Mr Harris Cornblatt (aka "Harry Corn")1 was born around 1882 in Warsaw, Congress Poland, then an autonomous constituent of the Russian Empire. Little else is known about his early life.
He was married to Ritka (aka Rebecca), née Gershencorn (b. 21 February 1883) in their native Warsaw around 1904 but soon after the couple—who were Jewish—settled in England, possibly fleeing antisemitic attitudes or even pogroms that were then virulent across eastern Europe.
Making their home in London’s east End, Harris and Rebecca would have three children, one son and two daughters: Morris (b. 1906), Fanny "Fay" (b. 19 July 1907) and Yetta "Stella" (b. 19 February 1909); their son Morris died whilst still a small infant. The family appear on the 1911 census living at 9 Ebor Street, Church Street, Bethnal Green, Shoreditch, London and Harris was described as an upholsterer's labourer.
Harris is believed to have worked his own upholstery business but had been encouraged to go to America where the prospects were much better, with his wife's parents already living there who were keen to bring their family closer to them. It was the original intention that the family would travel to the USA as a whole but when one of his children fell ill and it was decided he would travel alone, his wife and children to following once circumstances were better.
He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number SOTON/OQ 392090, which cost £8, 1s) but his exact destination in the USA is not certain, probably New York.
Harris Cornblatt lost his life in the disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow Rebecca and her children never made the journey to America and lived in London for the remainder of their lives. Rebecca's final days were spent living at 55 Brune House, Toynbee Street, East London and she died there on 5 May 1959, later being buried in East Ham Jewish Cemetery, Newham, London. Harris is commemorated on her headstone:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
DIED 5th MAY 1959
DEEPLY MOURNED BY HER SORROWING
DAUGHTERS FAY AND STELLA,
SON-IN-LAW ALEC, GRANDCHILDREN,
RELATIVES AND FRIENDS
RELICT OF HARRIS CORNBLATT
LOST AT SEA
IN THE "TITANIC" DISASTER 1912
MAY HER DEAR SOUL REST
Harris' daughter Stella was married in 1941 to Alec A. Rothfeder (aka Redfern) and had two children: Stephen (b. 1944) and Phyllis (b. 1949). The family lived in London where Stella died in 1981.
His daughter Fanny became known as Fay; she married Phillip Hearne (1895-1948) and had three children: Harold (b. 1930), Sidney (b. 1935) and Patricia (b. 1942). Fay lived for many years in an apartment block that overlooked the Petticoat Lane market in London's East End. She died in Enfield, Middlesex in May 1994.