Richard Henry Parsons was born in Ashbrittle, Somerset, England on 6 August 1893. He was the son of James Parsons (1857-1924), a slate quarryman, and Elizabeth Besley (1857-1948), both Somerset natives who had married in 1882.
Richard was one of six children. His siblings were: Addie Ethel May (1883-1956), Adolphus William (1885-1960), Cecil Thomas (1888-1964), Bertie James (1889-1920) and Ruth Maud (1895-1977).
Richard Parsons (standing centre) with his family
On the 1891 census, taken two years before his birth, Richard's family were living at 2 Stones Cottage, Stawley, Appley, Somerset. Richard first appears on the 1891 census when he and his family were living at Ivy Cottages in Ashbrittle, Somerset. Richard was absent from the 1911 census and apparently already at sea; his mother, father and eldest brother Adolphus were still living in Ashbrittle at the time and his father was described as a former slate quarryman, with an indication that he may have been disabled by this time.
Richard Parsons some years later
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Richard gave his address as 3 Polygon Road, (Southampton), a boarding address. His last ship had been the Olympic. As a second class steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s.
Richard Parsons died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His mother and father continued to live in Somerset, his father passing away in 1924 and his mother in 1948.