Mr Percival Thorneycroft was born in Leeds, Kent, England in the closing months of 1875. He was later baptised on 9 January the following year.
He was the son of Thomas Thorneycroft (1831-1889), an agricultural labourer, and Drusilla Page (1848-1928), Kent natives who had married on 21 April 1867 1. He had three known siblings: May (b. 1879), Hilda Isabel (b. 1881) and George Henry (b. 1884).
Percy first appears on the 1881 census when he was living with his family at Upper Street in Leeds. His father died in 1889 and his mother was remarried before the close of that year to John Burgess (b. 1854 in Leeds) also an agricultural labourer. Percy, listed as Burgess on the 1891 census, was described as an agricultural labourer at that time and he lived with his family at Otham Lodge Gate Cottage in Otham, Kent.
Percy was married on 26 December 1899 in Thurnham, Kent to Florence Kate Stears (b. 1879), a native of Hollingbourne, Kent. The couple would have one child, John Frederick (b. 1907) who died whilst he was still a small infant.
Percy and Florence appeared on the 1901 census living at Horsham (?) Road, Thurnham, Kent and on the 1911 census at Fancy Row, Thurnham. Living with them also at the time of the 1911 census was Florence's widowed mother Christiana Stears.
Percy and his wife boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passengers (joint ticket number 376564 which cost £16, 2s). Their last address was given as 14 Walter Street, Penge, London and they were headed to Clinton, New York. Travelling with them was Charles Robert Guest. from their locale in Kent.
On the night of the sinking Percy and his wife made their way to the communal third class areas and it seems that his wife was among one of the groups led up to the lifeboats by crewmen, who fended the steerage men off from following by threats of being shot.
Percy Thorneycroft (as well as Mr Guest) lost his life in the disaster. His body, if recovered, was never identified. His widow Florence survived and returned to England.
- Two dates are given for their marriage. An alternate is 14 April 1866. Their marriage was registered in 1867 meaning that the 21 April 1867 date is the likely the correct one.
References and SourcesBritish Census 1881, 1901, 1911
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Names and Descriptions of British Passengers Embarked at the Port of Southampton, 10 April 1912 (PRO London, BT 27/780B)
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)