Encyclopedia Titanica

James Carter

Mr James Carter was reportedly born in Berkshire, England around 1866. Any other details about his early life remain uncertain.

The James Carter who was aboard the Titanic had joined the British military at some point although when is not certain; there are various candidates in service records but no individual has proved conclusive. Carter is known to have gone on to serve in the Queen's Lancers and also served in South Africa as Farrier-Sergeant of the South African Mounted Police. He was later a reservist of RAMC of Netley Hospital.

He was married in Southampton in 1909 to Marianna Kestell, née Pester, a native of the Channel Islands. Marianna was born in Vale, Guernsey on 24 October 1862, the daughter of a farmer and seemingly had a previous marriage to a man named Kestell, of whom nothing is known.

James and Marianna, having married late in life, had no children of their own. Whilst James was absent from the 1911 census, his wife was recorded as living at 5 Brinton's Road, Southampton.

When he signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912, Carter gave his age as 35 and his name as "W. Ball," for reasons unknown.

He listed his address as 5 Brinton's Road and his previous ship as the Olympic and as a fireman he could expect monthly wages of £6.

James Carter died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

CARTER--James, aged 46, the dearly beloved husband of Marianna Carter (Late of the Queen's Lancers, also Farrier-Sergeant of the South African Mounted Police and Special Reservist RAMC of Netley Hospital) of 5 Brinton's Road, Southampton. London papers please copy.
Hampshire Independent, 11 May 1912

His widow Marianna, who later benefitted from the Titanic Relief Fund, never remarried and remained in Southampton, later living at 37 Andersons Road with her sister Amy Alice Knight (1866-1950). She died on 7 January 1945 aged 82.

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr James Carter (W. Ball)
Born: circa.1866 in
Age: 46 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Marianna Kestell (née Pester)
Last Residence: at 5 Brinton's Road Southampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Fireman
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Southampton on Saturday 6th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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Comment and discuss

  1. Nicky Parr

    Nicky Parr said:

    Has anyone researched this man and found why he might have used a different name? Quite intriguing! I found him when looking for someone who was 'like a brother' to my granddad and 'Ball' was granddad's surname. The person my granddad talked about was John Penrose, who came from the same village.

  2. Deleted member 173198

    Deleted member 173198 said:

    He is one of the more harder ones to sort out Nicky. I have however, got the marriage certificate between James and Marianna. The marriage is registered in Southampton for 1909. I am in the process of trying to sort out this particular Carter I found at one of the records held at Southampton Archives. Whether this is our man remains one of those outlandish long-shorts at the moment, but the connections are strongly linked with South Africa more so during the Boer War. Annoyingly I have to revert all my efforts with a major museum to scale down what does and what doesn't survive on record. In the case of Marianna, she is registered on the Relief Fund and remained so until her death in 1945. She's actually buried with her sister in another large cemetery based in Southampton. Rather late in arriving with an answer but better late than never. I hope the questions below have provide some insight on what is officially going on behind closed doors.

  3. Deleted member 173198

    Deleted member 173198 said:

    Unsure if this is our man in question?? Other reasons for doing another line of the many searchers I've been bog-down with, and out of the blue to some extent, was an accident waiting to happen. Among the many press cuttings another joins the file. The article in question resorts to the come back of those heavy involved with the Boer War and some notable names of immense wealth of the Southampton circle, were awarded the Freedom of Southampton. Among the names is "Carter" (no first name quoted) but his background and bravery fits his description to a tee. Has any one else come across anything similar to what I've recently discovered at Southampton Reference Library?? Carter is much lower down in the report whilst Perkins gets all the glory. Considering the Perkins family were the main co-founders of the Southampton Echo, little wonder why they are masters of the universe and stand high on the league table absorbing all the rapacious welcoming from the citizen of Southampton.

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Gavin Bell, UK
Bill Wormstedt, USA

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) James Carter (ref: #1431, last updated: 8th May 2018, accessed 24th January 2022 22:11:32 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/james-carter-ball.html