Mr William Walter Hawkesworth was born in Shirley, Southampton, Hampshire, England in 1869 and his birth was registered in the June quarter of that year.
He was the son of mariner James Hawkesworth (1833-1899) and Elizabeth Brixey, née Brown (1835-1914). His father was from Hythe and his mother from West Wellow, both in Hampshire, who had married in Southampton in 1857. His mother Elizabeth had first been married in 1852 to Thomas Brixey and had a daughter Elizabeth the following year. What became of her first husband isn't clear.
William first appears on the 1871 census living at 250 Oxford Street, Millbrook, Hampshire with his parents, half-sister Elizabeth and siblings: Samuel Francis (b. 1858), James (b. 1860), Ellen Mathilda (b. 1862), Rosa (b. 1866) and Arthur Charles (b. 1871). They have relocated to 50 Pound Street, Millbrook by the time of the 1881 census, his father now described as a dock labourer. The family have also welcomed to new children: Robert Bertie (b. 1875) and Annie (b. 1872).
William is absent from the 1891 census but his family were by then living at 12 Wilton Road, Shirley.
Hawkesworth was married in late-1898 to Ellen Iremonger (b. 1867 in Southampton). They went on to have three sons: George Francis (b. 20 February 1900), William Arthur (b. 26 April 1904) and Percival Samuel (b. 1905). Their youngest Percival did not live to see his first birthday and died in the summer of 1906.
On the 1901 census William (described as a ship’s steward) and Ellen were living at 4 Derby Road, St Mary, Southampton with their son George.
The family had relocated to Bellemoor, Lemon Road, Shirley by the time of the 1911 census and were shown to have adopted a young girl, Dorothy Alice Mary Martin(1) (b. 27 January 1905 in Hythe). This child may have been a young relative, but she would later adopt the name Hawkesworth as her own.
When he signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 Hawkesworth gave his address as Bellemoor, Lemon Road. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as an assistant deck steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. Also engaged aboard the Titanic was his elder brother James Hawkesworth.
William Hawkesworth and his brother both died in the sinking; their bodies, if recovered, were never identified. His family benefitted from the Titanic Relief Fund.
His widow Ellen did not remarry and remained in Southampton, later living at Fairhaven on Tremona Road where she passed away on 12 May 1936.
Their son George later worked in oil engine manufacturing; he was married in 1926 to Margaret Harris (b. 17 August 1902) but they had no children. George died in Romsey, Hampshire on 3 May 1983.
His son William later worked as a mechanic and was married in 1931 to Doris May Earwicker (b. 26 May 1907) and they had three children: Arthur, Joan and George. William died in Swindon, Wiltshire in 1994.
His adopted daughter Dorothy never married and earned a living as a shorthand typist; she remained in Southampton where she died on 18 March 1965.