I noticed you had been messaging Eagle4378. I have tried emailing Eagle4378 but I have had no response. I note your message carried a similar story, about two boys stowing away and then jumping ship.
Recently I added William Henry Potter (b 1866) and John Wilfred Potter (b 1869), both Birkenhead, to my tree. This was a consequence of making contact with Sandra Potter from Australia, a descendant of John Wilfred who was looking for Johns Wilfred's parents.
Their father was John Potter (b 1843) in Liverpool. John was a brother of my great grandmother Annie Elizabeth Potter (b 1858) in Birkenhead.They had different fathers but the same mother, Ellen Cross (b 1820) in Liverpool to Henry Cross (b 1785) and Elizabeth Thornhill (b 1785).
I haven't been able to verify that our William Henry Potters as being one and the same, but it looks likely.
Eagle's story suggest he was "staying at a boy's school". His brother John Wilfred is recorded as being in an orphange. It appears their mother was widowed and hit hard times.
I would welcome your views