Mr Richard George Hocking, 22, was born 26 July, 1889 at 39 Adelaide Street, Penzance Cornwall, the youngest son of Mr William Hocking (Confectioner and Baker) and Mrs Eliza Hocking (née Neads). He was named after both his grandfathers Richard Hocking and George Neads. He was brother to William, Sidney, Emily and Ellen (Nellie). After the death of his father in South Africa the family moved to 6 St Mary's Street, Penzance.
Richard, like his father was a baker. When living in Penzance he became a member of the YMCA choir. He emigrated to Akron, Ohio in the early 1900's and lived at 457 Rhodes Avenue where he worked as a watchman at the Diamond Rubber Company. He travelled back to Cornwall in early 1912 to bring his mother, Mrs Elizabeth Hocking, his two sisters, Miss Nellie Hocking, Mrs Emily Richards and his two nephews, George and William Richards out to Akron. For the journey to America they all travelled second class on Titanic. George's ticket was numbered 29104 and cost £11 10s. The journey was due to have been on the Oceanic but they were switched to the Titanic. He shared a cabin with two of his friends from Penzance Percy Andrew Bailey and Harry Cotterill (a one-time neighbour in Adelaide Street).
George perished in the disaster, his body, if recovered, was never identified. His mother had asked him to enter her lifeboat but he replied, 'No, these men are good to stand back for you, and I must stay back and let their wives and mothers go'.
A brass plaque in memory of George Hocking and his friend Harry Cotterill was placed in St John's School, St Michaels's Street, Penzance shortly after the tragedy. Following the closure of the school in the late 1950's the plaque was re-sited within the nearby St John the Baptist Church in Trewartha Terrace. The inscription reads:
George Hocking and Harry Cotterill
pupils of this school for 7 years who lost their lives
in the foundering of the 'Titanic'
635 miles from New York on April 14 1912
"Quit ye like men"