David Blair Questions

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David Blair Questions

Postby Gail » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:30 pm

I have a few questions regarding David Blair. Wikipedia doesn't list his death date. On ancestry.com there was a David Blair that died in 1955 in Middlesex, England. According to Wikipedia Blair was born in 1875. In 1881 there was a David Blair born about 1874 in Lanarkshire, Scotland living in Lancashire, England. His parents were Andrew and Elizabeth.

Also what was the name of Blair's sister who he took on the tour of Titanic, any clue? The David Blair in the 1881 Census had 4 sisters.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby VW1956 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:22 pm

Hello. After a quick look in Titanica they have David Blair as born in Newport Isle of Wight. His age (presumably while abord Titanic) is given as 37 so the 1875 David Blair could be your man. He was a captain in 1924. Although of what I dont know. Ken.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby Gail » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:49 pm

Thanks for the reply, Ken. There is a record for a David Blair born in Isle of Wight. I'll see if this provides any leads!
Last edited by Gail on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby Gail » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:28 pm

According to ellisisland.org, in 1898 there was a Scot named David Blair on the Furnessia. It had departed from Glasgow.

Another was just classified as British. His last residence was Valparaiso, Chile. He was aboard the Berengaria in 1922, which had departed Southampton. Both men were born about 1874. Another Scottish Blair was residing at Dalkeith in 1903. He was aboard the Lucania which had departed from Liverpool.

The problem with this site is it doesn't list whether the 'passenger' was a crewmen or a paying passenger.
Last edited by Gail on Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby Aaron2010 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:07 pm

I searched newspaper archives and I found this.


November 19th 1914

Image




.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby Gail » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:46 pm

Yes that incident, which Blair got the blame for, was mentioned by Lightoller in his autobiography. Lights was there when it happened. If I remember correctly, according to Lightoller it was not Blair's fault. There was a Naval captain and a Mercantile Marine captain in a power struggle of sorts and Blair was caught in the middle.

Thanks for the article, Aaron.
Last edited by Gail on Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby VW1956 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:05 pm

Hello. It seems he was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace on Febuary 13th 1918. Ken.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby Gail » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:38 pm

In 1913 Blair attempted to rescue a crewman who jumped overboard from the Majestic. Blair was given a medal for that, I think.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby Gail » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:20 pm

Have since located Blair's date of birth (November 11, 1874) and verified his place of birth as Newport, Isle of Wight.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby MAB » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:40 pm

I didn't see this thread till just now. Here are my notes on Blair's involvement in both the 1913 rescue and the Oceanic incident, as well as his OBE investiture:

6 May 1913: David Blair, first officer of Majestic I, jumps from the
promenade deck into the 44F/7C Atlantic to rescue a trimmer who has jumped
overboard. (See 3 May for this trip's first suicide attempt.) The trimmer,
William Keoun, is pulled from the ocean into a lifeboat, which then also
picks up Blair and takes both men back to the ship. Before Majestic reaches
New York, appreciative passengers will collect a $50 (or $250) purse to
purchase a gold medal and pair of binoculars for Blair. (Sources:
MacIntyre's "David Blair: Luck, Misfortune and also Heroism", White Star
Journal, December 2002; The New York Times, 9 May 1913 ($50 purse); New-York
Tribune, 9 May 1913 ($250).)

12 July 1913: The Times reports that on the recommendation of the
President of the Board of Trade, King George V has awarded a medal for
gallantry in saving life at sea to Lt. David Blair, R.N.R., first officer of
Majestic I. See 6 May; continued 16 December. (Source: The Times (London),
12 July 1913.)

16 December 1913: At Buckingham Palace King George V presents the Board of
Trade's silver medal for gallantry to Lt. David Blair, R.N.R., first officer
of Majestic I, for jumping overboard in a rescue attempt earlier this year.
See 6 May. (Source: The Times (London), 17 December 1913.)

8 September 1914: Exactly a month after being commissioned as an armed
merchant cruiser, Oceanic II is wrecked when she runs aground on the Shaalds
of Foula, west of the Shetlands. The accident is attributed to a
navigational error, compounded by a confusing dual command situation, in
which a Royal Navy captain and a White Star captain give conflicting orders.
Courts martial will exonerate both Royal Navy Capt. William F. Slater and
Oceanic's Capt. Henry Smith and, instead, reprimand navigator David Blair.
(Blair was the second officer "bumped" from Titanic just prior to sailing
day.) The ship is a total loss and is broken up on the spot; salvage will
not be completed until 1978. (Sources: The New York Times, 10, 11 and 12
September 1914; Martin's The Other Titanic; Haws' Merchant Fleets; Williams'
Wartime Disasters at Sea; Eaton & Haas' Falling Star.)

13 February 1918: At Buckingham Palace King George V holds an investiture
of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Among those invested as
an Officer of the British Empire is White Star officer David Blair, who is
also a Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Naval Reserve. (Sources: The
Times, 14 February 1918; White Star Magazine, May 1924 (incorrectly
reporting that this occurred in 1919).)

In addition to this, Rosanne MacIntyre's Irish Titanic Historical Journal article, referred to earlier, provides some other details of Blair's post-White Star career, including his command of an Antarctic exploration ship, which may have been the reason for his OBE. I'll have to try to dig out Rosanne's article and the White Star Magazine article for more details.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby Gail » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:06 pm

Better late than never as they say. Thanks, MAB, this information is very much appreciated. It sounds as if Blair had a, for the most part, successful career after the Titanic disaster.

Wasn't aware of the Antartica "episode", which has me curious. Going to see if I can find anything in some old newspapers. Do you know if Blair died in 1955? The measly amount of information I have seems to point to this. Thanks.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby MAB » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:08 pm

J G Burdette wrote:Do you know if Blair died in 1955?
No, I don't.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby Gail » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:30 pm

Thanks anyway.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby Aly Jones » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:31 pm

It sounds as if Blair had a, for the most part, successful career after the Titanic disaster.


Blair even made captain, something none of the Titanic surviving officers never achieved. Do you think, since Blair wasn't involved with the Titanic disaster, helped Blair achieve such a great carrier earning him the position of Captain?

After a quick look in Titanica they have David Blair as born in Newport Isle of Wight. His age (presumably while abord Titanic) is given as 37

Blair was the 2nd original Titanic officer, Lightoller was 38? when he was 1st original Titanic officer in 1912. Blair would've been in his late 30's, You would be right.
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Re: David Blair Questions

Postby lloydbecker » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:23 pm

Hi

I have just discovered this site as I have been researching into David Blair. The reason for this is that I found in my loft, documents which include the original award from the Royal Humane Society dated 10th June 1913 to David Blair as well as a document to David Blair signed by King George V (think this is a printed signature) as well as an original signature from the then Grand Master Edward VIII (who went onto be king for a short time before abdicating).

Im not sure how they ended up being in our loft, perhaps he lived in my old house many years ago in Edgware Middlesex.
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