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Ernest Waldron King

Purser's Clerk from Galway, Ireland

Ernest Waldron King
Ernest Waldron King

Ernest Waldron King was born in the village of Ardrahan near Gort in Co Galway, Ireland on 29 January 1884.

He was the son of Thomas Waldron King (b. circa 1853) and Caroline Gibb (b. circa 1854). His father was from Galway and his mother was English by birth, the daughter of an engineer, and they had married in Clifden, Co Galway on 28 July 1875. His father was a teacher and, like his father before him, was also a Church of Ireland Minister. 

One of four surviving children from seven, King's known siblings were: Andrew Samuel (b. 9 July 1876), Ethel Jeanette (b. 12 July 1880), Herbert (b. 29 July 1882), Thomas Maurice (b. 21 March 1886) and Charles Hume (b. 14 March 1891).

The family moved to Blackrock, Dublin not long after Ernest was born. He first appears on the 1901 census living at 25 Mountjoy Square, Dublin City aged 17 and a pupil under the tutelage of a Mr Robert Edwin Vanee and a Mr George Anderson whilst his mother and brother Charles are listed as living at 11 Bawnogues, Straffan, Co Kildare. The 1911 census shows Ernest as unemployed and living with his mother, father and brother at 4 Aghnahola in the parish of Currin in Co Monaghan where his father was the Church of Ireland Rector.

When Ernest went to sea is not certain but it appears that his first working sea voyage was aboard Olympic; he was serving aboard her in the latter half of 1911 when that ship had her collision with the HMS Hawke.

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 9 April 1912 King gave his address as the Currin Rectory, Clones, Co Monaghan. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a clerk and assistant to the purser he received monthly wages of £5.

Ernest King died in the sinking and his body was recovered by the Minia (#321) and buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 10 May 1912:

Grave of body 321

No. 321 (M15)

SEX-Male.     Estimated age-25.    
Dark brown hair, heavy in front.

Light eyebrows, large prominent nose, sharp features.

Height 6ft, weight about 160lbs, No marks on body.

Effects: wrist watch (gun metal) Sliver cuff links "E. K.", bunch of keys with tag marked Assistant purser's window; cigar-otto case, small pen knife for watch chain; papers, receipt for furnished room for one week dated April 6th, 1912, signed "A Hutchinson", made out to Mr. King; combination knife and paper cutter; collar marked "E. K.", socks marked T. W. King; ladies' handkerchief with lace border marked T.G.F. ?

Probably Purser's Assistant

Name T. W. KING

Buried at Fairview

Effects del White Star Line.

His father Thomas died in Monaghan on 18 December 1917 and his mother in November 1926; they are buried in Currin Churchyard. His brother Charles died in Maidstone, Kent, England in 1972.


  1. He gave his birthplace as Dublin in the crew agreements.

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Ernest Waldron King
Age: 28 years 2 months and 17 days (Male)
Nationality: Irish
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: at Currin Rectory Aghnahola, County Monaghan, Ireland
Occupation: Clerk (1st class)
Embarked: Southampton
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Minia (No. 321)
Buried: Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on Friday 10th May 1912

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Newspaper Articles

Daily Mirror (18 May 1912) Some of the Titanic's Drowned and Saved


Ernest Waldron King
King's grave in Halifax NS

Documents and Certificates

1901, 1911 Census (Ireland)
Agreement and Account of Crew, National Archives, London; BT100/259
(1912) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Including Bodies Buried at Sea and Bodies Delivered at Morgue in Halifax, N.S.
(1912) Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths of Passengers and Seamen at Sea, National Archives, London; BT334/52 & 334/53


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Comment and discuss

  1. Ian King-Brown

    Ian King-Brown said:

    I would be pleased to read information that anyone has on a distant relative of mine: E W King. He was Purser / clerk on board and was lost. I have his last address and age but wondered if there was any further information especially on his family. I am a distant relative but know almost nothing about that branch of the family. I also wondered if his father was a clergyman? Revd. I. King-Brown

  2. Jason D. Tiller

    Jason D. Tiller said:

    Hello Ian, Welcome aboard. Have you read his biography right here on this site? I'm afraid it's not much, but it's a start.

  3. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey said:

    His father was indeed a man of the cloth - the Reverend Thomas Waldron King, of Currin Rectory, Clones in County Monaghan (Church of Ireland). Ernest had been born in County Galway, and his mother's name was Caroline. The couple had at least 6 other children, but sadly few of them lived beyond childhood. I don't have any more information than that, I'm afraid.

  4. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey said:

    Just a little more. The formal descriptions of bodies recovered by the Minia were made by the ship's Purser and by a clergyman on board, the Rev H W Cunningham. These descriptions are generally very brief, but Cunningham later provided a more detailed account of the Minia's voyage for publication in a Halifax newspaper. This reveals that King's body was found at 3.30 pm on Tuesday, April 30, and was that of "a fine fellow of full height with officer's overcoat on and kid gloves. The body was not in the least damaged, and the face wore an entirely natural look". .

  5. Brian J. Ticehurst

    Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Ian - below is just a bit more: King, Ernest Waldron. Lived at Currin Rectory, Clones, Ireland. Occupation - Clerk, Pursers Assistant. 28 years old. (Born in Dublin, Ireland). Body number 321. Interred at Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Memorial stone in Fairview Cemetery reads:- In loving memory of Ernest Waldron King, Currin Rectory, Clones, Ireland, died on duty, SS Titanic, April 15, 1912. Aged 28 years. ''Nothing in my hand I bring simply to thy cross I cling. 321. In April 1998 at Sothebys Auction in London A postcard sent from RMS Titanic posted from Queenstown dated... Read full post

  6. Ian King-Brown

    Ian King-Brown said:

    Thanks to every one for there information especially Bob. Kind regards, I.K.B

  7. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey said:

    Glad to be able to help, Ian.

  8. Anne Montague

    Anne Montague said:

    I wonder whether the postcard might have been sent by someone other than Ernest Waldron King, who appears in the 1911 Census as single, age 27, living with his parents, Thomas Waldron King & Caroline , and younger brother, Charles Hume King, in Co Monaghan. It's possible Tom was Ernest's son by an early marriage or liaison, but at 28 Ernest seems too young to have been the father of someone old enough to be expected to carry on a correspondence ("you might write 25th..."). Also: Should "naval uniform" be "White Star Line uniform"? If the subject of the photo was indeed in the Royal... Read full post

  9. Paul Belger

    Paul Belger said:

    Interesting information. I believe I am related to the son, William Henry King, who died in Pretoria in 1924. his son was named Ernest Waldron King in honour of his uncle who died on the Titanic in 1912. The later EW King had 3 daughters and I am the son of the middle daughter, Patricia King who married Warner Belger, Paul Belger.

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