William Edward Hine was born in 1876 in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, England and his birth was registered in the first quarter of that year. He was the son of Henry Hine (1851-1917) and Mary Ann Lambourne (1853-1882), both Buckinghamshire-natives who had married in late 1873. William had two known siblings: Rose Louisa (b. 1873) and Emily Elizabeth (b. 1874), and possibly another sister named Lizzie (b. 1878).
On the 1881 census William and his family are listed as living at Station Road in Winslow and his father is described as a plate layer (on the railways). His mother passed away the following year aged 28. His father was remarried around 1885 to a lady named Sarah, also a Buckinghamshire-native, and they had two children, Frederick (b, 1886) and Frank (b. 1890).
On the 1891 census William, his father, siblings and step-family are living at Goose Green, Brackley, Northamptonshire. William is now described as a fishmonger. By the time of the 1901 census William has left home and is boarding at 9 Maygrove Road, Hampstead, London and is described as a bakers' assistant. William is absent for the 1911 census, perhaps at sea, but his father and stepmother are still living at Goose Green, Brackley, Northamptonshire.
When William signed on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 he gave his address simply as Lyndhurst (Hampshire), his age as 38, birthplace as London, and his previous ship as the Olympic. As third baker he could expect monthly wages of £4 10s. Also aboard was his brother-in-law Frederick Charles Godwin, a greaser, who was married to his sister Emily.
William Hine, who was unmarried, was lost in the Titanic disaster, alongside his brother-in-law. His body, if recovered, was never identified. He is remembered on a plaque at the St Mary's Church, Eling, Totton.
His father passed away in Wycombe, Buckinghamshire in 1917.