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William Thomas Kerley, Assistant Steward, RMS TITANIC letter and other personal items.


Object connections:

Collection Archive
Gallery locationNot on display

Record details:

Biographical details William Thomas Kerley, known to his family and friends as Tom, was born in Sutton Waldron, Dorset, England in early 1884 one of nine children. Coming from an agricultural background, Tom decided at the aged 16, to leave school and work as a domestic footman. By the time of the 1911 census Tom had left home and was living as a footman at "The Hall," Farnborough, Banbury, Oxfordshire, the home of a wealthy man named Joshua Fielder. The TITANIC was his first and only ship, he signed up on 4 April 1912 and as a second class steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. Tom, who was unmarried, died in the sinking of the TITANIC. His body first reported lost was later found about 6th June 1912 by the SS OTTAWA an oil tanker who spotted a body floating in the ocean 543 miles from the TITANIC’s finally position. There was enough information from articles on the body to identify it as that of William T. Kerley mainly from a wallet with the initials WTK embossed in it there was also some other documentation linking the body to the TITANIC. Tom was given a funeral service aboard the SS OTTAWA and returned to the ocean.
Description This collection is Tom’s leather wallet that was used to identify his body and everything that was in it at the time of the sinking including a letter written to Tom before the TITANIC disaster, the address on the letter is Tatton Perth Stables Knutsford Cheshire believed to have been written by his sister Charlotte. Also included is a business card Mrs Snow, Furnished Apartments, 16 Garfield Road, Margate; a newspaper announcement dated 4 April on behalf of Mr Shannon and Family thanking everyone for their sympathy; a ticket titled Kineton Working Men's Conservative Club dated 25 March 1912 received by Mr Kerley and a miniature photo, with its original covering.
Date made 1912

Finding Reference HSR/Z/59
Catalogue section Manuscript documents acquired singly by the Museum
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Extent 1 folder
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