Mr George Henry Brewster (Bedroom Steward, 1st Class) was born in Herongate, East Horndon, Essex, England on 18 December 1859.
He was the son of Thomas Brewster (b. 1837) and Matilda Butcher (b. 1834), both Essex natives, his father from Good Easter and his mother from Little Maplestead and they had married in 1857. His father was a boot and shoe maker and later ran his own business.
George had six known siblings: Charles Thomas (b. 1858) Theodea Matilda (b. 1861), Albert James (b. 1863), Edward (b. 1866), Ernest (b. 1868) and Arthur Frederick (b. 1869).
The 1861 and 1871 censuses show George and his family living at an unspecified address in Herongate, East Horndon. George had left the family home by the time of the 1881 census and was by then working as a draper's assistant and listed at 291-292 High Street in Chatham, Kent under the employ of tailor and outfitter Mr William Harden.
He joined the Royal Navy on 16 January 1883, his previous profession being stated as a draper and his first ship being the Pembroke. He stood at 5' 5½" and had auburn hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. He was discharged on 11 April 1888, his last ship being the Rapid.
George was married in early 1891 to Emily Jane Such (b. 1861 in East Horndon, Essex) and the newlywed couple appear on the 1891 census as visitors at the home of his brother Albert in Holly Cottages, Romford, Essex. George is by this time described as a ships' steward.
George and Emily Brewster went on to have one child, a daughter named Evelyn Blanche (b. 28 June 1897 in Barking, Essex).
His seafaring duties meant that George would be absent from both the 1901 and 1911 census records. His wife and daughter are listed on both; on the 1901 census at 20 Emsworth Road, Shirley, Southampton, and on the latter at 32 Southampton Street, All Saints.
George was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 5 Carlton Place, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Amazon. As a bedroom steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Following the disaster, George's fellow steward Alfred Theisinger recalled:
...I was talking with George Brewster, another steward, at 11:32. As we were talking, there suddenly came a noise, as is made by a rowboat running over a gravel beach. There was a slight shock through the entire ship but absolutely no severe jolt that would have caused us worry. I was suddenly aware that the engines had stopped and then Brewster said, “What do you think that is?”
(Denver Post, 20 April 1912)
George Brewster died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. He is remembered on his parents' grave at All Saints Churchyard, East Horndon, Essex.
His widow Emily never remarried and remained in Southampton where she died in 1924. His daughter Evelyn was married in London in 1921 to Albert R. Perry and the couple raised a family. She died in Torquay, Devon on 12 June 1978.
References and SourcesAgreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)