Mr Charles Edwin Smith was born in Itchen, Hampshire, England in the closing months of 1872. He was the son of George Smith (b. 1826) and Mary Ann Grantham (b. 1837).
His father, a joiner, was a native of Southampton and was married in late 1862 to Mary Ann Grantham, who hailed from Hornsey in Yorkshire. Charles had five known siblings: Amelia Jane (b. 1863), Alice Emmeline (b. 1865), George Henry (b. 1866), Ellen Mary (b. 1871) and Frederick William (b. 1879).
Charles first appears on the 1881 census and at that time he and his family were living at an unspecified address in Itchen. Charles was absent from the 1891 census, but his family still living in Itchen, address again unspecified.
Charles was married in mid-1896 to Martha Hannah Gibbens (b. 1875 in Sholing, Southampton). The couple would have a total of five children, with one dying in infancy. Their surviving children were: Doris Elsie May (1899-1951), George Frederick (b. 1901), Tom (b. 1903) and Sybil Violet Gibbens (1909-2001).
Charles, his wife and first child appear on the 1901 census living at Hollydene on Portsmouth Road, Netley Cottages, Hound, Hampshire and he is described as a sea steward. Absent for the 1911 census, Charles' family are still at the same address.
When he signed-on to the Titanic in Southampton on 4 April 1912, Charles gave his address as Hollydene, Portsmouth Road, (Southampton). He had transferred from the Olympic. As a bedroom steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Charles Smith died in the sinking. His body was recovered (#329) by the Montmagny and was buried at Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 20 May 1912.
The following death notice appeared in the Hampshire Independent:
SMITH--April 15th, on the s.s. Titanic, Charley, the dearly beloved husband of Martha Smith (nee Gibbens), of Hollydene, Portsmouth road, Hound.
His Martha widow was never remarried and she continued to live at Hollydene. She died on 10 July 1938. His last surviving child was his youngest daughter Sybil, who died in 2001.
Charles is remembered on his wife's grave in St Mary Extra Cemetery, Southampton:
LOVING MEMORY OF
CHARLES EDWIN SMITH
WHO LOST HIS LIFE
ON THE S.S. "TITANIC" APRIL 15TH 1912
References and SourcesRecord of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew, S.S. Titanic (#329)
Crew Particulars of Engagement, Public Record Office (BT100/259)