Mr William Aubrey Willsher was born in Titchfield, Hampshire, England in the second half of 1878 and he was baptised on 8 September that year.
He was the son of William A. Willsher (1849-1912), a seaman, and Charlotte Ann Bevis (1851-1937), both Titchfield natives who had married in 1876 before going on to have six children.
Willsher's siblings were: Elsie Charlotte (b. 1877), Edith Mary (b. 1879), Herbert Henry (b. 1880), Nathan (b. 1882) and Gertrude (b. 1884).
William and his family appear on the 1881 census residing at an unspecified address in the village of Sarisbury in Titchfield. Still is the same village by the time of the following census in 1891 the address is now specified as Southampton Road. The 1901 census shows Willsher still at home with his parents in Sarisbury and he is now described as a butcher's assistant.
William was married in Southampton in late 1903 to Charlotte Emily Ada Lovejoy (b. 11 August 1885) of Freemantle. The couple went on to have four children up to 1911: Amy Emily Elsie (1903-1983, later Mrs Leonard Easter), Aubrey Henry (1906-1994), Gertrude Henrietta (b. 1909, later Mrs Richard John Windebank) and Emily Alexandra Rose (1910-1993, later Mrs Charles Frost).
By the time of the 1911 census the Willshers were living at 3 Fawn Cottages, Johnson Street, Southampton as indicated by the 1911 census but William was absent an presumably at sea.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, Willsher gave his address as 8 Britannia Road, Southampton. His last ship had been the St Paul and as assistant butcher he received monthly wages of £4, 10s.
William Willsher died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
William's family were assisted financially by the Titanic Relief Fund; his widow Charlotte had been pregnant at the time of the sinking and on 21 July 1912 she gave birth to a son and named him William Herbert. She was remarried in 1928 to Arthur Murphy and remained in Southampton where she died in 1969. His posthumously born son later apprenticed as an engineer, married and raised a family before his death in Southampton in 1985. His elder son Aubrey later worked as a bellboy aboard Olympic.
William's father outlived him by only a few months and passed away on 30 July 1912. His mother later died on 12 June 1937.
References and SourcesAlphabetical List of the Crew of the "Titanic", Public Record Office (BT100/259)
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Casualty List, Public Record Office (BT100/259)