Mr Frederick Humby

Frederick Humby

Mr Frederick Humby (plate steward, 2nd class) was born in Shirley, Southampton, Hampshire, England in the latter half of 1895.

He was the son of James William Humby (b. 1861), a lamp lighter, and Fanny Frances Holloway (b. 1859), Shirley natives who were married in late 1885.

He had five known siblings: Alice Florence (b. 1882), William Matthew (b. 1886), Nellie Louisa (b. 1888), James Frederick (1890-1891) and Frank (b. 1892).                                                                                                                                 

Fred's mother died in 1898. When he appears on the 1901 census he is living with his widowed father and siblings on Cambridge Street, Southampton. His father died around 1904 and he and his brother Frank were placed into the care of Barnarados. He and Frank, when they came of age, were sent to the Watts Naval Training School in Norfolk. Whilst Frank entered Naval service on 17 March 1909, his first ship being the Ganges, Fred did not.

Fred instead went into the Merchant Service. He appears on the 1911 census boarding at 127 Bedford Street, Liverpool and is described as an unmarried ship's steward. His brother Frank appears on the same census at the Royal Naval Barracks and Officers' Quarters on Edinburgh Road, Portsmouth.

One of the younger members of the crew, when he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Fred gave his local address as 52 Clarendon Road, Southampton, the home of a Mr John Good and his family, he also a ship's steward. His last ship had been the Hildebrand and as a plate steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.

Fred Humby died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

Friends and family later raised funds for a stained glass window to be created to honour his memory. It was installed in Watts Naval School chapel, it's inscription reading:

To the Glory of God and in memory of Frederick Humby, a boy hero, who perished on board S. S. Titanic 15 April 1912, aged 17 years.

The memorial remained there until the chapel was closed before it was relocated to Barnardo's Chapel in Stepney, Middlesex. Following that chapel's closure in the late 1960s, the memorial window was again moved and placed into storage, its last known location being at the Boy's Garden City in Woodford Bridge, Essex. Its further whereabouts remained unknown for many years before it emerged that the window had been bought by a private collector and now resides in Houston, Texas, purchased in 1976 by a private collector named Jim Ellis.

Fred's brother Frank continued to serve aboard a host of Royal Navy ships, working as a signal man. He served throughout the duration of World War I before he was discharged on 17 April 1919, his final ship being Victory I. What became of him is not certain.

His brother William later married and settled in London. He died in Lambeth in 1968.


Comment and discuss

Fred Humby (7 posts)
Leave a comment...


Gavin Bell, UK

References and Sources

General Register Office: Index of Births, Marriages and Deaths
1901, 1911 Census (England)
RMS Titanic: Agreement and Account of Crew (National Archives, London, BT100/259)
RMS Titanic: Casualty List (National Archives, London, BT100/259)
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2020) Frederick Humby Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1923, updated 13th January 2020 09:36:39 AM)