John Joseph Bannon 1 was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 19 December 1877. He was the son of John Bannon and Sarah Hyland. Whilst his father's origins are not entirely certain, he may have been born in Liverpool in the early 1840s. His mother was Irish by birth (born circa 1845). 2 John had two known siblings: Amelia (b. 1873) and Sarah (b. 1881).
John's father does not appear on any census records with his family, indicating he may have held a seafaring career. On the 1881 census John, his mother and siblings are resident at 8 Herbert Square, Hopwood Street, Liverpool. By the time of the 1901 census John is still at home with his family, now at 8 Milton Street, Bootle and he was described as an unmarried marine fireman.
John was married in Southampton in the summer of 1910 to Mary Johanna Edwards (b. 1884 in Liverpool) and who had a child from a previous relationship, Johnny (b. 1902). John and Mary had one child of their own, a daughter named Mary, early in 1911. The 1911 census records the family residing at 35 Mount Street, Southampton although John is absent and likely at sea.
When John signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 9 St Georges Street, Southampton and his previous ship as the Philadelphia. As a greaser he could expect to earn monthly wages of £6 10s.
According to surviving greaser Thomas Patrick Dillon, he and Bannon were on the poop deck as the ship went under. Dillon later found Bannon afloat on a grating, but when Dillon was unable to climb aboard also he was forced to leave. He never saw Bannon again.
John Bannon died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow was remarried in 1917 to a Robert Thompson before her death in Southampton in 1951. His mother passed away in 1925.