hartlepool history logo

Roll of Honour

Hartlepool seafarers lost at sea

Booth, William

1st Engineer
10, Dover Street, West Hartlepool
West Hartlepool

Lost on the steam tug HMS Char

The following information has been compiled by 'Heroism & Heartbreak' Project Volunteer Susan Scott:
William Booth was born on December 10th, 1856, and baptised on January 11th, 1857, at Christ Church, the son of Robert Booth (1827-1890) a pilot from Hartlepool and Jane Rutlidge from Trimdon. He was one of eight surviving children from a total of twelve.

William’s grandfather Robinson Booth, was born in 1804, but was unfortunately drowned on 15th February, 1843, together with two brothers, James and Daniel Moore, when their fishing coble, the Camoena, sank.  He was only 38 years of age at the time and left a wife and six children. He had previously had a narrow escape in 1841 when he was in another coble that sank, but a coble manned by the Coulson brothers was at hand and as the newspaper reported 'he was snatched from a watery grave'.

William married Ann Jackson on April 17th, 1877, at All Saints Church, Stranton, and they had two children but unfortunately Ann died in February 1882, five years after they were married. Later in the same  year,  September 25th, 1882, he married Margaret Wilson from Stockton at All Saints Church, Stranton, and they went on to have a further nine children including one who died in infancy. The family also included a stepson, John, from a previous relationship by his second wife. Margaret died on 27th October 1941.

The 1891 Census shows William (listed as a Marine Engineer), and Margaret, living at No.10, John Street, West Hartlepool, with their children; Thomas (aged 14, a Draper's Assistant), James R. (7), Margaret Anne (5), Gertrude (3), Mary I. (8 months), and step-son John (10). Also listed as living in the house are two Boarders, John Wilson, a 39-year old Ship Plater from Scotland, and Jonathon Harrygold, a Carpenter from Sunderland.

In 1896 William became a member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, West Hartlepool branch; in 1913 he is listed as being a member of National Union of Railwaymen and recorded as an Engine Man.

By 1901 the family were living at No.16, Dover Street, West Hartlepool.
The 1911 Census shows William (listed as Tug Boat Engineer for the North Eastern Railway Co.), and Margaret now living at No.10, Dover Street, with Margaret Anne (now aged 26), Gertrude (24), Mary Jane (21, a Domestic Servant), Edward (18, Tug Boatman), William (14), and Janette (9).


Related items :