Mr William Henry Dyer

Mr William Henry Dyer was born at 11 New Brent Street in Hendon, Middlesex, England on 16 January 1879 and he was baptised on 23 March 1879 in St Mart's Church, Hendon. 

He was the son of John Dyer (1825-1898) and Harriet Elizabeth Cowley (1845-1905). His father was described as a cowman at the time of his birth and hailed from Romford, Essex, marrying Harriet Cowley, a Hendon-native on 19 October 1873 in St Pancras. 

William had five siblings: Maude Mary (b. 1874), Isabella Alice (b. 1875), Katherine Louisa (b. 1878), Jane Emma (b. 1881) and Walter Edward (b. 1882).

He first appears on the 1881 census and at that time the family were still living at 11 New Brent Street, Hendon, his father by then described as a farmer's labourer. The family had moved to 24 Foster Street, Hendon by the time of the 1891 census. 

Dyer's father passed away in 1898 aged 73 and on the 1901 census his widowed mother (by then described as a charwoman) and sister Isabella were living at Seaford Cottage, Hendon. William was listed elsewhere at 17 Pembridge Square, Paddington, London where he was described as a footman. His mother was remarried in 1902 to a William Corcott but she passed away three years later.

William was married in St Luke's Church, Paddington on 6 March 1905 to Frances Rayment (b. 23 April 1876 in Kensington and described as a domestic parlour-maid on the 1901 census). The couple went on to have three children: twins Lilian Ada and Rosaline Emma (b. 3 December 1908) and Winifred Alice (b. 24 September 1910).

On the 1911 census William, his wife and daughters were living at 68 Grove Street, Southampton and he was described as a steward in the merchant service.

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 Dyer gave his address as 46 Stafford Road, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. 

William Dyer lost his life in the disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

Well-looked after by various relief funds, William's widow never remarried and eventually resettled with her daughters to Eton, Buckinghamshire; she died in Amersham on 27 November 1960 aged 84.

His daughter Rosaline was married in 1937 to Ronald Wilkins (b. 1914) before she died in 1987 in Slough, Berkshire. 

Her twin Lilian never married and later worked as a children's nurse, apparently living with her mother for the rest of her life, and she died in Amersham, Buckinghamshire in 1965. Dyer's youngest daughter Winifred, like her elder sister, also worked as a children's nurse and also never married; she died in Chiltern, Buckinghamshire in 1998.


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Gavin Bell, UK

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) William Henry Dyer (ref: #1848, last updated: 14th August 2018, accessed 9th August 2020 18:28:17 PM)