Frederick Vernon Hilton Reeves

F. Smith (Frederick Reeves)

Mr Frederick Vernon Hilton Reeves (F. Smith) was born at 21 Park Place in Brighton, Sussex, England1 on 2 July 1891.

He was the son of Frederick William Reeves (b. 1858) and Alice Maud Bull (b. 1867). His father was a carpenter and joiner and hailed from Bath whilst his mother was born in Southampton, the daughter of George Samuel Bull (b. 1844), a cab driver from Beaulieu, Hampshire, and Elizabeth Saunders (b. circa 1842), a native of Fordingbridge. 

Frederick had one known sibling, his younger brother John (b. circa 1897). 

Frederick's parents appeared on the 1891 census living at 21 Park Place, Brighton; although described as husband and wife they were not married until later that year.

He first appears on the 1901 census living at 27 Fanshawe Street, Southampton; his mother was by then a widow but what became of his father is not certain and the household was taking in lodgers to make ends meet. His mother appears to have remarried to a man named Smith but details about this are lacking2). From that union, however, Frederick gained two half-siblings: Ronald Bertie (b. 1903) and Winifred "Winnie" Laura Clara (b. 7 July 1905, later Mrs Norman William Vine).

Frederick, listed as F. Smith, and his two half-siblings appear on the 1911 census living at 33 Ordnance Road, Southampton, the home address of his grandparents George and Elizabeth Bull, then boarding house keepers. The whereabouts of his mother is not certain but he was described as an unmarried ship's steward. 

Reeves was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed-on again in Southampton (as F. Smith) on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 33 Ordnance Road. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as an assistant pantry steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.

Frederick Reeves died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

Hard on the heels of his own death, Frederick's grandfather died on 5 October 1912. His half-sister Winifred died in Bournemouth in 1987.


  1. The 1911 census gives his birthplace as Southampton.
  2. On the 1901 census one of their lodgers was a Southampton-born photographic film engraver named John Smith (b. circa 1879); was he Frederick's eventual step-father?
  3. Body #240 might be that of F. Smith (Correspondence with Alan Ruffman, Canada).

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)
Daily Mirror 20 April 1912
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. Deleted member 173198 said:

    My message of enquiries is aimed at Emma Richardson who resides out in the beautiful county of Sussex. Seven years later I am on the verge of solving this mystery. One he wasn't born in Brighton. Two he was actually born in Southampton. If Emma does pay another of her flying visits to us again I would like to speak with her privately please. Andrew Williams

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Gavin Bell, UK
Alan Ruffman, Canada

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2017) Frederick Vernon Hilton Reeves (ref: #2124, last updated: 24th July 2017, accessed 5th August 2021 08:18:12 AM)

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