Mr James Robert Wyeth was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 7 November 1886.
He was the son of James Wyeth (1847-1923), a labourer, and Kezia Barrett (1858-1894), natives of Basingstoke and Southampton, respectively who had married in 1879.
He had eight known siblings: Beatrice (1879-1957), Mathilda (b. 1880), Frederick (b. 1881), Arthur (b. 1883), Elizabeth Harriet (b. 1884), Richard William (b. 1889), Edith Maud (b. 1890) and Edward Charles (1892-1919).
On the 1891 census James is listed with his family at 59 Adelaide Road, South Stoneham. His mother died in 1894 and by the time of the 1901 census the remaining family are residing at 84 Princes Street, St Mary, Southampton with James already working at the docks. His father never remarried.
He first went to sea in 1907 and served for several voyages aboard Majestic, operating out of Liverpool. He also served aboard Caronia and by 1908 was working aboard Oriana. He later returned southward, perhaps to coincide with the White Star Line's movement of its main terminal to Southampton from Liverpool.
James was married in late 1910 to Isabella Annie Cox (b. 1883), a native of Yeovil, Somerset. The couple were shown on the 1911 census living at 14 Milbank Street, Southampton and James was described as a steamship fireman. They would welcome their only child, daughter Gladys Lily Beryl in early 1912.
Having previously served on the Olympic, James signed onto the Titanic on 6 April 1912, his address being mistakenly transcribed as 40 Millbank Street. As a fireman he could expect monthly wages of £6.
Wyeth was lost in the disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
A death notice for him appeared in the Daily Echo on 1 May 1912:
Wyeth, James--Fireman, Aged 25, Beloved Husband of Isabella Annie Wyeth, of 14 Millbank Street, Northam.
His widow and daughter benefitted from the Titanic Relief Fund; Isabella never remarried and remained in Southampton, later living at 33 Millbank Street. On 31 October 1923 she was to suffer the loss of her daughter Gladys, aged just 11. Isabella died on 22 September 1950.
James Wyeth is remembered on the St Augustine's Church memorial and on his family grave in Southampton's Old Cemetery.
Articles and Stories
Southern Daily Echo (1912)
Hampshire Independent (1915)