Mr John James Borebank

John James Borebank

Mr John James Borebank was born in West Hallam, Derbyshire, England on 1 May 1870, later being baptised on 28 May that same year.

He was the son of James Borebank (1842-1916), a farmer, and Sarah Maria Milnes (1847-1883), both Derbyshire natives who were married on 18 June 1868. Sarah was James' second wife. He had previously been married on 27 December 1866 to Caroline Heath (b. 1841) but his bride died less than two weeks later, being buried on 12 January 1867.

John, known as Jack, had six siblings: Mary Elizabeth (1872-1876), Frederick William (b. 1874), Annie Marina (b. 1876), Frances Helen Mary (1877-1878), Hannah Mary Helen (b. 1879) and Lakin (1881-1885).

John first appears on the 1871 UK census living with his family at High Lane Farm House in West Hallam and would still be present there by the time of the following 1881 census. His mother died just after Christmas in 1883, being buried on 3 January 1884. The remaining family emigrated before the close of the 1880s, settling in St John's, Toronto, Ontario, appearing there on the 1891 census. His father operated a grocery store and was remarried to an Irish woman named Margaret Ann Leech (b. 1862) and had five more children: Florence Medora (b. 1889), Violet Jane (b. 1891), Charles Lakin (b. 1893), Harold Alexander (b. 1897) and Margaret Isabel (1898-1902).

Initially working as a bartender, John later moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba around 1896 andbecame a real estate broker. He was married in Vancouver on 14 June 1899 to Elizabeth Isabel Blackburn (b. 1873 in Smithfield, Ontario). Their only child, a daughter, Eileen Isabel Louise, was born on 5 June 1904. The family remained in Winnipeg and appeared there on the 1906 census but resettled in Toronto around 1910, residing at 177 Jameson Avenue and with John working out of the Quebec Bank building on King Street.

By early 1912 Borebank and his family had spent ten months travelling throughout Europe, visiting Rome, Venice and Paris, finally stopping England to enrol his daughter in school. While his wife and daughter remained in England, John boarded the Titanic (ticket number 110489 which cost £26 11s) to return to Canada. He occupied cabin D22.

John James Borebank died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. His father, residing at his grocery store at 285 Euclid Avenue, Toronto, received word of his death four days after the first news of the sinking.

His widow left England on 27 April 1912 aboard Vaderland, his daughter apparently remaining behind in Britain. Young Eileen would later voyage across the Atlantic again, arriving in New York on 15 May 1914 aboard Lusitania.

Elizabeth Isabel Borebank died less than six years after her husband, passing away in Texas on 10 March 1918. Her daughter Eileen was married in later life to an Iowan doctor and became Mrs Cecil Valentine King. She died in Orange, California on 22 July 1974.

Manitobans, As We See Them - 1910
Courtesy Alan Hustak



Mr. Borebank
Toronto Daily Star  (1912) 

Articles and Stories

The Evening Telegram (1912) 

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Gavin Bell, UK
Alan Hustak, Canada
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Arthur Merchant, USA

References and Sources

Titanic Communtator
Manitobans, As We See Them.
Newspaper Cartoonists Association of Manitoba, 1910
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2020) John James Borebank Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #35, updated 13th January 2020 13:20:38 PM)