Mr John Crane Symonds

John Crane Symonds, 44, was born in Diss, Norfolk, England in 1867. He was baptized on 20 November that year. He was the son of John Crane Symonds and Mary Downing. His parents had married in Clerkenwell, Middlesex in 1857 and his father John appears to have died at the time or just before John Jr's birth.

On the 1871 census the family is listed as living at Laurel Cottage in North Chapel, Petworth, Sussex. Curiously John Symonds, aged 3, is listed as a servant. His siblings are listed as Robert John, Mary Elizabeth and Margaretta, all older. Stranger still, by the time of the 1881 census as 13-year-old John is listed as an inmate at an orphan asylum in Wanstead, Essex. His mother and youngest sister Margaretta are listed as living at Tilbury Hall in West Tilbury, Essex. His mother's profession is described as a boarding school mistress and she was a widow. The 1891 address has John living back with his mother and two sisters at their 1881 address. He is now listed as a ship's steward aged 23 but is absent by the time of the 1901 census.

On the 1911 census John Symonds is now boarding at 25 Heysham Road, Freemantle, Southampton.

He was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 1 Church Street, Southampton and his age as 38. As a first class saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. His last ship had been the Oceanic.

Symonds died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.

John's mother Mary would pass away in September of 1912. She was buried in St Mary's Churchyard in Little Thurrock, Essex and he is mentioned on her headstone:

"John Crane Symonds – her son, who died in the Titanic disaster"


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)
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