Encyclopedia Titanica

Walter Alexander Bishop

Walter Alexander Bishop was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in 1878 1. He was the son of James Bishop (1849-1908) and Maria Tuckett Parsons (1851-1933). His mother was originally from Ryde, Isle of Wight and his father from Southampton. They married in Southampton in mid-1872.

Walter had seven known siblings: Frederick (b. 1873), Frances (b. 1874), Harry (b. 1881), Alexander (b. 1883), Albert (b. 1885) Florence (b. 1890) and James (b. 1891).

Walter first appears on the 1881 census when he, his mother and two siblings were living at 33 Richmond Street, Southampton; his seafaring father, a ship's cook, was not present. On the 1891 census the family are located at 7 Waverly Road, Millbrook, Hampshire. Walter is absent from the 1901 census, perhaps already at sea, but his family were listed as living at their 1891 address.

Walter was married in early 1903 in Southampton to Mabel Mary Cox (b. 1881) and they had a son, Walter James, later that year on November 22. Mabel Bishop passed away in the first half of 1904 aged 23.

Walter was subsequently remarried in late 1907 to Martha Dabell, née Castelman, who had been born in 1880 in Littleton, Hampshire. Martha, a widow, had originally been married in 1898 to Percy George Dabell (1874-1905) and had two children: Winifred Elizabeth (b. 3 December 1900) and Percy Edward (b. 23 May 1905). Martha's brother Edward Castleman would later serve on Titanic as a greaser.

On the 1911 census Walter and his family are residing at 93 Paynes Road, Shirley, Southampton and he is described as a ship's steward.

Walter was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 248 Romsey Road, Southampton. His last ship had been the St Louis. As a bedroom steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. Also aboard the Titanic was his brother-in-law Edward Castleman.

Bishop encountered First Class Passenger Mrs Arthur Larned Ryerson after the accident and when questioned about why the engines had stopped he explained that there was talk of an iceberg, and they had stopped to avoid running over it.

Bishop died in the sinking, alongside his brother-in-law Edward Castleman . His body, if recovered, was never identified. His family (class b dependents) and widowed mother benefitted from the Titanic Relief Fund 2. He is remembered on the St Augustine's Church Memorial in Southampton.

Walter's widow Martha never remarried. She remained in Hampshire for a time before settling in Chichester, Sussex  to be close to her married daughter Winifred. She died on 20 November 1954.

Walter's son from his first marriage, Walter James, was married in Southampton in 1926 to Elsie Hardy and they had at least one son. Walter died in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk in 1975.

His step-daughter Winifred was married in Southampton in 1927 to Roy Everingham Gatehouse (1897-1971) but appears to have had no children. She died in Chichester, Sussex in 1982.

His stepson Percy Edward was married in Surrey in 1934 to Nora Williams. He remained in Surrey and died in 1985.

Walter is remembered on the Titanic memorial boards formerly at St. Augustine's Church, Southampton; now in the safekeeping of the Southampton Maritime Museum.


  1. Birth registered in December quarter of 1878
  2. The relief fund mentions a fourth child, Maria. This child does not appear on the 1911 census and no records for a child born between Walter Bishop and Martha Castleman Dabell are traceable.

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Walter Alexander Bishop
Age: 34 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Martha Dabell, née Castelman
Last Residence: at 248 Romsey Road Southampton, Hampshire, England
Last Ship: St. Louis
Embarked: Belfast on Monday 1st April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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Comment and discuss

  1. allen craig bishop

    allen craig bishop said:

    Can anyone give me info on Walter Bishop other than the basic"he died". My gran is now 96 years old--recently she imparted to my dad that one of our family was a crew member on board titanic-why she should do do if it were not true i dunno.I really need his offsprings names grandkids would be great

  2. Brian J. Ticehurst

    Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Allen - Welcome Here is some additional information that I have just added to Mr. Bishop's Biography: (Death Notice - Southern Daily Echo 30th April 1912, and Hampshire Independent 4th May 1912) Bishop, Walter Alexander Under Castleman, Edward Bishop, Walter Alexander, Aged 34, Devoted Husband of Martha Bishop, of 16 High Street. Also of my Only Brother, Edward Castleman. Aged 34, devoted Husband of Martha Bishop, of 16 High Street, Itchen. also of my Only Brother, Edward Castleman. (Wife Martha, brother Edward Castleman). (From The Titanic Relief Fund booklet March 1913). C 335. Bishop, Martha, Widow. Bishop, Winifred Elizabeth, Child. Bishop, Walter James, child. Bishop, Edward Percy, child. Bishop, Maria. child. All class B dependants. (Extract from the Titanic Relief Fund Minute Book, number 2, Southampton Area,) 19th June 1914 Case number C335. That a grant of £5 0s 0d be made to Mrs. Bishop (partially dependent mother) for a Sewing machine. (From the Titanic

  3. allen craig bishop

    allen craig bishop said:

    Thanks Brian--it's a good start.I'd like to quiz my gran more but she's in broadstairs /kent an i'm up in scotland .Also she is as deaf as a post ho hum.My grandfather bishop was named peter he had 2 brothers.One of them was in the merchant marine but this is not the man i am asking about in here unfortunately.Possibly my grandfathers uncle or that side of my family.There is a "story" of one family member running away to sea,marrying an irish girl etc and leaving the family home so that it went into receivership when the owner died--allegedly the maid burn the deeds.Ahh the joys of family history.The place was called blythe hall--it's possible that this is the steward Walter Bishop.I will really have to chat to my gran a bit more.

  4. Susan Joy

    Susan Joy said:

    My Grandfather (Alexander Bishop) was Walter's brother. I have been doing my family history and so far have not come across a Peter Bishop or Blythe Hall. Will keep researching and see what I can find,

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Trevor Baxter, UK
Gavin Bell, UK

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2013) Walter Alexander Bishop (ref: #1756, last updated: 14th June 2013, accessed 28th January 2022 12:12:57 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/walter-alexander-bishop.html