Encyclopedia Titanica

William Watson


Mr William Watson was born in Greater Manchester (possibly Stockport), England around 1884.

Little is known about Watson’s background and it appears that he may have lost his family at an early age. Contemporary press states that he had practically been raised by a Mrs Margaret Matkin, a married woman who had a family of her own in Reddish, Stockport. Mrs Matkin’s daughter Edith (b. 1883) married Samuel Edward Knight (b. 1884) in 1908, raising a family with him. By 1912 Mr Knight operated a fish and chip shop at 3 Bent’s Lane in Bredbury, Stockport and he and William Lucas were close friends and reportedly lived together for some thirteen years. At some point he also lived with a Mr Dobbins, also of Bredbury. 

It is not known when Watson first went to sea; he signed on for the maiden voyage of the Titanic, stating his local address as 13 York Street, Southampton. Prior to departure, he had written to a friend in Stockport, on a postcard depicting the Titanic, saying:

Old Chum Jim-Would you like to come with me in this ship on Wednesday to New York?-Titanic, W. Watson. 

William Watson, who was unmarried, died in the sinking. His body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett and was buried at sea.

A Stockport Heritage Trust blue plaque marks the spot of his former home in Bent’s Lane, Stockport. 


CLOTHING - Boiler suit; no shoes or stockings; National Service and Firemen's Union No. 64936.

EFFECTS - Pipe; purse; 13s. 11d.


Olden Lane, Manchester.

References and Sources

Stockport County Express, 18 April 1912, Great Sea Disaster
The Advertiser, 19 April 1912, Bredbury Man Among the Crew
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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr William Watson
Born: circa.1884 in Manchester, England
Age: 27 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: at 13 York StreetSouthampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Fireman
Embarked: Southampton
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 158)
Buried at Sea on Wednesday 24th April 1912

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