Mr 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.

Articles and Stories

The Evening Post (1912) 
Cambridge Independent Press (1912) 

Comment and discuss

David John Barton (9 posts)
Leave a comment...


Gavin Bell, UK
Geoff Whitfield, UK

Link and cite this biography

(2020) David John Barton Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #676, updated 13th January 2020 15:21:42 PM)