Mr Charles John Hurst (Fireman) was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 9 October 1871.
He was the son of John Hurst (1842-1927), a seaman, and Harriet Thompson (1846-1930), both natives of Hampshire who had married in 1869.
He had eight known siblings: Annie Emma (b. 1870), Mary Ursula (b. 1875), William George (b. 1877), Edward Arthur (b. 1880), James Silas (b. 1881), Ellen Eliza (b. 1883), Herbert Samuel (b. 1886) and Henry (b. 1888).
Charles first appears on the 1881 census with his family and they were listed as living at 1 Chapel Street, Millbrook, Hampshire but his seafaring father was absent. Charles himself was absent from the 1891 census, perhaps indicating that he had already commenced a career at sea. It is not certain if he ever became a full-time naval seaman but it is known that he joined the Royal Naval Reserves, perhaps sometime around 1908.
He was married in Southampton in late 1897 to Louisa Mary Olden (b. 1874 in Southampton) and together they had five children: Edwin John (b. 1898), Louis Frank (b. 1899), Leonard Charles (b. 1903) Herbert James (b. 1907) and Gladys Louise (b. 1911). Charles, his wife and first two children appear on the 1901 census living at 19 York Road, Freemantle and he was described as a steamship fireman. There is no trace of the family on the 1911 census.
When Charles signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as (5) Laundry Road, (Southampton). His previous ship had been the Tagus and as a fireman he received monthly wages of £6. Also serving aboard as a fireman was his cousin Charles Edward Judd, the son of his mother's sister Anna.
Charles Hurst was lost in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. The following deat notice appeared in the Hampshire Advertiser (27 April 1912):
HURST--On the 15th inst., at sea, on s.s. Titanic, Charles John Hurst, aged 40, son of John and Harriet Hurst, of 12, St George's Road, Freemantle, Southampton.
Charles' widow Louisa never remarried and remained in Southampton where she died in 1958.
His son Edwin John was married to Lillian Lovell and they had had at least two children before his death in Southampton in 1958.
Son Louis Frank married Hilda May Pearce and had two children. He died in 1982 in Southampton.
Son Leonard Charles never married and seems to have remained with his mother. He died in Southampton on 25 September 1965.
Son Herbert later married Violet Mary Victoria Penfold and had three children. He died in 1982 in Southampton.
Charles' daughter Gladys Louise later married Ronald Beare and they had two daughters. Gladys died in Southampton on 16 April 1987.
Bill Wormstedt, USA
Articles and Stories
Southern Daily Echo (1912)