Mr John Edward Puzey, known as “Jack,” was born in London, England on 28 February 1868, later being baptised in St Giles' Church in the City on 22 March that same year.
He was the son of Nathaniel Thomas Puzey (1839-1884), a marine fireman, and Rosetta Arkell (1839-1908), both Middlesex-natives who had married in St Mark’s Church, Shoreditch, London on 23 November 1863.
He had eight siblings: Rosetta Emily (b. 1864), Henry Nathaniel (b. 1866), Julia Beatrice (b. 1870), Nathaniel Joseph (b. 1872), Mary Selina (b. 1875), Montague Augustus (b. 1878), William (b. 1881) and Alice Catherine Mildred (b. 1885). His brother Montague did not reach his second birthday and died in early 1880.
John and his family are listed on the 1881 census living at 18 Buxton Street, Clerkenwell, Middlesex. His father died in 1884, whilst his mother was pregnant; she remarried in 1890 to William Henry Gregory (b. 1850 in Lambeth, Surrey), a bricklayer and she later lived in Windsor, Berkshire before her death in 1908 in Bradford, Yorkshire.
In 1886 John joined the British Army and served with the Dragoon Guards, but other details about the next few years of his life are lacking.
Described as a ship’s steward whose residence was in Windsor, Puzey was married in the Parish Church in Marden, Wiltshire on 1 December 1896 to a native of that village, Rose Stone1 (b. 1873 in Chirton, Wiltshire). Miss Stone was the daughter of agricultural labourer Robert Stone and his wife Elizabeth, née Plank.
Just the year prior to their marriage John and Rose had welcomed a son on 23 June 1895, Oliver Francis, better known as Frank. Their second and last child, William John, arrived on 17 July 1901.
There would be no sign of John on the 1901 census, he perhaps being at sea, but his wife and first son Frank were listed as living at 41 Tory Road, St Denys, Southampton. John would again be absent from the 1911 census, his wife and children by then living at 61 Manor Road, Itchen, his son Frank being described as an apprentice billiard maker.
John Puzey signed on to the maiden voyage of Titanic on 4 April 1912; he gave his address as 61 Manor Road, Itchen and his previous ship as the Majestic. As a steward he could expect to earn monthly wages of £3, 15s. Also serving aboard was an in-law Walter Boothby; John's brother-in-law William Stone was married to Boothby's sister Ada.
John Puzey was lost in the disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
The following memorial appeared for both Puzey and Boothby in the Portsmouth Evening News on 14 April 1913:
BOOTHBY AND PUZEY--In loving memory of our dear brothers, Walter and Jack, who was drowned in the terrible Titanic disaster, April 14th, 1912. Sadly missed by Ada and Will.
His widow Rose was remarried twice, firstly in 1915 to John Shearing (1857-1923) and secondly in 1924 to shipyard worker James P. Jack (1881-1955). She died in Southampton in 1938.
His son William later worked as a wood machinist; he married in 1926 to Nellie May House (b. 11 January 1907) and they raised a family, their firstborn Joan arriving in 1927. William died in New Forest, Hampshire in 1979; his widow Nellie died in 1990.
His son Frank also went on to serve as a greaser in the Merchant service but little else is known about his later life. Whilst it is not clear that he ever married, it appears he later cohabited with a woman named Margaret; they appear to have had no children. Frank died in Southampton in 1966.