Mr Herbert Klein was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England in late 1878.
He was the eldest son of Jewish migrants Daniel Klein (1858-1932) and the former Bertha Brash (1856-1941), both tailors. His father hailed from Kalisch, Russian Empire (modern-day Kalisz, Poland) whilst his mother was from Posen, Prussia (modern-day Poznań, Poland); they had wed in Leeds, Yorkshire in 1877 and would have five sons, of whom Herbert was the eldest.
Herbert's younger brothers were: Lewis (b. 1880), Gabriel (1882-1966), Joseph (b. 1885) and Emanuel (b. 1887).
Herbert first appears as a two-year-old on the 1881 census when he and his family were residing at 37 Stamford Street in northern Leeds. The 1891 census shows the family living at 60 Walsey (?) Street and the 1901 census at 52 Samuel Street, both in Leeds; the latter record describes Herbert as an unmarried hairdresser.
He was married in Leeds in 1902 to a native of that city, Leah Nora Goldman (b. 1881), known as Cissie, who was the daughter of Russian migrants Elkan and Zara Goldman. The couple seemingly settled in Liverpool, and their daughter Bella was born there in late 1904.
When Klein went to sea is not certain, but by 1911 he and his family had moved to Southampton and were listed on the 1911 census as living at 56 Oakley Road, Shirley Southampton and his occupation was that of a hairdresser for the White Star Line. Towards the end of 1911, the couple’s second child, a daughter named Flora, was born in Southampton.
When he signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912, Klein gave his address as 56 Oakley Road, Southampton. His previous ship for about eight years had been the Teutonic and as a barber working for the second-class passengers, he worked for tips and received only a shilling a week for living expenses.
Herbert Klein died in the sinking, and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
After the disaster, Klein's wife Leah claimed £300 compensation under the Workers Compensation Act. The case was heard at Southampton County Court in August 1912. The White Star Line argued that Klein was not an employee of the company and it was not liable for compensation.
Klein's probate was settled on 17 June 1912, with his widow receiving £200 from his estate. His address was then listed as 38A Church Street, Shirley.
Klein's widow and children eventually returned to Leeds. Leah died there on 18 August 1968.
His daughter Bella, later Mrs Jack Pliener, died in Blackpool in 1974. What became of his daughter Flora remains uncertain.
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