Mr Walter Ernest Saunders was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in the second half of 1886. He was baptised on 4 August 1889 at All Saints Church, Southampton.
He was the son of Charles Saunders (b. 1851) and his wife Isabella (b. 1847). His father, a general labourer, hailed from Waltham Abbey, Essex and his mother was from Canterbury, Kent 1.
Walter's known siblings were: William (b. 1875), Charles (b. 1876), Clara (1880-1892), Ada (b. 1882, later Mrs Harry Langford) and Emily (b. 1889).
The family appear on the 1891 census at 7 Spa Court, All Saints, Southampton and on the 1901 census at 16 Manor Terrace, Manor Farm Road, also in Southampton. Walter, then aged 15, had already left school and was working as a labourer. His mother died in 1907 and by the time of the 1911 census his father was an inmate at the Southampton Union Infirmary on Chilworth Road, Southampton; what became of him is unknown.
On 17 August 1911, Walter Ernest Saunders married Emily Rebecca Haines (b.1893) at the Register Office Southampton. Walter’s age is confirmed at 22 years, occupation Ships Fireman. Place of abode 226 Empress Road Northam Southampton. Emily’s age is confirmed at 19 years, occupation Flower Seller. Place of abode 71 Belgrave Road, Northam, Southampton.
Walter signed on to the Titanic on 10 April 1912. He stated his previous ship had been the Clyde and gave his address as 1 Southbrook Square 2, Southampton. As a trimmer he could expect monthly wages of £5, 10s.
His body was recovered and his address was identified as that of 13 Dukes Road, Southampton, the address of a Mr and Mrs Henry and Ellen Thompson who had been the Saunders' neighbours at the time of the 1901 census.
CLOTHING - Blue suit; black shirt.
NO MARKS; N. S. & F. UNION FEDERATION BOOK No. 538.
NAME - W. SAUNDERS
13 Dukes Road.
What became of Walter's widow Emily is not certain.