James Bramwell Norris


S Lynch

Member
Hello there,

Just wondering if you could please help me.

My Great Grandfather was Captain James Bramwell Norris who was with both White Star Line and Cunard . He use to Captain the ships to America ,New Zealand and Australia from about 1903 .

He had a very good record as a Captain and believe he may have been offered the Captain’s position on the ill fated Titanic as for his good record and because Captain Smith didn’t have a great record with several collisions before the Titanic. No disrespect to him at all.

James Bramwell Norris had already decided to move to Australia with his young family only months after the Titanic had been launched in 1911. A decision I am greatfull to be here.

How could I find out more about him ?

Kind regards

Shaun Lynch
svlynch1966@gmail.con
 

S Lynch

Member
Hello there ,

May I ask anyone for some help!

My Great Grandfather was Captain James Bramwell Norris.
He was a Captain with White Star Line first sailing to America, New Zealand and Australia.
Captain James attained his Masters in 1903 and was regarded as a very good Captain for the company! I believe and no disrespect to Captain Smith , but because of Captain Norris’s good record ,was offered the helm of the Titanic first before Smith, as Smith had several collisions in the past.
When the Titanic had been launched in 1911 , Captain Norris had turned it down as he had already made his decision to move to Australia to live with his young family in Balmain Sydney . In which he moved months later.

Could someone tell me where I could learn more about this or the correct people to get in contact with.

Kind regards

Shaun
 
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S Lynch

Member
Hello there ,

May I ask anyone for some help!

My Great Grandfather was Captain James Bramwell Norris.
He was a Captain with White Star Line first sailing to America, New Zealand and Australia.
Captain James attained his Masters in 1903 and was regarded as a very good Captain for the company! I believe and no disrespect to Captain Smith , but because of Captain Norris’s good record ,was offered the helm of the Titanic first before Smith, as Smith had several collisions in the past.
When the Titanic had been launched in 1911 , Captain Norris had turned it down as he had already made his decision to move to Australia to live with his young family in Balmain Sydney . In which he moved months later.

Could someone tell me where I could learn more about this or the correct people to get in contact with.

Kind regards

Shaun
1606303179408.png
 

Dan Parkes

Member
because of Captain Norris’s good record ,was offered the helm of the Titanic first before Smith
Hi Shaun

What is your primary source for this information? Do you have documentation?

Captain Herbert Haddock was Titanic's first captain (25 March - 31 March 1912) as Titanic prepared for her sea trials and delivery trip, until Captain Edward Smith arrived aboard the Olympic at Southampton and they essentially swapped places on the 1st of April 1912. Haddock had been master of the Oceanic for several years, with an excellent record and his promotion to Olympic seemed a logical choice, as Smith moved onto the new Titanic, with experience of the Olympic class. I don't see how another captain could leapfrog both of them for Titanic's maiden voyage?...

Incidentally, Haddock had achieved ExtraMaster in September 1885 so was well ahead of Norris in terms of qualification, if Norris had attained his Masters in 1903.
 
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Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Hello, Shaun---

I have a couple of comments, but no significant information.

1. I've done a fair amount of digging into White Star's history over the years, but I've never come across Capt. Norris. Do you have any details of his service history?

2. Neither he nor anyone else would have captained ships for both Cunard and White Star. Except for instances where one line acquired another, the many White Star commanders I'm familiar with came up through the ranks, not from other lines.

3. Had Smith not been assigned to Titanic for some reason---he was White Star's senior commander, had had command of the newest North Atlantic steamer for years, and did not have any incidents in his past that would affect his assignment to Titanic---the alternative would almost certainly have been Capt. Haddock, who succeeded Smith on Olympic. In any event, Titanic's commander would have come from the ranks of White Star's North Atlantic commanders, not from another line or from one of White Star's other services.
 
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Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Moderator's note: These messages about Capt. Norris have been moved here from two discussions in other threads.
 
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Hi Shaun I have found some information on him regarding Masters Certificates, the Cevic crew list and campaign medal awards to ww1 merchant Seamen 1914 - 1925. Are these any interest to you?
 
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S Lynch

Member
Hi Shaun I have found some information on him regarding Masters Certificates, the Cevic crew list and campaign medal awards to ww1 merchant Seamen 1914 - 1925. Are these any interest to you?

Hi Norma,

That would be really appreciated. Just trying to put the big jigsaw together.

Thank you . I look forward to the information soon .

Kind regards

Shaun
 
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