Encyclopedia Titanica

William Alfred Cross

William Alfred Cross was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England during the summer of 1868, being baptised on 22 July that year. He was the son of Cornelius Cross (1831-1890), a brickmaker, and Mary Rugely (1833-1911), both Wiltshire natives who had married in 1959, settling in Salisbury before relocating to Southampton around 1865.

William had six known siblings: Caroline  (b. 1859), Eda Blanch (b. 1861), Cornelius (b. 1864), Napoleon Bland (b. 1871), Albert (b. 1873) and Alice Maud (b. 1879)

On the 1871 census William and his family are living at Hooper Coll (?) in Portswood, Southampton and would be listed at Weston Common, St Mary, Southampton by the time of the 1881 census. His father died in 1890 and William perhaps went to sea around the same time, not appearing with his family on the 1891 and 1901 census returns. By the latter his widowed mother was listed as living at St Mary's Road, Southampton. She died in early 1911.

William was married in Southampton in 1907 to Annie Webb (b. 1865 in Southampton) but they would have no children. Appearing on the 1911 census, they were living at 129 East Road, Sholing, Southampton and William was described as a dock labourer.

When William signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 97 Ludlow Road, (Southampton) and his previous ship as the Oceanic. As a fireman he could expect to earn monthly wages of £6.

William Cross was lost in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.  His widow Annie benefitted from the Titanic Relief Fund as a Class G dependent but her final whereabouts are uncertain.

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  1. Sandra Williams

    My great, great uncle, W. Cross, was probably a fireman on board the Titanic and was not one of the fortunate 10 firemen who survived. His body was lost at sea. To be absolutely sure that I am not jumping to conclusions - despite family folklore, correct surname, age etc, I wonder if anyone knows how I may establish his Christian name. My relative's Christian name was William. Sign on sheets indicate that W Cross came from the Oceanic, but I have not been able to identify him further. Were the widows of crew members compensated for their loss? If so, perhaps I might be able to trace him... Read full post

  2. Brian J. Ticehurst

    Cross, W. Lived at 97 Ludlow Road, Itchen, Southampton. Occupation - Fireman. 39 years old. (Born in Hampshire). (From: Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund Booklet, March 1913) Number 72. Cross, Annie. Widow. Class G dependent. A Class G dependent received 12/6 (52P) per week. He has a Memorial brick in his name in the Woolston, Southampton, Millennium Garden known as the Feathers in Victoria Road Woolston - which opened in April 2002.

  3. Bob Godfrey

    Craig Stringer has his full name as William Cross, son of Joseph Cross.

  4. Sandra Williams

    Brian & Bob Thanks for such a swift response! The Christian name William certainly fits with my relative, but the place of birth doesn't. My William Cross was born in Coventry to James & Lucy Cross and became somewhat elusive after the 1891 census. I am beginning to wonder whether I have the right person, although there were no other people with the surname of Cross on board. I can't establish any plausible reference to William Cross (with or without Annie), born in Hampshire in the 1901 census. Are there any census records of the seafaring community? This being said, I have a possible... Read full post

  5. Bob Godfrey

    Just had a quick check, Sandra. I'd guess that the William Cross found by Craig is the one shown in the 1881 census to be 8 years old, born in Bournemouth, Hants to parents Joseph and Edith. He is exactly the right age for the the Titanic fireman in 1881, but the Coventry William, son of James and Lucy Cross, was then 11. The 1901 census shows only one 28-year old William Cross born in Bournemouth - then working as a grocer's assistant in that town. If he's our man he wasn't yet wed, as there was no Annie Cross in the same location. The lack of children does suggest the possibility... Read full post

  6. Bob Godfrey

    Stop press - there was an Anne Cross, 26, working as a parlourmaid in Bournemouth in 1901. That of course is as far as you can go without paying the National Archive for the addresses! :-)

  7. Sandra Williams

    Does it say where she was born? I have a subscription to Ancestry.co.uk (how sad - becoming more & more geeky as the weeks progress), but I can't find an Anne Cross living in Bournemouth. I have found that it tends to work better if a birthplace is provided. This of course doesn't account for the family story that Uncle went down with the ship. Not sure how to reconcile this...

  8. Bob Godfrey

    Try Great Cheverell, Wiltshire if you need the birthplace. I can't really comment on the family recollections without knowing exactly what story has been passed down. The names of the lost were of course listed in all the papers at the time, and distant relatives might have noticed a familiar name and wondered if it could be 'their' William Cross, especially if he actually was a fireman. Stories can certainly 'grow in the telling' over the years. .

  9. Sandra Williams

    I agree; I will contact a great-aunt, whose mother's brother was William, and see what are her recollections. It would be poignant if someone could claim William Cross after all these years. Thanks for all your help - I will post any further info whenever I get it.

  10. Sandra Williams

    How sure are we of the accuracy of William Cross' details? I have checked with surviving relatives, and the family story is that William went down on the Titanic, but the birth place & name of his father do not correspond.

  11. Deleted member 173198

    Deleted member 173198

    Sandra - to solve your problem have you tried the UKBDM site. By punching in the details of the family names you can build up a picture and work out quickly the identity of his father. A.W.

  12. Deleted member 173198

    Deleted member 173198

    Sandra - The site is starting to get busy. So the best solution is to try later this afternoon, although the weekend is upon us and on Sunday's the site is usually blocked solid. Sunday's is worse for all sorts of enquiries. However, the nearest date I have found regarding a marriage of William to a woman called - Annie. Whether these two are people concern remains unknown. Dec 1905. Cross - William Hill - Annie Elizabeth District - Portsmouth Volume - 2b Page - 1080 Hope this helps. A.W.

  13. Bob Godfrey

    Hallo, Andrew. Sandra is a subscriber to Ancestry.co.uk, which includes the Civil Registration Index data provided by FreeBDM and works faster than their own site. Very useful data, I agree, but I don't share your optimism that it will enable us to quickly identify a parent, though it can help to narrow a range of possibilities. Sandra, the crucial point for Mr Cross is 'born in Hampshire'. That's what he said himself when he signed on, and if he was telling the truth about that and his age, then the Census reveals only one possibility and that's William Cross from Bournemouth. In... Read full post

  14. dagmar

    Hi, my nans uncle was called William Cross and he was a stoker on the Titanic, her name was Charlotte Annie Cross and her sisters were called Dolly and Ethel..I do not know their mothers name sorry, I do know that my nan was born in Hendon, London. I'm not sure if this is the same William Cross that you are looking for but I would love to know more if this is the same person..

  15. A Hansford

    Hello drag mar hope you get this as it's 2016 now . Your nan is my nans sister Ethel . I have pictures of there parents with some children . Did you know they had brothers too

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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr William Alfred Cross
Age: 44 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married
Last Residence: at 97 Ludlow RoadSouthampton, 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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