Encyclopedia Titanica

Norman E. Harrison

Norman Harrison

Norman Harrison was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 15 September 1873. He was later baptised on St Saviour's Church, Everton on 30 December 1874.

He was the son of an English father, Swainston Harrison (b. 1832 in Shoreditch, London), an accountant, and a Scottish mother, Eliza McIntosh (b. 1843 in Markinch, Fife) who had married in Liverpool in 1866 and who went on to have five children, losing two in infancy. Their children, besides Norman, were: Swainston (b. 1867), Francis Andrew Colpitts (b. 1870), Margaret March (b. 1872) and David March (b. 1878).

Norman first appears on the 1881 census living with his family at 15 Oakfield Road, Everton, Lancashire. The 1891 census shows Norman and his family living at 16 Grant Road, West Derby, Liverpool and he is then described as an apprentice steam engine maker. He served his apprenticeship in the turning, fitting and drawing office of Messrs Higginson & Co., Hurst Street, Liverpool between 1889 to 1894. After completing his apprenticeship he joined the line of Messrs Elder Dempster & Co., as a 4th engineer and later rose to become 3rd and finally 2nd engineer. He left the Elder Dempster Line when, at the age of 23, he gained his Chief Engineer`s certificate of competency and the opportunity to the White Star line as 3rd Engineer aboard the Delphic; he subsequently served on the Athenic (3rd engineer), Corinthic (2nd engineer) and Adriatic (2nd engineer).

Norman was married in Birkenhead, Cheshire in early 1907 to Mary Clare Magee  (b. 1877 in Liverpool) but the couple would have no children. They were listed on the 1911 census living at 50 Oakley Road, Southampton but he is also known to have resided at Baden Road, Knotty Ash, Liverpool. Later that year, on 17 November 1911, Norman was elected an Associate Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Norman initially joined the Titanic in Belfast, signing-on on 2 April 1912. When he signed-on again in Southampton on 6 April 1912, he gave his local address as 30 Coventry Road, (Southampton). As Junior second engineer he received monthly wages of £18.

Norman Harrison died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. His estate, worth £405, 8s, 8d, was administered to his widow on 1 July 1912.

His widow never remarried and died in London on 30 December 1936.

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Norman E. Harrison
Age: 38 years 7 months (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Mary Clare Magee
Occupation: Junior 2nd. Engineer
Last Ship: Adriatic
Embarked: Belfast
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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References and Sources

United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Crew Articles of Agreement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381.)
Crew Particulars of Engagement, Public Record Office (BT100/259)
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Newspaper Articles

Hampshire Independent (17 April 1915) In memoriam: Norman Harrison


Norman E. Harrison

Documents and Certificates

Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund: Norman Harrison
(1912) Probate Report: Norman Harrison
(1915) Harrison : Titanic Relief Fund, Liverpool Area


(1911) Norman Harrison (1873-1912) AMIMechE
Associate Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Graves and Memorials

Various Memorials to Norman Harrison
Harrison Family Gravestone
Knotty Ash Parish Church, Knotty Ash, Liverpool, England
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Comment and discuss

  1. Greg Harrison

    Greg Harrison said:

    Has anyone done any research into Norman Harrison's (b. 15 Sep 1873) ancestry? His biography indicates a wife Mary but no children. More importantly, both his brother and his father are shown as Swainston Harrison. Swainston Harrison is a common name in my family tree and I am hoping to tie Norman's father to my tree via a Colpitts Harrison b.25 Aug 1804 in London. Can anyone help me? Thank you. Greg Harrison

  2. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey said:

    Hallo, Greg. I'd say that the Liverpool Harrisons and the London Harrisons were almost certainly two branches of the same family. Not only is there the correspondence of names, but both families were in the same line of business in two different ports. Swainston Harrison senior in Liverpool was clerk to a ship's chandler, while Swainston junior was clerk for a shipping merchant trading with the African colonies. At the same time, a Colpitts Harrison in London (Edmonton) was a merchant trading with the Far East, and employing his two sons (Colpitts and Swainston) as clerks. Colpitts senior... Read full post

  3. Greg Harrison

    Greg Harrison said:

    Bob, you are correct. I found a short, two sentence entry in the Harrison family history that ties the two families together. Norman Harrison's father Swainston Harrison in Liverpool was the son of Colpitts Harrison b. 25 Aug 1804 in Shoreditch, London. Colpitts had 3 sons and a daughter. He was a wine merchant on Mark Lane, London. I have no less than 13 Swainston Harrison names in my tree (so far) and another 12 Swainston-Harrison compound last names. It is a challenge to keep them all straight. Thanks for your reply.

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Gavin Bell, UK
Denis Griffiths, UK
Keith Moore, UK (Senior Librarian & Archivist, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers)