Mr Christopher Head was born in Stoke Newington, Middlesex, England on 25 December 1869. He was later baptised in his local St Mary's church on 16 January the following year.
He was the son of Henry Head (b. 1835) and Hester Beck (b. 1834). His father, an underwriter at Lloyd's Bank, London, hailed from Ipswich, Suffolk and was married to his London-born wife in 1860. The couple went on to have ten children, with Christopher's siblings being: Henry (b. 1862), Charlie Howard (b. 1863), Hugh Stanley (b. 1864), Rachel Mary (b. 1865), Francis (b. 1868), Geoffrey (b. 1872), John Alban (b. 1873), Hester (b. 1875) and Bernard (b. 1876).
Christopher first appears on the 1871 census when he and his family were living on 122 Albion Road, Stoke Newington, moving to 41 Wimpole Road in Marylebone by the time of the 1881 census. The 1891 census shows the family resident in Old Shoreham, Sussex at Great Buckingham House and a 21-year-old Christopher was described as a law student. When the 1901 census was conducted Christopher, still a resident of London, was a visitor at Gilston Park in Gilston, Hertfordshire, the home of an Edward Bowlby and his family.
An alumnus of Trinity College, Cambridge, he was later called to the Bar and practiced for a time in the Admiralty Division and on the North-Eastern Circuit. A long-time member of Lloyds Bank, he entered the firm of Henry Head & Co Ltd as a director in 1905. A Conservative councillor since 1906, from 1909 until 1911 he was Mayor of Chelsea and during this time he associated himself closely with the artistic life of the Borough and took a leading part in discussions at the Mansion House of the King Edward Memorial. He was an ardent collector of prints and drawings, particularly those of modern artists, and was a member of the Burlington Fine Arts Club.
Christopher was married in London in late-1910 to Ethel Georgina Mary Hill-Trevor, née Chapman (b. 1871). Ethel was born in Adel, Yorkshire, the daughter of a magistrate, and had been married in 1893 to Major George Edwyn Hill-Trevor (1859-1922) and they had a son, Hillyar George Edwin who was born in Florence, Italy in 1895. The family lived in London but by 1909 began divorce proceedings, Ethel culpable of adultery. The divorce was finalised in 1910, just in time for her remarriage. Christopher and his wife appeared on the 1911 census living at 7 Wyndham House, Sloane Gardens and he was described as an insurance broker.
Mr Head was travelling to the USA on business and had his life insured for £25,000 for the trip. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a first class passenger (ticket number 113038 which cost £42, 10s) and occupied cabin B11.
Christopher Head was lost in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. His estate, worth £56,207, 8s, 2d was administered to his brother Geoffrey on 12 June 1912.
His widow Ethel was remarried two years later to Sir John Phillip Du Cane (b. 1865), Brigadier General and Chief of the Imperial General Staff of the War Office. She therefore became Lady Ethel Georgina Mary Du Cane and she and her husband continued to live in London. Further heartache arose for Ethel when, during the First World War her son Hillyar served as Lieutenant in the First Battalion of the Scots Guards. He was killed in action in France on 21 December 1914 aged 18. Ethel was widowed in 1947 and she herself passed away in Chelsea on 16 October 1960.
Geoff Whitfield, UK
Craig Stringer, UK
References and SourcesContract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
The Daily Sketch, 17 April 1912.