Encyclopedia Titanica

Dorothy Ann Turpin

Mrs William John Turpin (Dorothy Ann Wonnacott) was born in Plymouth, Devon, England on 25 April 1885.

She was the daughter of Arscott Wonnacott (1852-1917), a carpenter and joiner, and Mary Jane Rees (1858-1937), natives of Holsworthy, Devon who were married in 1878 who would go on to have seven children, four surviving infancy. Dorothy's siblings were: Charles Thomas (1879-1966), Lucy Jane (b. 1882, later Mrs George Gordon Gilbert) and Gertrude May (1894-1985, later Mrs Stanley Kirk).

Dorothy appears on the 1891 census with her family living at 1 Caprera (?) Place, St Andrew, Plymouth and on the 1901 census at 2 Sladden Terrace and by which time she was described as a stationery shop assistant.

She was married to William John Turpin (b. 1882), a carpenter, on 23 March 1908 at Eldad Presbyterian Church in Plymouth. The couple lived at 59 Chaddlewood Avenue, Lipson, Plymouth for a period when later that year William secured work in the USA. They later lived in Garfield in Salt Lake City, Utah and show up there on the 1910 census. They remained childless.

In August 1911 Dorothy and her husband returned to England to visit their respective families. Her parents were by then living at 17 Endsleigh Place, Plymouth. For their return to Utah the Turpins boarded the Titanic at Southampton and travelled in second class (ticket number 11668 which cost £21). On the night of the sinking second officer Lightoller encountered a West-Country couple late on during the evacuation. Advising the lady that lifeboats were still being filled and that she should try and board one, she replied "Not on your life." It is possible that this couple were the Turpins.

The couple died in the sinking and their bodies were never recovered.

Her father died in 1917 and her mother in 1937. Her last surviving sibling Gertrude died in Barnstaple, Devon in 1985 aged 91.

Research Articles

Peter Engberg-Klarström Titanica! (2018) Lost Ladies
Who were they and why did they die?

Newspaper Articles

Western Morning News (17 April 1912) Bound for Salt Lake City
Western Morning News (17 April 1912) Titanic Disaster, Westcountry Passengers and Crew (7)
Illustrated Western Weekly News (20 April 1912) Mr and Mrs Turpin
Western Morning News (23 April 1912) Mr and Mrs Turpin among the missing
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Comment and discuss

  1. Jpvaughan

    Hi, some great research here! I'm trying to confirm a story that my grandmother once told us about a cousin of hers that died on the Titanic. I've been through the passenger lists and think that Dorothy Wonnacott is the most likely passenger to be her, but to be certain I need to try and confirm her mother's maiden name. Would anyone be able to point me in the right direction?Thanks James

  2. lola97878

    why was she travaling

  3. pablo (2425)

    she was moving to salt lake city to help pursue her husbands carpeting work

  4. Lillie

    She was the daughter of Arscott Wonnacott

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Dorothy Ann Turpin (née Wonnacott)
Age: 26 years 11 months and 20 days (Female)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to William John Turpin
Last Residence: in Plymouth, Devon, England
Occupation: Housewife
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 11668, £21
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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