Encyclopedia Titanica

Reginald Fenton Butler

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). 


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.

© Bill Fowler, Canada

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.


References and Sources

Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew, S.S. Titanic (Public Archives of Nova Scotia) (#97)
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)
Portsmouth Evening News, 16 April 1912
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Comment and discuss

  1. Evert ten Houten (Evert)

    Evert ten Houten (Evert)

    Is there any one who has any information on R.Butler.His daughter has just turned 90 years, and his son Norman died 1998 in Australia. I am his grandson.

  2. Evert ten Houten (Evert)

    Evert ten Houten (Evert)

    R.Butler I'm the grandson of R.Butler who was reportedly 45 yrs. when he was found.He was infact only 24yrs.My mother (his daughter)never new him. I would like to find as much information as posseble to give to my mother as she has found it very hard to show any interest at all . At the time of the accident she was only 4yrs.old

  3. Mike Herbold

    Evert Are you talking about Reginald Fenton Butler?

  4. Evert ten Houten (Evert)

    Evert ten Houten (Evert)

    Mike, That is correct: Reginald Fenton Butler

  5. Geoff Whitfield

    There seems to be some confusion here regarding Reginald Fenton Butler. He was unmarried at the time of his death and had become engaged to a Southsea girl named Dulcie, whose surname escapes me, a matter of three days before sailing. Reg had been living with his brother, Edgar John Butler, who was the landlord of the Grenada Hotel, Grenada Road, Southsea, Hampshire. Following his death, his fiance had red carnations placed on his grave at Fairview Cemetery on the anniversary. Geoff Whitfield British Titanic Society

  6. Evert ten Houten (Evert)

    Evert ten Houten (Evert)

    Geoff Thanks for your information.Reginald Fenton Butler had three children.Eva ,Norman and Dorris who now resides in the Netherlands aged 90.He most likely got divorced before commencing his journy to the U.S.in search for a new life.My mother as a small child never actually new her father.My Grandmother,remarried and had never spoken about Reginald. It was only by accident that my mother's half brother told the story who at the moment is slowly dying from cancer .

  7. Andrew J. Kahl

    Does anyone have extra info on Reginald Butler

  8. rosamund jean portsmouth

    we are the descendants of his brother Frank A Butler-Engineering rear Admiral-Royal Navy ,who died 13 april 1949 in Deal aged 70. he had two daughters,Joan unmarried born 5 october 1912/ died sept 1980 and Helen Valerie Coyle born 10 nov 1918/died 23 oct2010. two surviving daughters- Diana Falkner born 13 aug1942 and Rosamund Portsmouth born 6 march 1944. we are keen to know more .regards

  9. jean halff

    jean halff

    I was in Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scota and saw the grave of Reginald Fenton Butler a crew member from the Titanic. However, I have not been able to find his name on the list of deceased. Any hints on finding him?? Jean Butler Halff

  10. Mark Baber

    Jean, in addition to what's in this thread, there's a little information on Mr. Butler's bio page, .

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Reginald Fenton Butler
Age: 25 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: in Southsea, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Mechanical Engineer
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 234686, £13
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 97)
Buried: Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on Friday 3rd May 1912

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