John Lovell was born in the Union Workhouse1, South Stoneham, Southampton on 22 March 1875 the son Louisa Pheobe Diaper (1857-1945)2 and her common law husband Benjamin Lovell (1854-1883). A daughter, Elizabeth Louise (later Elizabeth Veal) was born in Southampton in 1878 and sometime later the family moved to Lancashire where John's two brothers (William and Benjamin) were born in 1881 and 1883 respectively. After Benjamin's untimely death at the age of just 29 Louise decided to move the family back to her hometown of Itchen, she remarried in 1885 to James Sellar3 and another daughter Annie Emma (1885-1939) was born in December the same year.
As a young man Lovell worked as a clerk for the Clyde Ship Company but when he joined the White Star Line it was as a cook.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his name as "J. Lovell", his age as 32, and his address as 21 Highland Road, (Itchen, Southampton). His last ship had been the Olympic. As a grill cook he received monthly wages of £6 10s
Lovell died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. His widowed sister Elizabeth received benefit from the Titanic Relief Fund.
- The building still stands, now known as Moorgreen Hospital.
- His name was registered as John Lovell Diaper. It is likely that he was related to John Joseph Diaper, who was a fireman on the Titanic.
- Listed in the marriage register as James Sellar, in the 1891 and 1901 census his family are listed as Sellars.
Diaper Heritage Society (www.diaperheritage.com)
GRO Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths