The owner of this watch was Sidney Sedunary who was a 3rd class steward on the Titanic. He was born in Newbury, but by 1912 he was living in Emsworth Road, Shirley, Southampton. He was aged 25 and had a wife Madge.
His body was found in the water after the Titanic went down by the crew of the cable ship, Mackay Bennett. He was buried at sea and his personal possessions including his pocket watch were sent home to his widow, then pregnant with their son Sidney who was born December 1912. Sidney Sedunary junior later donated the watch to the museum.
In 1912 there were no state benefits and a relief fund had been set up with donations from the public to support the dependents of those who died.
The total collected was £414,000. Sidney’s widow received a weekly payment from the relief fund of 13 shillings a week awarded her in January 1913 (including back payment of £2 12shillings) 13 shillings a week would equate to around £55 a week now. The initial award from the relief fund did not include anything for their son – presumably because he was born after the disaster.
The Titanic was the largest passenger steamship in the world at the time she began her maiden voyage from Southampton on 10th April 1912, heading for New York. Four days into the journey, she struck an iceberg at 11.40pm on 14th April 1912, and sank at 2.20am on 15th April. Of 2,223 people on board, 1,517 lost their lives.
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