Mr Walter Hayward Orpet was born in January 1881 in Southampton, Hampshire, England.
He was the youngest son of Enos Orpet (1840-1904), a railway porter, and Matilda Hayward (1840-1923). His parents were from Chilworth and Lymington respectively, both in Hampshire and had married in Southampton in late 1862 before going on to have eleven children.
Walter's known siblings were: Alice Matilda (1863-1949, later Mrs Frederick East), Emily Elizabeth (1864-1937, later Mrs David Baxter), Robert Enos (1866-1945), William (1869-1922), George Alfred (1871-1920), Kate (1873-1950, later Mrs Charles Henry Herridge), Charles Allen (1876-1889), Frederick Joseph (1878-1916), Edith Jessie (1883-1954, later Mrs Ernest Misselbrook) and Margaret Ethel (1887-1887).
Walter appears on the 1881 census as a 3-month-old infant living at 29 Church Street, South Stoneham, Southampton with his family, his father by then described as a labourer. The 1891 census shows the family have moved to 21 Station Road, South Stoneham.
His family are resident in Beavis Street, South Stoneham at the time of the 1901 census but Walter is not present and his whereabouts unclear. A Walter H. Orpet, of the correct age, departed from Liverpool in May 1904 as a passenger aboard the Dominion; whether this is the same man is unclear.
By the time of the 1911 census Walter and his widowed mother, along with his brothers Frederick and William, are living at 1 Vaudrey Street, Shirley, Southampton. Walter was then described as a ship's steward and as unmarried.
Saloon steward and Titanic victim Walter Orpet (standing, left).
Back row l-r: Walter Orpet, Fred and George. Front row l-r; Robert and William
(Courtesy of Catherine Harrison and Gavin Bell)
When Walter signed on to the Titanic he gave his address as 1 Vaudrey Street, Shirley, Southampton and his previous ship as the Oceanic. As a steward he could expect to receive monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Walter Orpet was lost in the Titanic disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
Walter's mother continued to live in Shirley and died there on 1 May 1923.