Encyclopedia Titanica

David John Barton

David John Barton

Mr David John Barton was born in Wicken, a small village in eastern Cambridgeshire, England on 18 January 1890.

He was the son of Shaw Barton (1858-1941), an agricultural labourer, and Mary Bassett (1858-1928), both Cambridgeshire natives from Wicken and nearby Isleham respectively who had married in 1883.

One of seven surviving children from a total of nine, David's known siblings were: Ellen Mary (1884-?), Sidney Shaw (1886-1967), Stephen William (1887-1972), Enos (b. 1893), George Benstead (1895-1979) and Gladys May (1900-1984, later Mrs Percy Bailey).

David first appears on the 1891 census as a one-year-old infant living with his family at an unspecified address in Wicken, lodgers to an elderly farmer named Richard Rowlison. The 1901 census shows the family living on High Street. By the time of the 1911 census the family were residents of Belle Vue cottage in North Street, Wicken and David was described as an unmarried farm labourer. 

David planned to emigrate to the USA together with two of his friends, Arthur Taylor and Sidney Day; the three friends had obtained positions with the Kodak Company in Rochester, New York. They set off for Southampton but, to his acute embarrassment, Barton failed the medical inspection owing to a blemish on his face which the inspectors declared to be a possible risk of contagion; his friends were forced to sail without him. 

Barton tried again but was once more rejected until finally being accepted to sail on the Titanic, Kodak having held the position for him until his departure1. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number 324669 which cost £8, 1s).

David Barton lost his life in the disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified.    

His family largely remained in the Newmarket area of Cambridgeshire.


  1. Arthur Taylor would later return home for a visit but Sydney Day never returned. They both worked for the Kodak Company in Rochester and their families survive them.

Newspaper Articles

Cambridge Independent Press (19 April 1912) David Barton
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Comment and discuss

  1. Amy Barton

    Amy Barton

    Hey, if anyone has any information about/of David John Barton I am looking for as much as possible. I think that he might be a relative (my dad looks like him), but I would like information anyway. Thanx for all the help!!

  2. Beth Barber

    Hi Amy - Welcome to the board. Here is what this site has to offer, in case you haven't been there yet. Good Luck! - Beth

  3. Amy Barton

    Amy Barton

    Thanks Beth, it helped alot. Amy

  4. Beth Barber

    You are welcome Amy! - Beth

  5. Graeme Michael Edwards

    Graeme Michael Edwards

    David Barton Was my Great, Great Grandfather. If anyone has more information about him, I would be very interested.I have also often wondered what he looked like, but have never been able to find any photos.

  6. Brian J. Ticehurst

    Graeme - Heres a bit more I hope it helps? Cheers - Brian Barton, Mr. David. Missing. Belle Vue Cottages, Wicken, Cambridge. UK. (From: Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund Booklet, March 1913) Number P. 301. Barton, Shaw, father, 7s 0d. per week. (From The Cambridge Independent Press, April, 19, 1912, page 5). David Barton, a Wicken lad, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Shaw Barton, of Wicken, was on the Titanic, on his way to the United States. Where he intended to settle, and it is feared he is one of those who have lost their lives. He should have left by another vessel, which sailed... Read full post

  7. Tony Sheils

    When David John Barton died he was apparently unmarried and there were no recorded children. I am therefore puzzled about him being a Great Great Grandfather to anyone. There is, incidentally, a photograph (submitted by Geoff Whitfield) of him in ET's original biography. There was another Barton onboard Titanic, namely Sidney John Barton - a 3rd class steward. He also died in the sinking, and was unmarried with no recorded children. A bit of a mystery, or at least some further explaining needed it seems.

  8. Richard Coplen

    Richard Coplen

    Hey all, I actually recall seeing a photograph of David Barton in the Weekend magazine supplement of a Saturday edition of the Daily Mail newspaper about 2 or 3 years back. Not sure if I kept it as a clipping - will check. Article was old photos of Cambridgeshire villages and had David standing outside a forge or barn with a few other people. Caption beneath named him and described his fate aboard Titanic. Will look for it and if I find it i'll send it to you Amy if you like. It was definitely David Barton - that I know. Regards, Rich.

  9. FFarrell

    My mother is researching our family history and believes us to be related to David John Barton via his father, Shaw Barton (Barton was my mothers maiden name). Is there anyone on the forum who has completed any research on David John Barton. Any help is much appreciated.

  10. James Barton

    This thread seems very old but if anyone is still searching, he was my grandfathers great uncle. We have a full family tree and any information is available to anyone that wants it.

Reply Watch Thread

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr David John Barton
Age: 22 years 2 months and 28 days (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: at Belle Vue CottagesWicken, Cambridgeshire, England
Occupation: General Labourer
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 324669, £8 1s
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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