Encyclopedia Titanica

William Ewart Caunt

Mr William Ewart Caunt was born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England in the latter half of 1884.1

He was the son of William Ewart Caunt (1862-1911) and Emily Elizabeth Sharpe (1861-1950). His parents, both natives of Nottingham, had married in 1882 and his father worked variously as a warehouseman and a builder's clerk. 

He had two siblings: Emily Gertrude (b. 1884, later Mrs Ralph Young) and Horace Percival (b. 23 January 1886; d. 1936), the latter also a seafarer. 

Horace Caunt
William’s brother Horace, 1919

William first appears on the 1891 census when he and his family were living at 17 Latimer Street, Bulwell, Nottinghamshire. At the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to 83 Radford Boulevard, Nottingham and William was working as a wood sawyer; when he went into the culinary profession is uncertain, but by the time of the 1911 census William was described as an unmarried ship's cook for the White Star Line and he was still living with his parents, then at 26 Princes Street, Northam, Southampton.

William was married in his native Nottingham in early 1912 to Emily Mayfield (b. 10 November 1885 in Worcester, Worcestershire, daughter of John Mayfield and Emily Teague), a Lace finisher as per the 1911 census. The couple would have no children.

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 Caunt gave his address as 23 Sidney Road, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a grill cook he received monthly wages of £6, 10s. Also serving aboard were two in-laws: Francis Young, a fireman, was the brother-in-law of his sister Emily (her husband Ralph was Francis’ younger brother). Through Francis Young he was also distantly related to steward Lewis Owen, who was Young’s brother-in-law.

William Caunt died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in the Southern Daily Echo on 29 April 1912:

CAUNT--April 15th, on the s.s. Titanic, William Ewart, the dearly loved son of Emily Elizabeth Caunt of 55 Sydney Road, Shirley, Southampton, aged 27. May his dear soul rest in peace.

He is mentioned on a family grave in the Old Cemetery, Southampton:

Also Of
The Beloved Husband Of
Emily Caunt
And Son Of W. & E.E. Caunt
Who Was Drowned At Sea
On The S.S Titanic
April 15th 1912
Aged 27 Years
"In The Midst Of Life We Are In Death"

In the following years his grieving family would continue to place memorials to him in newspapers in both Southampton and Nottingham.

CAUNT. – In affectionate remembrance of William Ewart, the beloved husband of Emily Caunt, who was lost on the Titanic, April 15th, 1912. To that brightest of all meetings, bring us Jesus Christ at last. - Nottingham Evening Post, 15 April 1914

CAUNT.- In loving memory of William Ewart Caunt, who lost his life by the foundering of the s.s. Titanic, 1912, who is sadly missed by his loving mother, sister and brother.
Though the waves claimed his body
Our loss was his gain
He now rests in peace-till the day breaks-
And the shadows flee away - Hampshire Independent, 17 April 1915

CAUNT.- In loving memory of William Ewart, the beloved husband of Emily Caunt (nee Mayfield), New Lenton, who was lost at sea when the Titanic foundered, April 15th, 1912. Fondly remembered.-wife. - Nottingham Evening Post, 15 April 1916

His widow Emily relocated to Nottingham to be close to her parents; she never remarried and by 1939 was living at 9 City Road in that city. She died there in April 1948. 

Nottm. Widow’s Death
When a policeman called at the home of Emily Caunt, a 62-year-old widow, at 107, Rosecroft-drive, Nottingham, he found her lying on a bedroom floor. She was taken to hospital, where she was found to be dead. - Nottingham Evening Post, 8 April 1948


  1. His birth was registered in Nottingham in the final quarter of 1884.

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr William Ewart Caunt
Age: 28 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Emily Mayfield
Last Residence: at 23 Sidney Road Southampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Grill Cook
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Southampton on Thursday 4th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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