Portsea in 1895 to Lydia Emily Cullis (b. 1873 in Landport, Hampshire) and the couple had a total of five children, with one dying in infancy. His surviving children were: Olive Lydia (1896-1923, later Mrs Frederick Coltherup), Violet Florence (1900-1987), Elsie May (b. 1902) and Jesse Arthur (1905-1991).

According to an article in the New York Herald, White, had at one time, been a prominent manufacturer of soap wrappers but had lost all of his money and resorted to working for tips as a barber on ocean liners.

The 1901 census shows Arthur, described as a hairdresser, living with his family at 116 Blackfriars Road, Portsmouth and the 1911 census now showing the family living at 36 Purbrook Road, Portsmouth. No indication is given in either census of Arthur's soap manufacturing-links, nor is it indicated if he was serving at sea.

When he signed-on to the Titanic, in Southampton, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 36 Purbrook Road, Portland. His last ship had been the Olympic.

Arthur White died in the sinking. His body was later recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#247) and was buried at Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 8 May 1912.


CLOTHING - Blue suit; green waterproof; pajamas and cholera belt.

EFFECTS - Key; knife; £2 in gold; 21s. in silver; 14 francs; 22d.


© Bob Knuckle, Canada

His widow Lydia never remarried and remained in Portsmouth where she died in 1934.


Articles and Stories

Cleveland Plain Dealer (1912) 


Gavin Bell, UK


1. When he signed-on he gave his age as 29.
2. For some reason, on the articles of agreement, the barbers were included with the galley staff
3. The senate crew listlists his address as 36 Purbrook Rd., Portsmouth

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
White Star Line (1912.) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Including Bodies Buried at Sea and Bodies Delivered at Morgue in Halifax, N.S. Details compiled from records of the "Mackay-Bennett". Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Halifax, N.S., Manuscript Group 100, Vol. 229, No. 3d, Accession 1976-191
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
New York Herald, 18 April 1912 [Photo]

Link and cite this biography

(2017) Arthur White Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #2184, updated 25th August 2017 21:46:01 PM)

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