Mr Reginald Fenton Butler was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England over the summer months of 1886.
He was the son of William Francis Butler (b. 1852) and Susannah Haryott (b. 1853). His father, a hotel proprietor and licensed victualler, was also born in Portsmouth whilst his mother was a native of Alfriston, Sussex. They were married in Portsmouth in 1877 and produced four known children.
Reginald's known siblings were: Frank Arthur (b. 1878), Harry (b. 1880) and Edgar John (b. 1882).
Butler appears with his family on the 1891 census living at Granada Road, Portsea, the address of their hotel, the Granada. His mother died in 1894 and his father was remarried two years later to Charlotte Frances Allen (b. 1857 in Woolwich, Kent). The 1901 census shows Reginald and his family at the same address as previous. His father died on 5 April 1904 followed by his stepmother Charlotte on 7 January 1909. Reginald's brother Edgar therefore took over the ownership duties of the Granada Hotel.
Butler later emigrated to the USA; he arrived in New York aboard Oceanic on 8 April 1909 and gave his closest relative as his brother Edgar. He was travelling with friends to Fennville, Michigan and was described as an unmarried engineer standing at 6' 1" and with brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. His activity in the USA is not certain but by the time of the 1910 census he was an odd jobs labourer, boarding at an unspecified address in Loma, Mesa County, Colorado at the home of a Japanese man Samuel Nomura, living alongside five other boarders, all Japanese.
Butler returned to Britain to visit relatives around early 1912; for his return to America he boarded the Titanic in Southampton on 10 April 1912 as a second class passenger (ticket number 234686 which cost £13).
SOUTHSEA AND COSHAM PASSENGERS
Among the second-class passengers who sailed in the Titanic was Mr Reginald Butler, son of Mrs Butler of the "Granada" Hotel, Southsea. Mr Reginald Butler had been home from the States on a short holiday.
Mr and Mrs C. V. Clarke, two residents of Cosham, were also amongst the passengers in the ill-fated vessel. - Portsmouth Evening News, 16 April 1912
Reginald Butler lost his life in the sinking and his body (#97) was later recovered by the Mackay Bennett and buried at Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 3 May 1912:
His estate, worth £742, 7s, 10d was administered to his brother Edgar on 27 July 1912. Edgar, who was married with a family, died in Guildford, Surrey on 21 January 1945.
NO. 97. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 42.
CLOTHING - Black suit.
EFFECTS - Gold watch and chain; silver cigarette case; gold match box; knife; fountain pen; memo book; Oddfellows' stud; letter case and pocket book with £60 2s.
NAME - REGINALD BUTLER.