Mr George Milford

Mr George Milford was born in Ryde, Isle of Wight, Hampshire in mid-18841

He was the son of William Milford (1855-1925), a gardener, and Harriett Bansey (1851-1929). Both his parents hailed from Devon and they had married in Exeter in 1872.

George had eight siblings: Florence Maud (b. 1873), Eliza Ellen (b. 1875), William James (b. 1877), Albert Edward (b. 1879), Florence Maud (b. 1882), John Thomas (b. 1887), Annie Louisa (b. 1890) and Charles Frederick (b. 1894).

The family first appears on the 1891 census living at 3 Meaders Yard, Oakfield, Hampshire but would relocate to Ryde by the time of the 1901 census, then living at 37 Albert Street and with a 16-year-old George being described as a general labourer.

George was married in Southampton in early 1909 to Florence Jane Ada Rance (b. 23 February 1882 in Southampton). Florence was the daughter of mariner Thomas Rance and the former Florence Paddington. 

When the 1911 census was conducted George was not listed but his wife was living with her mother and siblings at 3 Graham Street, Northam, Southampton, a Post Office. That record indicates that Florence had two children, both reportedly still living, but who weren't included with her at that address. 

George and Florence's only verified child was their daughter Florence (b. 1909) who died as a small infant. The second child in question was John Edward Rance (b. 2 September 1907), whose paternity is questionable2.

When Milford signed-on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 he gave his address as 3 Graham Street, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a fireman he could expect monthly wages of £6.

George Milford was lost in the Titanic disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified. He is remembered on the Titanic memorial board formerly at St. Augustine's Church, Southampton which is currently in the safekeeping of the Southampton Maritime Museum. The following death notice appeared in both the Southern Daily Echo and Hampshire Independent (1 May and 3 May, respectively):

Milford--George. Dearly beloved husband of Florence Milford, of 3, Graham St, Northam, aged 29.

His widow Florence was remarried in Southampton in 1915 to newsagent Edwin George Spanner (b. 26 July 1884) and they had two daughters, Florence and Edith(3). By 1939 she was living at 4 Leyton Road, Southampton with her husband and son John Rance and his family. Widowed a second time in May 1947, Florence died in Southampton in 1978 aged 96. She was also fated to outlive her son John Rance.

John Rance later worked in a shipyard as a riveter; he was shown on the 1939 register living with his "wife" Annie (b. 1913) and their child but few details about his life are confirmed. He may have taken another wife before his death in 1956.

Notes

  1. His birth was registered in Isle of Wight in the second quarter of 1884.
  2. John Edward Rance's birth name was listed as Rance; unlike many children born out of wedlock in the era he did not assume his real father's name upon the marriage of his parents, if indeed George Milford was his real father.
  3. Florence Ellen Elizabeth Spanner (b. 1915) and Edith Winifred Spanner (b. 1919). Edith died aged just one year whilst Florence later became Mrs Thomas W. Smith.
 

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Credits

Trevor Baxter, UK
Gavin Bell, UK

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2020) George Milford (ref: #1588, last updated: 27th February 2020, accessed 29th September 2020 01:03:47 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/george-milford.html