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.