Mr Bertie Wilson1 was born in Waterloo, Lancashire, England on 2 June 1884.
He was the eldest son of Thomas Wilson (b. 1847 in Liverpool), a wharfinger (wharf keeper) and Mary Mercer, née Ainsworth (b. 1848) 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. 1874). 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 and Thomas Stanley (b. 9 December 1886).
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 St Thomas’ Church, Liverpool on 7 January 1908 to Mabel Agnes Lloyd (b. 9 May 1882 in Liverpool); she was the daughter of bookbinder John Lloyd and the former Mary Frances Sinnott. The couple remained childless and later appeared on the 1911 census living at 5 Thackeray Road, Portswood, Southampton.
When he signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912, Wilson 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 and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow benefitted from the Titanic relief fund:
Case number 260. Wilson, M. A. Widow. Class B dependent.
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 and passed away on 16 August 1916 aged 34.