Richard Edward Burke was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England around 1882 1 but his precise background remains uncertain. His father was listed as Patrick Burke in his marriage record and it is likely that he hailed from an Irish immigrant family.
Richard was married in St Mary's Church, Liscard, Cheshire on 30 April 1907 to Alice Isabella Lodge (b. 1884 in Liverpool). The couple moved to Southampton shortly after and had their first child, Anne Marjorie in 1909. The 1911 census shows Richard, his wife and first child living at Berwick, 24 Hanley Road, Shirley, Southampton and he is described as a ship's steward.
Richard was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 26 Southampton Road, Chandlersford. His last ship had been the Olympic. As a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Richard Burke died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. His estate, worth £301, was administered to his widow on 10 June 1912.
His widow, pregnant at the time of the sinking, relocated northwards and gave birth to another son whom she named after his father, Richard Edward (b. 1912).
His widow Alice was remarried in 1916 in Settle, Yorkshire to Harry Skeats (1890-1970) and they had a son, William Lodge in 1916. Alice later moved to Lancaster, Lancashire and died there in 1951.
Richard's daughter Anne was married twice, latterly becoming Mrs Leadbetter, and she died in Lancaster in 1985.
What became of Richard's posthumous son is not clear.
Geoff Whitfield, UK
- There is seemingly no matching record for his birth. He was noted as a 24-year-old in his 1907 marriage record which corroborates the 1911 census