Mr William Ernest Saunders 1 was born on 6 June 1879 at 11, Church Street Southampton. He was later Baptised at St. Mary’s Church Southampton on the 2nd April 1891 when the family home was at 14, Albert Street Southampton.
He was the son of James Saunders (b. 1848), a seaman, and Emma Tubb (b. 1847), natives of Portsmouth and Southampton respectively who had married in 1872.
One of six surviving children from a total of eight, William’s known siblings were: Emma Henrietta (1873-1876), Mary Jane (1875-1958) Edwin (b.1877), Ernest (b.1880), Bessie (b.1882) William (b.1884) and Mabel (b.1889).
The family appear on the 1891 census living at 14 Albert Street, Southampton. By the time of the 1911 census they were living at 29 Albert Road and William was described as a steward for the American Line. His younger brother Willie was also a steward, he for the Union Castle Line.
When he signed on to Titanic on 4 April 1912 Saunders gave his address as 29 Albert Road, Southampton and his previous ship as the Olympic. As a steward he could expect monthly wages of £3, 15s.
William Saunders died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
SAUNDERS--In fond and loving memory of William Ernest Saunders, the beloved son of James and Emma Saunders. - Southern Daily Echo, 15 April 1913
His sister Mary Jane Saunders became a Dependant on the Titanic Relief Fund, and occasionally she appears mostly in Minute Book No 2, under C. 602 of the Southampton Committee. Mary died in 1958 and she’s buried at Hollybrook Cemetery Southampton.
His family remained in Southampton; his father is believed to have died in 1918 and his mother in 1925 and are buried together at Southampton’s Old Cemetery on The Common.