William Victor Cherrett was born in Freemantle, Hampshire, England on 28 May 1887.
He was the son of William Cherrett (1851-1934) and Rose Goodey (1851-1933) who had been married on 24 August 1872. His father was from Southampton and his mother originally from Sheerness, Kent.
Cherrett was one of nine children, with seven living past infancy. His known siblings were: Henry William (1876-1886), Rose Elizabeth (1880-1957, later Mrs James Orr), Alice Maud (1883-1967, later Mrs Herbert Akhurst), George Frederick (1885-1962), Harry (1890-1957), Arthur (1892-1979) and Eva (1894-1982, later Mrs Stanley Dunning).
William's father is believed to have been a merchant marine fireman and does not appear on any census reports with his family. William first appears on the 1891 census when he, his mother and siblings are living at 9 Nelson Road, Millbrook, Hampshire. They have moved a few doors up to number 13 Nelson Road by the time of the 1901 census. By this time William, aged 13, has already left school and is working as an errand boy; he was also a keen footballer.
His family are still at this address in the 1911 census but William is absent, perhaps at sea at the time. Although it is uncertain if he ever saw any naval service, he joined the Royal Navy Reserves around 1908. Current-day family suggest that he had aspirations to become a wireless operator and he was reportedly training to do so at the time.
When William signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 13 Nelson Road, Freemantle, Southampton. His last ship had been the Orotava and as a fireman he received monthly wages of £6.
William Cherrett, who was unmarried, died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
William's parents both continued to live in Southampton; his mother died in 1933 and his father the following year. His last surviving sibling Eva Dunning died in Southampton in 1982.