Henry Charles Fairall was born in Ryde, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England in early 1872. He was the eldest son of George Fairall (1847-1934), a carpenter, joiner and undertaker, and Miranda Jane Yeats (1850-1937), Ryde natives who had married in 1870.
Henry had three siblings: Charles Alban (b. 1874), Arthur Edwin (b. 1880) and Mary Gertrude (b. 1887).
Henry appears on the 1881 census with his family living at 53 Surrey Street, Ryde. The family would shift several doors down to 31 Surrey Street by the time of the 1891 census, Henry already having left school and working as a messenger.
Henry was married in Ryde in 1900 to Ellen Maria Sherin (b. 1874 in Shanklin, Isle of Wight). The couple initially had three children, Mary Sylvia (1901-1993), Isabella Winifred (1902-1987) and Norah Patricia (1906-1980).
On the 1901 census Henry, his wife and first child appear living at 12 Surrey Street in Ryde and Henry is described as a post office messenger. When he first went to sea is not clear, but by the time of the 1911 census he and his family were living as boarders at 1 Woodside Terrace, Woodside Road, Portswood, Southampton and he was described as a ship's steward.
He initially signed-on to the Titanic in Belfast for her delivery trip to Southampton. When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 31 Surrey Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight. As a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s. His last ship had been the Olympic.
Fairall died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His wife, who was pregnant at the time, gave birth to a son later in 1912 and named him Charles Anthony. Unfortunately, the child died before the end of the year.
Widowed Ellen Fairall never remarried. She and her daughters later moved to London, living at 19 Osten Mews, Kensington, and she died on 22 April 1947.
His last surviving child was his daughter Mary Sylvia (later Mrs Pakenham William Beatty) who died in Berkshire in 1993.
Articles and Stories
Hampshire Advertiser (1912)
References and SourcesAgreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)