Mr William Frederick Cheverton (saloon steward, 1st class) was born in Newport, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England on 3 September 1884, later being baptised on 21 October that year.
He was the son of William Cheverton (b. 1846) and Emma McDowell (b. 1853).
His father was native to Newport and worked as a labourer in a brewery, serving at different times as an ale bottler and brewery warehouse foreman. He was married to Emma McDowell in 1876, a native of Stepney, Middlesex. Emma was the daughter of an Irish father, Joseph Redfern McDowell, a master mariner, and Emma Delves, a native of London. Joseph Redfern McDowell was on board the paddle-steamer SS Cawarra, when that ship was caught in rough seas and foundered in Newcastle Harbour, New South Wales, Australia on 12 July 1866. He was among the lost. His widow died in the latter half of 1912.
William Frederick Cheverton was one of ten children, his siblings being: Emma Mary (1877-1910), Alice Maud (b. 1880), Clara Edith (1881-1926), Ellen Elizabeth (1882-1970), Edwin (1885-1957), Lilian Maud (1887-1984), Florence Mabel (1888-1979), Thomas Arthur (1891-1943) and Dorothy May (1894-1916).
On both the 1891 and 1901 census reports William and his family were living at Anchor Brewery in Mill Street, Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight. By the time of the later, William, aged 16, had already left school and was described as a painter.
He joined the Royal Navy on 21 July 1902, his first ship being the Duke of Wellington. Other ships he would serve aboard included Renown, Sapphire and Edgar before finalising his service board Victory I on 26 February 1908. Of exemplary conduct, he stood at 5' 3" and had brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. He also sported tattoos on his left forearm.
1911 where he was listed as a visitor at 2 Oxford Street, Southampton and his occupation was given as a ship's steward. This was apparently a boarding address and his future Titanic colleague George Herbert Hinckley was also listed here. His parents were still living at Mill Street on the 1911 census.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, William gave his address as 6 Mill Street, Newport, Isle of Wight. As a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. His last ship had been the Olympic.
Cheverton, who was unmarried, died in the sinking and his body was found by the steamer Ilford in June 1912.1
His family received assistance from the Titanic relief fund. The press at the time described how William had regularly sent money home to his mother to help support the care of an invalid sister, Ellen "Nellie" Elizabeth.
His father died in 1920 and his mother in 1924. His "invalid" sister, Nellie, rallied for many years to come before her death in 1970. His last surviving sibling Lilian (Mrs Arthur Smith) died in 1984 aged 97.
Articles and Stories
Hampshire Advertiser (1912)
This made [unofficially] body #334 (since the Oceanic found collapsible A in May, with three bodies inside, those would be, unofficially, 331, 332,and 333).
References and SourcesGRO Births Register Dec 1884: Newport, Isle of Wight: 2b,611
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)