Mr William Farr Penny was born in Barnsbury, Islington, London, England on 20 October 1880.
He was the son of William George Penny (b. 1847) and Annie Maria Farr (1855-1934). His father was from Shoreditch, London and his mother from Huntingdonshire and they had married on 16 May 1871 in Islington, London before they went on to have seven children.
Penny’s six siblings were: Lilius Annie (b. 1874), Winifred Marion (b. 1875), Olivia Lydia (b. 1877), Edward Ernest (b. 1879), Alma (b. 1886) and George (b. 1893).
William first appears on the 1881 census with his family living at 47 Offord Road, Islington, Middlesex with his parents and siblings and his father was described as a clothier manager. By the time of the 1891 census the family are living at 30 Stoke Newington Road in Hackney. William isn't present with his family during the 1901 census (perhaps already at sea) who are still present in Hackney.
William was married in St Matthews Church, Southampton on 21 October 1909 to a native of that city, Phillis Maude Harrison (b. 18 April 1886, daughter of stonemason Thomas Harrison and the former Ann La Couter). Their only child, son Lionel William was welcomed on 26 July 1910.
On the 1911 census Penny was absent but his wife and son are listed as living at 29 Lodge Road, Southampton.
When William signed on to the Titanic he gave his address as 29 Lodge Road, Southampton and his previous ship as the New York. As a steward he could expect to earn monthly wags of £3, 15s.
William Penny died in the Titanic disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow and son benefitted from the Titanic Relief Fund. Phillis remained a widow for many years but in 1944, at the age of 58, she married engineer and bachelor William F. Richards (b. 12 October 1883). She remained in Southampton until her death in 1972.
Her son Lionel later worked as a marine engine fitter; he married in 1941 to silk underwear shop assistant Elizabeth Bacon (b. 9 November 1913) but they had no children. Lionel lived with his wife at 68 Norfolk Road, Southampton for much of his life and he died on 25 April 1978.