Herbert "Bertie" Wilson was born in Waterloo, Lancashire, England over the summer months of 1884.
He was the eldest son of Thomas Wilson (b. 1847 in Liverpool), a wharfinger (wharf keeper) and Mary Mercer, née Ainsworth (b. 1848 in Bootle) who had married in Liverpool in 1883.
His mother had had a previous marriage to Frederick Kean Mercer (b. 1845) and had two children: Frederick James (b. 1872) and Frances Amy (b. 1875). Widowed in 1875, she was described on the 1881 census was an ironmonger living at 1 Chapel Terrace, Bootle. Following her remarriage in 1883 she and her new husband Thomas had two children of their own: Bertie (b. 1884) and Thomas Stanley (b. 1887).
Bertie first appears on the 1891 census living at 16 Norma (?) Road, Waterloo alongside his parents, sibling Thomas and half-sister Frances. The 1901 census shows that Bertie had already left school and he was described as an apprentice mechanical engineer.
He was educated at Merchant Taylors' Grammar School, Crosby and subsequently served his apprenticeship with Messrs. J. H. Wilson & Co. of Sandhills, Liverpool. He served for just over four years with the Leyland Line as fourth engineer and third engineer before moving to White Star in September 1907 as assistant second engineer aboard the Teutonic. He then served as assistant third engineer aboard Olympic before transferring to Titanic.
Bertie was married in 1908 to Mabel Agnes Lloyd (b. 1882 in Liverpool) and the couple appeared together on the 1911 census living at 5 Thackeray Road, Portswood, Southampton. They would have no children.
When he signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, Bertie gave his address as 40 Richmond Road, Shirley. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as senior assistant 2nd engineer he could expect monthly wages of £13.
Bertie Wilson died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
Aside from the various memorials dedicated to Titanic's engineers, Bertie is mentioned on his parent's headstone in St Luke's Churchyard, Liverpool Road, Crosby, his mother having passed away just over a year after him on 3 July 1913.
Bertie's widow Mabel later returned to her native Liverpool and lived at Ash Lawn, 41 Sandy Road, Seaforth. Unfortunately, she died only a few years later on 16 August 1916 aged 34.
Dave Fredericks, UK
Denis Griffiths, UK
Phil Lloyd, UK (Great Nephew of Mabel Agnes Lloyd)
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Articles and Stories
|TITANIC TOWN - CROSBY, MERSEYSIDE'S LINKS TO THE TITANIC AND OTHER SHIPS|