Mr Charles Richard Fardon was born in Daventry, Northamptonshire, England in 1866 the son of Thomas Richard Fardon (1844-1924) and Elizabeth, née Gossage (1847-1946). He was baptised on 28 September 1866.
Both his parents hailed from Northamptonshire, his father, a carpenter and joiner, from Byfield and his mother from Daventry and they had married in 1866. Charles was the eldest of eleven children (five of whom were lost in infancy) and his known siblings were: William (b. 1867), Elizabeth Sarah (b. 1869), Mary Anne (b. 1870), Thomas (b. 1873), Edward (b. 1875) and Robert (b. 1878).
Charles first appears on the 1871 census when he was listed as a visitor at the home of his maternal grandparents Thomas and Sarah Gossage at Warwick Street, Daventry, his parents and siblings being listed as living at St John's Street, Wellingborough. The family later relocated to 15 Waterloo Yard, Wellingborough and would appear there on the 1881 census, a 14-year-old John having already left school and being described as a joiner.
Charles was married in Daventry in 1896 to Sophia Turnell (b. 1865 in Wellingborough) and they settled in Wellingborough, appearing on the 1901 census living at 69 Great Park Street with Charles being described as a carpenter. The couple would have one child, a daughter named Dorothy Kate, who was born on 21 January 1899. Charles, his wife and daughter appear together on the 1911 census living at 2 Baker Street, Wellingborough, the home of his parents-in-law George and Sarah Turnell; his wife was then described as totally blind, having been so since the age of 40.
Charles boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number 3101314 which cost £7, 5s) and he was destined for Canada. He boarded under the pseudonym Charles Franklin, for reasons unknown, although the Northampton Independent (20 April 1912) states that he had told his fiends he intended to travel under this guise. It has been suggested that he was struggling to care for his blind wife and the journey to Canada was an attempt to alleviate himself from those responsibilities.
Charles Farden was lost in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
A WELLINGBOROUGH TRADESMAN
There is a strong reason for fearing that a Wellingborough carpenter named Charles Fardon was among the third-class passengers on board the ill-fated Titanic. Fardon, who was a middle aged man, who, though not a native of Wellingborough, had lived in Wellingborough a number of years, his home recently having been in Baker-street, and his workshops in Stanley-road. His business affairs not being successful, Fardon left Wellingborough on Easter Monday, and before going intimated his intention of trying to book a passage by the Titanic.
A letter subsequently received from him showed that he went to Southampton, and nothing has since been heard of him by his friends in Wellingborough, who express themselves as being practically certain that he succeeded in his object.
What confirms them in this view is that before going away Fardon told his friends that should not book the passage in his right name, but should give the name of "Charles Franklin." In the lists published of the third-class passengers on board a "Charles Franklin" appears, and the friends conclude that this refers to their relative (sic).
Fardon is a married man, whose wife is left practically penniless, and to make matters worse she is also blind.
Northampton Mercury — 19 April 1912, p. 10.
Charles Fardon, a Wellingborough carpenter, who is one the victims, finding local business declining, decided seek success elsewhere, and booked by the ill-fated boat. He leaves a blind and penniless wife. Sheffield Daily Telegraph — 22 April 1912
His widow Sophia was left destitute; she was never remarried and remained in Wellingborough where she died in 1938. His daughter Dorothy was married in 1923 to Charles Stone Platnauer (1902-1990) and had three children. She also died in Wellingborough, in 1983.