Encyclopedia Titanica

William Edward Osborne

William Osborne

Mr William Edward Osborne was born in Lower Norwood, Surrey, England on 14 April 1879, his birth being registered in the second quarter of that year in Lambeth.

He was the son of an English father, William Osborne (b. 1849 in Camberwell, Surrey) and a Scottish mother, Barbara Hume (b. 1854 in Portobello, Edinburgh). His father, a gardener, had previously served as an ordinary seaman in the Royal Navy and met William's mother whilst docked at Leith; the couple had married in early 1876 and went on to produce nine children.

William's eight siblings were: Elizabeth Barbara (1876-1936), Frederick Arthur (1881-1957), Margaret (1884-1960), Hawthorne Hume (1886-1977), Rose Annie (1889-1972), John Thomas (1891-1937), Harry Nelson (1894-1964) and Eleanor Gladys (1897-1936).

William first shows up on the 1881 census when he and his family were living at Bloom Villas, Birkbeck Place in Streatham, Surrey, later showing up at 2 Elm Grove, Lambeth, London on the 1891 and 1901 census reports. William was absent from the family home on the latter record, being listed elsewhere as a boarder at 9 Cromwell Road, Reigate, Surrey and he was described as a grocer's assistant.

William's parents later moved to 29 Chancellor Road, Dulwich and appear there on the 1911 census, William again being absent. He was listed this time at 234 Millbrook Road, Freemantle, Southampton and he was described as an unmarried ship's steward for the White Star Line.

When he signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, William gave his address as 7 Hewitts Road, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a first class steward, he could expect to earn monthly wages of £3, 15s.

William Osborne would celebrate his 33rd birthday on 14 April, the day that the ship collided with the iceberg, He died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. His estate, worth £119, 9s, 1d, was administered to his father on 22 June 1912.

William's parents continued to live at 29 Chancellor Road; his father died there on 2 March 1924 and both his unmarried sisters Elizabeth and Eleanor lived there and died within months of each other in 1936, as well as his bachelor brother John, who died in 1937. His mother later moved to live with her daughter Margaret and her husband at their newsagents in Croydon where she died in 1943. His last surviving sibling was his brother Hawthorne who died in Camberwell, London in 1977 aged 90.

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr William Edward Osborne
Age: 33 years and 1 day (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: at 7 Hewitts Road Southampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Saloon Steward
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Belfast on Monday 1st April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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Gavin Bell, UK
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