Mr Walter George Ridout

Mr Walter George Ridout (Saloon steward, 2nd class) was born in Tarrant Gunville, Dorset, England on 15 May 1882.

He was the son of Frederick Ridout (b. 1845), a coachman, and Martha Poor (b. 1849), both natives of Tarrant Gunville who had married on March 3, 1870.

One of eight surviving children from a total of ten, Ridout's known siblings were: Emily Eliza (b. 1871), Henry (b. 1874), Robert George (b. 1877), Ellen Jane (b. 1879), Flora May (b. 1884) Frederick James (b. 1886), Minnie Annie (b. 1888) and Rose Rebecca (b. 1891).

Walter first appears on the 1891 census and it records that the family had moved from Dorset to Southbourne-on-Sea, Christchurch around 1890 and are listed as living at Rose Villa, 1 Bellevue Road. Walter would be absent from the 1901 census, his whereabouts not clear, but his family still living in East Christchurch, his father now working as a draper's porter.

Initially pursuing a career as a valet steward, Ridout joined the Royal Navy as a steward on 30 September 1905, his first ship being the Jupiter on which he made three journeys before transferring to Victory I in February 1908. His last service was with a two month spell aboard Terrible before he was discharged at his own request on 15 June 1909. His conduct was universally described as very good and physically he stood at 5' 4¼" and fair hair and a fair complexion with blue eyes.

It can be assumed that Ridout joined the merchant service following his naval duties. His mother died around 1910 and by the time of the 1911 census his widowed father is living alone at 2 Fairlight Villas, Croydon Road, Caterham Valley, Surrey. Walter is listed as a boarder at 6 Queen Annes Buildings, Canal Walk, Southampton and is described as an unmarried steward working at sea.

When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 6 Queen Annes Buildings, Southampton. His last ship had been the Olympic and as a second class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.

Walter Ridout died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.

His widowed father would later die in Surrey in 1927.

Credits
Gavin Bell, UK

References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
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