Encyclopedia Titanica


The Times

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Mr. Charles Bower Ismay, of Hazelbeech Hall, Northampton, who had been ill for some weeks, died yesterday morning. He was well known on the Turf, and was the owner of Craganour, which ran in the famous Derby of 1913. His grandfather, Joseph Ismay was a builder of small boats at Maryport, in Cumberland, and his father, Thomas Ismay, joining a firm of Liverpool shipowners, ultimately founded the White Star Line. He was born on January 24, 1874, the third son of T. H. Ismay, and first began to take an active interest in racing about the beginning of this century, and he ran a horse in the Grand National of 1905. His Bloodstone finished second to Jerry M. in 1912, and in Ally Sloper's year, Jacobus, his second string, came in second. With Balscadden Mr. Ismay won among other races the Grand Auteuil Hurdle Race, the Lancashire Steeplechase, the Prince Edward Handicap, and the Newbury Autumn Cup Twice, also the Welsh Grand National with Jacobus.

But by far his most famous horse was Craganour, which as a colt he bought for 3,200 guineas from Sir Tatton Sykes. The horse won the New Stakes at Ascot and the Exeter Stakes at Newmarket, but was beaten at Goodwood by Rock Flint. That proved to be his only defeat as a two-year old, and he took the Prince of Wales' Plate at York, the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, and the Middle Park Plate at Newmarket, and became the winter favourite for the Derby. As a three-year old he began with a defeat at Liverpool, and finished second in the Two Thousand to Louvois. A fortnight later he easily beat Louvois in the Newmarket Stakes. As the Derby of 1913 drew near Craganour became a strong public favourite. There were two sensational incidents in the race, for not only was the King's horse, Anmer, brought down by a suffragist at Tattenham Corner and his jockey carried in bleeding and unconscious, but Craganour's number was hoisted as the winner, only to be followed by his disqualification, the race being awarded to Aboyeur.

The Stewards, curiously enough, included the late Major Eustace Loder, who had bred the colt and sold him and his dam, Veneration II., half-sister to Pretty Polly, to the Sledmere stud. The disqualification aroused a vast amount of discussion, but none of the Stewards ever gave any explanation of the grounds on which the decision was arrived at. After the race Mr. Ismay accepted an offer of £30,000 from Señor Martinez de Hoz for Craganour, who went to the Argentine, where he did well as a sire.

Mr. Ismay was fond of hunting, and was often seen with the Pytchley and Mr. Fernie's, as well as the Bedale and the Hurworth. He had also done a good deal of big game shooting, chiefly in East Africa and the Sudan. In the South African war he served as a trooper in the Northumberland Yeomanry. During the war he was attached to the 12th Lancers in France from January, 1915, to November, 1916, and was then transferred to the Remount service.

He married in 1900 Matilda Constance, daughter of George R. Schieffelin, of New York; her elder sister had married his brother, Mr. J. B. Ismay, some 12 years before.


Mark Baber, USA


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  1. Cilla Hassall (nee Hughes) Cilla Hassall (nee Hughes)

    My mother Priscilla Wood was companion to Mrs Constance Ismay. Iam trying to find records of her entry to Australia where she married Ronald Chalmers Hughes in Sydney on 7th July 1934. She died in childbirth on 29th July 1935

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) OBITUARY---MR. C. BOWER ISMAY (The Times, Monday 26th May 1924, ref: #3740, published 14 September 2004, generated 25th January 2023 02:57:41 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/obituary-mr-c-bower-ismay.html