Mr Henry Charles Fairall

Mr Henry Charles Fairall was born in Ryde, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England in late 1871 or 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.

He had three siblings: Charles Alban George (b. 1874), Arthur Edwin (b. 1880) and Mary Gertrude (b. 1887).

Henry appears on the 1881 census living with his family 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 by that point and working as a messenger.

Henry was married in Ryde in 1900 to Ellen Maria Sherin (b. 11 December 1873 in Shanklin, Isle of Wight), daughter of Irish-born town labourer Patrick Sherin and the former Jane Wilson; Her mother died when she was a toddler and her father remarried.

Prior to 1912 Henry and Maria had three children: Mary Sylvia (b. 15 March 1901), Isabella Winifred (b. 1902) and Norah Patricia (b. 9 October 1905).
On the 1901 census Henry, his wife and first child appear living at 12 Surrey Street in Ryde and Henry was 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.

Fairall initially signed-on to the Titanic in Belfast for her delivery trip to Southampton. When he signed-on on 4 April 1912 for the maiden voyage, he gave his address as 31 Surrey Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight. His previous ship was the Olympic and as a first-class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s. 

Henry Fairall died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

His wife, who was pregnant at the time, gave birth to a son on 5 June 1912 and named him Charles Anthony. Unfortunately, the child did not see out the rest of the year and died just shy of five months old on 7 November 1912. Henry is commemorated on the grave of his infant son :

OUR BABY
CHARLES ANTHONY
BORN JUNE 15th 1912
DIED NOV 7th 1912
THE INFANT AND ONLY SON OF
HENRY CHARLES FAIRALL
WHO WAS LOST IN THE FOUNDERING OF
WHITE STAR SS TITANIC
ON THE 15th APRIL 1912
AGED 40 YEARS
ERECTED BY ELLEN FAIRALL IN EVER DEAR
AND LOVING MEMORY OF HER HUSBAND AND CHILD

Ellen Fairall never remarried and remained in Southampton for a time before resettling in Worthing, Sussex. She eventually moved to London, living at 19 Osten Mews, Kensington where she died on 22 April 1947.

Henry's daughter Mary Sylvia was married in London in 1923 to Pakenham William Beatty (b. 1902), an electrician. She died in Berkshire, England in 1993. 

Daughter Isabella moved to New Zealand in the 1920s and was married there to London-born Edward Furnace (b. 1899). They raised a family and settled in Wellington where Isabella died in 1990. 

Daughter Norah lived for many years with journalist Eric Sanderson (b. 1891) but they were not married until 1949. She remarried in 1954 to Fred Douglas and eventually passed away in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1980.

 

Articles and Stories

Hampshire Advertiser (1912) 
 

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Credits

Trevor Baxter, UK
Gavin Bell, UK

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2019) Henry Charles Fairall Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1858, updated 22nd November 2019 01:51:27 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/henry-fairall.html