Mr William Charles Perren

Mr William Charles Perren (boots steward, 2nd class) was born Winchester, Hampshire, England on 16 June 1864.

He was the son of Charles Perren (1836-1880) and Matilda Reading (1840-1913). His father was from Bishopstoke and his mother from Southsea, both in Hampshire, and they were married in 1860.

William's known siblings were: John James (b. 1862), Matilda Sarah (b. 1868), Frederick (b. 1870), Harry (b. 1873) and Annie (b. 1876).

On the 1871 census William and his family are listed at an address in Bedhampton, Havant, Hampshire and his father is described as a carpenter and joiner. His father passed away in 1880 and on the 1881 census his mother and several of his siblings are listed as lodgers at 14 Mount Street, All Saints, Southampton; his mother is described as a widowed needlewoman. William is absent on this occasion. His mother was remarried in 1885 to George Wyatt (b. 1840 in Southampton), a whitesmith.

Not long after his father's death and perhaps trying to assist his mother financially, Perren, at age 16 joined the Royal Navy, commencing service aboard the Excellent on 19 December 1880 and up-scaling his age by two years. He served for just under five years with his last ship being the Inflexible before his discharge on 6 November 1885. Of very good temperament, he stood at a diminutive 4' 11", had brown hair and eyes and a fair complexion.

Perren was married in Southampton in 1887 to Maud Emily Charlotte Haynes, née Feltham (b. 12 November 1859 in Southampton) and who had previously been married to George James Haynes in 1877 and had three children (George, Frederick and Emily) before she was widowed in 1881. Her sister Sarah Ann Feltham was later married to Titanic greaser Charles Eastman. William and Maud, better known as Emily, would have three children of their own: William John (b. 1888), Maud May (b. May 18, 1890) and Olive Annie (b. November 27, 1901).

On the 1891 census William is absent at sea but his wife, two of his stepchildren and his first two children are listed as living at 28 Hartington Road, St Mary, Southampton. He is present for the next census when he and his family are living at 1 South Terrace, St Denys, Southampton and he is described as a ship's steward. William is at sea again by the time of the 1911 census when his family are by now living at 24 Bellemoor Road, Shirley.

When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 24 Bellemoor Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the New York, a ship on which he had served for several years. As a boots steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. Also serving aboard as a greaser was his brother-in-law Charles Eastman.

Perren died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in the Hampshire Independent (unknown date):

Perren--April 15, at sea, on board s.s. Titanic, William Charles Perren of Bellemoor road, Shirley Southampton; for many years on the s.s. New York. Deeply mourned by his sorrowing wife and family.

William's widow never remarried and died in 1938 in Southampton. His mother died just a year after him.

His youngest daughter Olive never married and remained in Southampton where she died in 1990.

His son William John was married in 1914 to Maud Westhorpe and they had one son and one daughter, William Charles and Olive Maud. William died on the Isle of Wight in 1966.

William's daughter Maud was married in Poole, Dorset in 1915 to James R. Martin and they had two children. She died in 1971 in Southampton.

Credits
Gavin Bell, UK

References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
  • Link and cite this biography

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