Date of birth: 8th July 1878.
Place of birth: 5 Queen Street, Southampton
Regiment / Division: Mercantile Marine Reserve
Ship: H.M.S. Alcantara
Died: 29th February 1916 aged 35 years
Death Location: At sea
Life before the War
Henry, aka Harry, was born on 8th July 1880 in Southampton. His parents were George and Charlotte, nee Franklin, who married on 15th April 1878 at St Mary’s Parish Church, Southampton. Both George and Charlotte had been married before and were widowed when they married. Charlotte was born 1842 in Weymouth Dorset. She was firstly married to Thomas Channell and had 4 children with him. George was previously married to Elizabeth Bidelcombe and had 5 children. With Charlotte, he had a further 3 children.
George was baptised on 8th November 1878 at St.James Dock.Southampton , his birth was registered in the last quarter of 1878, he was a Seaman / Sailor until he died at sea on 29th February 1916.
Henry’s half siblings were:
George 1856 – 1868
William 1859 – 1912
Charles Henry Alfred 1866
Harriet A C 1868
His full siblings were: Walter who was baptised 17th October 1880 also at St.James Dock Southampton, his birth was registered during the July to September 1880 and Jane Ann born in 1883.
The censuses of 1881 to 1911 record the family’s residence as 5 Queen Street, Southampton and some of Charlotte’s children from her previous marriage were living with them.
By 1901 Charlotte was a widow, George having died in 1899 in an accident. Henry was living with her and his occupation was Marine Seaman.
In 1911 Charlotte had set up her own business and was working as a Laundress. Henry was a Fireman.
Half Brother William
“William, aged 45, a Trimmer, born in Hampshire, last place of residence 5, Queen Street, Southampton, name of ship – Titanic, date 15 April 1912, cause of death – supposed drown because ship sunk. He is remembered on the Titanic Memorial, Southampton”
Henry was a crew member with the Mercantile Marine Reserve. He was a Greaser aboard the H.M.S. Alcantara.
On 29th February 1916 George died in an attack. He was 37 years old.
He is Remembered with Honour on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon.
Plymouth Memorial Register:
“Wilton, Greaser Henry. M.M.R. H.M.S. “Alcantara”. Killed in action with raider “Greif” in North Sea 29th Feb., 1916. Age 37. Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. George Wilton; brother of Mrs. J. A. Bagley, of Queen St., Southampton”.
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Grave Rolls Reads:
“Name: Henry Wilton
Branch of Service: Mercantile Marine Reserve
Cause of Death: Killed or died as a direct result of enemy action
Death Date: 29 Feb 1916
Ship or Unit: HMS Alcantara
Location of Grave: Not recorded
Name and Address of Cemetery: Body Not Recovered For Burial
Relatives Notified and Address: Mother: Charlotte, 5 Queen Street, Southampton, Hants”