William Francis "Frank" Witts 1 was born in Guildford, Surrey, England over the summer months of 1877.
He was the son of James Witts (b. 1827 in Manton, Wiltshire), an engine driver, and Emily Gough (b. 1836 in Tiverton, Somerset) who had married in Wiltshire in 1852. The couple initially settled in Wiltshire where they started their family before moving to Hampshire in the early 1870s. Frank had eleven known siblings: John (b. 1853), James (b. 1854), Henry George (b. 1857), Kate (b. 1861), Mary Ann (b. 1862), Elisabeth (b. 1865), twins Rose and Emily (b. 1869), Walter (b. 1874), Alfred (b. 1876), and Florence Emily (b. 1881).
Frank first appears on the 1881 census living at 67, Near the Wharf in Winchester, Hampshire. The family later moved closer to Southampton and would appear on the 1891 census living at Stoneham Terrace, Eastleigh, Hampshire and Frank, aged 14, was still described as a schoolboy. His mother died in 1899 and his father in 1907.
Frank appears on the 1901 census as a boarder at 20 Lower York Street, Southampton and is described as an unmarried general labourer. The 1911 census shows Frank lodging at St Michael's House, Southampton and he is described as a dock labourer, still unmarried.
When he signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, Frank gave his local address as St Michael's House, a lodgings address for seamen, and he reported his previous ship as the Oceanic. As a trimmer he could expect monthly wages of £5, 10s.
Frank Witts died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
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