William James Francis Revell was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 6 November 1880. He was the son of John Antonio Revell (b. 1857) and Alice Grey (b. 1862). His father was born in Portugal and his mother was a native of Holyhead, Wales (1) and they were married in Liverpool in 1879 (2).
William had at least four siblings: Alice (b. 1877), Alexandrina (b. 1882), Bessy (b. 1886) and John Louis (b. 1889).
On the 1881 census William and his mother are listed as living at 6 Beckwith Street, Liverpool with his seafaring father being absent. By the time of the 1891 census William and his family are living at 19 Kent Street, Liverpool and his father is listed as a seaman. They are at the same address in 1901 where William, still unmarried, was described as a sea steward.
William was married in Southampton in early 1911 to Blanche Louisa Abbott (b. June 29, 1883 in Southampton) and they appear on the 1911 census as husband and wife living at 102 Malmesbury Road, Southampton, William still described as a ship's steward. Their only child, Jack Lewis Francis was born later on July 21, 1911.
William was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 4 April 12, he gave his address as Malmesbury Road. As a first class saloon steward he could expect monthly wages of £3 15S. His last ship had been the Olympic and he had been aboard that vessel at the time of her collision with the naval cruiser HMS Hawke. Also serving aboard the Titanic as a steward was his wife's brother, Ernest Owen Abbott.
William Revell was lost in the Titanic disaster, as was his brother-in-law Ernest. Their bodies, if recovered, were never identified. The following death notice appeared in the Hampshire Independent (unknown date):
REVELL--April 15th, on the s.s. Titanic, William Revell aged 31, dearly beloved husband of Blance Revell, of 102, Malmesbury Road; also loved brother Ernest Owen Abbott, Sadly missed by his sorrowing wife, and may their souls rest in peace.
What became of William's parents is not certain. His brother John Louis became a stoker in the Royal Navy and was one of 412 casualties when the Cunarder SS Transylvania was torpedoed by German U-Boat U-63 on 4 May, 1917 whilst carrying allied troops to Egypt. He is remembered on Plymouth Naval Memorial.
William's son Jack was married in Wareham, Dorset in 1936 to Kathleen Susan Trent (b. 1910). They had one son the following year, also named Jack, and they settled in Swanage, Dorset. Jack Senior was later a volunteer reserve in the Royal Air Force during World War II. He was taken prisoner in Indonesia, dying in captivity on 1 August 1942; he is buried in Jakarta War Cemetery, Indonesia. His widow died in 1988 in Poole, Dorset.
William's widow Blanche was remarried a year later to Albert B. Piper (1880-1934) and they had three children: Eileen, Albert and Ernest Owen (named after his lost uncle). Blanche died in Totton, Hampshire on 23 February 1969 aged 85.
- Their marriage record gives the surname as Rovell. This may be an error, or his original name before Anglicisation to Revell.
- Alice would give her birthplace as Ireland on the 1881 census
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)