The Ismays in the 1930s

Paul Lee

A bit of a favour. My serialised copy of "The Ismay Line" by Oldham is still in packing, so I would be grateful if anyone could answer the following:

Was JB Ismay still involved in the shipping industry, in whatever capacity c.1930?

Does anyone recall the initials of Ismay's relatives, alive at that time?



I think JB was well and truly retired by this time though retired was not the same thing as disinterested. He enjoyed hearing shipping news to the end of his days although "Titanic" was a subject that was verboten for what I think are pretty obvious reasons. His ET Biography mentions that he was involved in several charities which benefitted seamen and their families.

Paul Lee

You could be right, Michael. Its just that I went through some old records at the Bank of England, and found something that made me sit and take notice. This was during the days when the White Star Line was in serious trouble.

The Bank of England had obviously done an audit/profit and loss/balance sheet on the White Star. There is a lot of financial data that is tough going! However, a listing of company personnel by Sir William McLintock dated 15/4/30 (ominous date!) says that:

White Star Line
Directors Lord Kylsant

....nothing too surprising...but under this, and listed under "Oceanic Company - Management" is

"Mr G.B.Ismay - Assistant Manager. Salary £950 per annum".

Now, from experience, I know how easy it can be to mistake "G" for "J". Is this our Bruce? If so, he may have been more involved in the White Star than me may have thought.
>>Is this our Bruce? If so, he may have been more involved in the White Star than me may have thought.<<

Can't really speak to that. He may well have been, albit in a supporting role as an auditor. He couldn't have been too thrilled with Lord Kylsant's financial shinnanigans. Ismay was no dope and he had to be able to see where it was all going.

That's an interesting find there and I hope you follow it up.
David, you are spot on. J Bruce had 3 sons. Henry Bruce Ismay died in infancy, there was also Thomas Bruce Ismay 1894-1954, and as you say, George Bruce Ismay 1902-1943. I don't know if George had a financial interest in the WSL

Paul, it would be interesting to see if you have any residency details for G. B. Ismay