Is it true that there is a Titanic survivor buried in Humble? Yes, it’s true! The survivor’s name was Albert Edward Horswill. He was born in 1879 in Essex, England, but died at the Keightley Nursing Home here in Humble.
A. E. Horswill ran away from home when he was 11 years old. He set sail out of Liverpool on a windjammer bound for the Orient. He joined the Royal Navy when he was 17, where he rose to the rank of Able Seaman by the age of 23. He served on many ships, including Impregnable, Collingsworth, Vivid, Magnificent, Devastation, Andromeda, Cruiser, Prometheus, Theseus, Cornwall, Cambridge and Europa. He was serving aboard the HMS Royal Sovereign when one of her 6-inch guns exploded, killing several people on board. His final service was in March 1908 aboard the Argyll when he was 29 years old. He was listed as discharged from the service due to hearing loss, which was the result of working with heavy artillery.
He joined the White Star line following his discharge from the Navy. He made several trips aboard the Oceanic before signing onto the crew of the Titanic where he served as an Able Seaman. According to his own account, he was asleep when the Titanic struck the iceberg and threw him from his bunk. He got up, got dressed and was ordered to the deck by the boatswain. He was helping to lower lifeboats when he was ordered into Lifeboat 1 by First Officer William Murdoch with orders to row out from the ship and return if necessary. They had rowed about 100 feet away when the Titanic went down.
In the aftermath of the sinking, he testified at the British Inquiry and went back to work for the White Star Line. He left their service and moved to the United States in 1913, where he took up painting and carpentry. He married in November 1913 and had four children. The family moved to Gary, Ind. where he retired in 1946. He, his wife and youngest child moved to Humble in 1958. He was staying at the Keightley Nursing Home when he died April 7, 1962. His funeral took place at Rosewood Memorial Cemetery April 10, 1962; it was the 50th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. One of the tunes played for his funeral was “Nearer My God to Thee” … the same song he heard the band on the Titanic play as it sank.