Austin Partner was born in White Roothing, Essex, England on 30 November 1871.
He was the son of the Reverend Richard Partner (1839-1923), a congregational minister, and Charlotte Mary Reynolds (1833-1920) who had married in Sussex in 1867. His father hailed from Finchingfield, Essex whilst his mother was a native of Bosham, Sussex and they would have four children in total. Austin's siblings were his elder sister, Bertha (1868-1957, later Mrs Roland Edward John Wilks), a brother Richard (1869-1869) and another sister, Sarah (1873-1873).
Austin first appears on the 1881 census living at 3 Stopford Road, West Ham, Essex and his father was described as an independent Minister at Balsam Street Chapel. The 1891 census shows Austin and his family at The Manse, 1 Howard's Road and he was, at age 19, described as a banker's clerk.
He was married in Sussex in early 1897 to Nellie Mary Foulkes Smith Hilton (b. 1872 in Southwark, Surrey), the daughter of a draper and they settled in Surbiton, Surrey and had two sons: Arthur Hilton (b. 1899) and Colin Austin (b. 1905). The family appear on the 1901 census living at "The Briars", Ewell Road, Tolworth and at the same address on the 1911 census. Austin is absent from the latter record, perhaps away on business.
A stockbroker known on both sides of the Atlantic, ten days before he sailed, Austin had begun a new job with the brokerage firm of Myer and Robertson and was travelling to Canada to familiarise himself with an affiliated firm, Robinson & Black. It would be his seventeenth trip to Canada. He was going to first to Toronto and then to Winnipeg.
Austin boarded the Titanic at Southampton (ticket number 113043, £28, 10s) and occupied cabin C-142. He wrote a letter to his wife from on board:
I HAVE GOT A MOST COMFORTABLE ROOM & AND THE SHIP IS QUITE THE MOST LUXURIOUS I HAVE BEEN ON, I HOPE SHE WILL GET THERE QUICKLY. WE NEARLY COLLIDED WITH A LINER COMING OUT OF SOUTHAMPTON - THE NEW YORK. SHE WAS MOORED CLOSE TO WHERE WE PASSED & BROKE AWAY FROM HER MOORING, WAS ONLY ABOUT 3 FT OFF US SUCH A SHAVE I WAS AFRAID WE SHOULD HAVE TO GO BACK WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN MADDENING.
Austin Partner died in the sinking and his body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#166):
NO. 166. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 45. - HAIR, FAIR,
CLOTHING - Blue suit.
EFFECTS - Cigar case; silver cigarette case, marked "A. P."; cigar cutter; gold hunter watch; keys; gold links; 3 gold studs; 9s. 3 1/2d; $50.00 in gold; £3 in gold; £5 in note; pocketbook; $71.00.
FIRST CLASS PASSENGER.
NAME - AUSTEN PARTNER.
On 7 May 1912 the body was forwarded to New York for shipment to England aboard the SS Minnehaha which sailed 11 May 1912. He was buried at St. Mary's Churchyard, Long Ditton, Surrey, England.
The inscription reads:
Sacred to the memory of
of Tolworth, Surbiton
who lost his life in the foundering of the steamship "Titanic"
in mid-Atlantic on the 15th day of April, 1912,
whose body was recovered and interred here May 23rd. Aged 40 years.
His estate, worth £3772, 8d was administered to his widow on 12 June 1912.
His widow Nellie never remarried, remaining in Surrey at the Briars on Ewell Road for the rest of her life. She died in hospital on 13 July 1957 and was buried with her husband.
His son Arthur was married in 1928 to a Jane Brennan Reid (1902-1982) and had a son, Arthur, that same year. He later became a hotel manager and moved to Wales. He died in Breconshire on 17 August 1959.
His son Colin later worked as a railway clerk and in 1955 was married to Irene Margaret Wall (1914-2003). He died in London in 1982 and was buried with his parents.