Mr Bertie Wilson

Bertie Wilson

Mr Bertie Wilsonwas 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.

Notes

  1. Often listed as Herbert Wilson; his birth registration lists him as Bertie. 
 

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Comment and discuss

  1. Laura Hillman said:

    Herbert 'Bertie' Edward Wilson was born on June 2nd 1884. His half-sister, Frances Amy Mercer, my grandmother, always known as Amy, was born on 10th Dec. 1874 (not 1875) in Bootle and died in Nov. 1953 in Birkenhead. His brother, known as Stanley, was b. on 9th Dec.1886 (not 1887). Bertie & Mabel were married on 7th Jan. 1908 at St Thomas Catholic Church, Seaforth. Mabel is buried at Ford RC Cemetery, Liverpool.

  2. Laura Hillman said:

    Extra information. Mary Ainsworth was born on Oct. 28th 1848. Her death on 3rd July 1913 followed a stroke on the first anniversary of the Titanic disaster.

  3. Summerstar said:

    My husband is a police officer for Claremont PD, California USA. He just met Mr. Wilson's step-niece/nephew. They shared so much of their history to him. My husband did not want to leave!! My husband's family is from Scotland, they pointed it out straight away, by his last name. Hardly anyone these days can link surnames to the country they are from. We have loads of information and his coat of arms in our home. It was nice to meet someone who actually knows where your background

  4. Phil Lloyd said:

    I’m a great-nephew of Bertie Wilson, his wife being a younger sister of my paternal grandfather. As a keen family historian, I’ve been collecting information about Bertie for some years, and am now hopeful of making contact with any of his relatives in the Wilson and Mercer families - in particular, Laura Hillman who posted the two messages above. Can anyone please help?

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Credits

Gavin Bell, UK
Dave Fredericks, UK
Denis Griffiths, UK
Phil Lloyd, UK (Great Nephew of Mabel Agnes Lloyd)

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2020) Bertie Wilson Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1702, updated 29th March 2020 02:29:06 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/bertie-wilson.html