Encyclopedia Titanica

Robert George Roberts

Mr Robert George Roberts was born in Bransgore, Hampshire, England in early 1877(1) and was eventually baptised on 7 February 1883 in Woolston.
He was the son of Frederick Roberts (1848-1916), an engine fitter from Lincolnshire, and Keturah(2) Broomfield (1844-1921) a dressmaker from Hampshire who had married in Christchurch in December 1867(3).

He had five known siblings: Eliza (b. 1870), Laura Louise (b. 1872), Clara Charlotte (b. 1880), Lucy (b. 1883) and Walter Frederick (b. 1886).

Robert first appears on the 1881 census when living at 4 Hunts Road, Woolston, Hampshire with his family. The family had moved to 7 Osborne Terrace, Woodley Road, Woolston by the time of the 1891 census and when Robert was still at school. By the time of the 1901 census Robert was described as a general labourer and still living with his family, now at an address in Shirley, Hampshire.

He was married in 1904 to Lily Florence Williams (b. 1886 in Southampton) and together they would have four children: Edith Florence (b. 24 November 1904), Harry Edward (b. 1907), Ethel Lily Clara (b. 2 June 1909) and Ernest George (b. 19 January 1912).

On the 1911 census Robert and his family are living at 5 Wheelers Court, Queens Street, Southampton and he is listed as a labourer in the joinery works.

Family recount a tale in which Robert arrived home early one day and found his wife in a compromising position and with a young man named Thomas J. Thorne; Thorne was observed by Roberts leaping to his escape through a window, his trousers around his knees. This event collapsed the marriage between Robert and Lily and compelled the former to leave the joinery works and go to sea.

When he signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 Roberts gave his address was 5 Wheelers Court, Southampton and his previous ship as the Oceanic and as a fireman Robert could expect monthly waged of £6.

Robert George Roberts was lost in the Titanic disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in the Hampshire Independent (unknown date):

ROBERTS-April 15th, at sea, on s.s. Titanic, Robert Feorge aged 35 years, the dearly beloved son of Mr and Mrs F. Roberts of 12 Granville Street, Chapel, Southampton. Deeply mourned by his sorrowing family.

His widow Lily and her lover Thomas Thorne (b. 1883) were wed in early 1913 and they had two children, Rose and Thomas. Lily died in Southampton in 1949 and Thomas in 1959.

Robert's daughter Edith was married in 1925 to Richard A. Hollins and they had two daughters and one son. She died in Southampton in 1991.
His son Harry was married in 1928 to Minnie Zastrow Hammel (1907-1991) and they had a daughter named Sylvia. Harry died in Winchester aged 57 on 11 April 1964.

His daughter Ethel Lily Clara was married in 1930 to Arthur Frank Long (son of Titanic fireman and victim Frank Long) and they had two children. She was widowed in 1961 and in 1970 was remarried to Frank Arthur Viney at the age of 61. She died in Southampton on 23 September 1987.

His son Ernest George was never married and joined the Royal Navy and served as a mechanic during WWII. He was on board the HMS Hood and became one of 1415 casualties when that ship was sunk by the Bismarck on May 24, 1941. He is remembered on Portsmouth Naval Memorial.


  1. Birth registered in Christchurch in first quarter of 1877.
  2. Listed as "Kate Julia" in some records but birth registered as Keturah Broomfield, daughter of George Eliza Broomfield, b. 25 May 1844.
  3. Dates given include 22nd and 24th December 1867. 

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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Robert George Roberts
Age: 35 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Lily Florence Williams
Last Residence: at 5 Wheelers Court Southampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Fireman
Last Ship: Oceanic
Embarked: Southampton on Saturday 6th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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