This map aims to show the addresses of the Titanic crew members who either lived or lodged in Southampton immediately prior to the voyage.
Blue marker = Saved
Red marker = Lost
According to the British Board of Trade report, a total of 1,514 people died when Titanic sank on 15 April 1912. The same report stated that there were a total of 908 crew members on board, of which 696 died. There are 724 crew members represented on this map, of which 542 died and 178 survived. There are also four men who failed to join the ship included on the map, please see the notes at the bottom of the page for information on this. This does mean that the vast majority of the crew members who perished had a Southampton address prior to the voyage, and they represent over a third of the total number of people who sadly lost their lives on that fateful night.
It is true that not all of the men and women represented on this map were permanent residents of Southampton. You will find people staying in pubs, hotels, restaurants, and lodging houses. The White Star Line decided to move its main transatlantic service from Liverpool to Southampton in 1907 and this resulted in the construction of the White Star Dock at Southampton. It was a brand new dock and importantly it was large enough to accommodate the company’s three new Olympic-class liners: Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic. This is now called Ocean Dock and it can be seen on the map (Titanic sailed from Berth 44). Such was the need for regular employment, White Star Line’s move saw many families relocate permanently to Southampton from Liverpool and other cities and towns between 1907 and 1912. Being a major port town, the ships that called Southampton home drew heavily upon local men and women for the vast majority of their crew.
The effect the loss had on Southampton was horrendous. A few days after the disaster, on 18 April 1912, the Gloucester Citizen reported that the Daily Mail had interviewed a woman who lived on York Street in Northam. She reportedly said:
“No, my man was not on the Titanic, he is on the Olympic, thank God. Mrs. May, the woman standing at her door across the way there, she has lost her husband and eldest son. The husband was a cook for firemen. Arthur, the son, was only married a year ago, and his wife had a baby six weeks ago. Then there’s Mrs. Allen. She lives round the corner. She has lost her husband, and she was so fond of him. ‘There was no one like George’, she used to say. That young girl in black, the one on this side, is Mrs. Barnes. She has lost her brother. The woman going into the shop is Mrs. Josling [sic]. She has lost a son; and Mrs. Preston, of Prince Street [sic], a widow, has lost a son, too. There is a woman in Bevois Street who gave birth to twins a fortnight ago, and she died from shock when she heard of her husband’s death. There are fifteen families who have lost a father or a son in this street, but Mrs. May’s case is the worst.”
Regarding the story about the widow dying of shock, the wife of Frederick William Barrett of 26 Bevois Street did indeed give birth to twins a few weeks before the voyage, however it appears she went on to live for another fifty years. It is likely that in the days after the disaster, rumours and stories like this spread around the town like wildfire.
The Daily Mail reporter crossed the road to speak to Ann May of 75 York Street who had lost her husband and her eldest son. In a ‘weary voice’, she said:
“Yes, it’s true, husband and son have gone and left eleven of us. It was the first time Arthur and his father had been at sea together, and if would not have happened if Arthur had not been out of work owing to the coal strike. He tried to get a job ashore but failed, and as he had his wife and baby to keep he signed on in the Titanic as a fireman. His father should not have been on the Titanic, but a bad leg stopped him from going in his own ship the Britannia. Now they are gone and there are eleven of us. The eldest boy, nineteen, makes a few shillings a week by odd jobs, and my youngest baby is six months old.”
These words demonstrate just how badly the people of Southampton were impacted by the disaster. Indeed, on the map you will see neighbours, brothers, fathers and sons, cousins, in-laws, nephews and uncles, even a nephew and an aunt. It is sometimes said that everybody in Southampton knew someone who lost a family member. Looking at this map, you can see why.
The map took around a month to put together. Each name and address had to be checked, and then the location of each marker had to be manually plotted using longitude and latitude coordinates. In many cases, the houses are still there today. However, due to slum clearances, bomb damage, and redevelopment, a lot of the houses are long gone. Where the buildings no longer exist, the marker has generally been placed in the middle of the street roughly at the place where the building would have once been. In these instances, especially on hard hit streets like College Street, the markers have been spread out along the street so that they do not merge into one, which is what happens when they are too close. Sometimes the markers may be on the site of where the house once stood. In other cases, where the actual house cannot be discerned, the marker has simply been placed in the street. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy.
Acknowledgements and sources:
Southampton City Council: Their crew list served as the basis for the information included on the map, their street directories were extremely useful, and the index of death notices and memorials also came in handy.
In checking the information on SCC’s crew list I used the excellent Encyclopedia Titanica where detailed information on every crew member featured on the map can be found. I also found iwalkalone.co.uk’s ‘Titanic tales’ series helpful when looking at some of the addresses.
There are currently only a few photos on the map, these are either public domain images or they have been very kindly provided by the family of the crew member. As such, these photos remain the property of the family. I may add more photos over time.
National Library of Scotland’s maps were invaluable for plotting the markers. The link should take you to a side by side viewer. On the ‘Select a map series’ drop down box select ‘OS 25 Inch, 1892-1914’ on one side and ‘OpenStreetMap’ on the other for best results when comparing to my map. I used latlong.net to get the coordinates.
Books: Titanic Voices Memories from the Fateful Voyage by Donald Hyslop, Alastair Forsyth, and Sheila Jemima. Southampton’s Chapel Area by Dave Marden. Southampton’s Inns and Taverns by Tony Gallaher.
I also used Findmypast.co.uk’s census entries and newspaper archives.
Whilst they fall outside the modern city boundary, I still decided to include Netley Abbey, West End, Hythe, Totton, and Eling. It is worth remembering that Woolston did not become part of Southampton until eight years after the sinking. I decided not to include those who had addresses at Eastleigh, Chandler’s Ford, and Romsey.
There were seven men who were listed as ‘deserters’ and I decided to include four of them because of the famous story they’re associated with. They are the three Slade brothers and their mate Alfred Penney, who signed on to the ship but then went for some drinks at the Grapes pub. They left the pub too late and missed the voyage by a matter of minutes. There were also ten men listed as ‘failed to join’ who are not included on the map.