Mr John Joseph Bannon 1 was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 19 December 1877 and was baptised on 31 December 1877 in St Sylvester's Church in that city.
Hailing from a Roman Catholic family, he was the son of labourer John Bannon and the former Sarah Hyland. Whilst his father's origins are not entirely certain, he may have been born in Liverpool in the early 1840s. His mother Sarah was Irish by birth (b. circa 1845)2. They were married in St Martin in the Fields Church, Liverpool on 8 August 1864, with Sarah indicated to have been a minor at the time.
John had five known siblings: Joseph William Edward (b. 24 April 1868), John (b. 1870), Amelia (b. 24 May 1873), Sarah (b. 1881) and Mary (b. 2 April 1886).
John's father does not appear on any census records with his family, indicating he may have gone on to hold a seafaring career. On the 1881 census John, his mother and siblings were residing at 8 Herbert Square, Hopwood Street, Liverpool. By the time of the 1901 census John was still at home with his family, then at 8 Milton Street, Bootle and he was described as an unmarried marine fireman.
Bannon first appears on shipping records in June 1897 when he was a trimmer aboard the Majestic, a ship with which he would have a long association. During 1899 he was seen working aboard the Cymric before returning to the Majestic until at least 1907. Between 1908 and 1909 he worked aboard several ships, including the Lusitania, Mauretania, Empress of Britain and Carmania.
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 Elizabeth who was welcomed on 23 January 1911. The 1911 census records the family residing at 35 Mount Street, Southampton although John was absent and likely at sea at the time.
When he signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912, Bannon gave his local 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 and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
Bannon's widow Mary was remarried in 1917 to a Robert Thompson. She died in Southampton in 1951. Bannon's mother passed away in 1925.
His daughter Mary was married in 1930 to Thomas Noyce and they had three children: Thomas, David and Rosemary. What became of her thereafter is uncertain.