Mr David Blair

David Blair
David Blair was born on 11 November 1874 in Newport, Isle of Wight to Lt. Col. John and Clementina Ross (Stewart) Blair.
David Blair and Madeline Temple Mackness were married on 2 September 1905 in Broughty Ferry, Scotland.

Mr David Blair had been appointed as second officer of the Titanic. He had been with the ship when she sailed on her trials and on the journey from Belfast to Southamptomn

'Unfortunately whilst in Southampton, we had a reshuffle amongst the Senior Officers. Owing to the Olympic being laid up, the ruling lights of the White Star Line thought it would be a good plan to send the Chief Officer ot the Olympic, just for the one voyage, as Chief Officer of the Titanic, to help, with his experience of her sister ship. This doubtful policy threw both Murdoch and me out of our stride; and, apart from the disappointment of having to step back in our rank, caused quite a little confusion Murdoch from Chief, took over my duties as First I stepped back on Blair's toes, as Second, and picked up the many threads of his job, whilst he - luckily for him as it turned out - was left behind. The other officers remained the same. However, a couple of days in Southampton saw each of us settled in our new positions and familiar with our duties.'
Lightoller (1935)

In his rush to depart the ship on 9 April, Blair took away with him the key to the crow's nest telephone and he also seems to have stowed the lookout's binoculars in his cabin. Lightoller was unaware of this when he took over and Frederick Fleet mentioned to the American Inquiry that they had been unable to find them.

In 1914 Blair was aboard the Oceanic with Lightoller during World War I when she ran aground. Blair was the navigator at the time and was made to shoulder the blame at the subsequent court martial.

He died on 10 January 1955 in Hendon, Middlesex.



Captain David Blair, 1924
White Star Magazine 
Crow's Nest Telephone Key

Articles and Stories

Titanica! (2017) 
Voyage (2008) 
The Times (1918) 
The Times (1913) 
The Times (1913) 
New York Times (1913) 
New-York Tribune (1913) 
The World Evening Edition (New York) (1913) 
The San Francisco Call (1905) 

Comment and discuss

David Blair 2nd Officer relieved before departure (29 posts)
David Blair (13 posts)
David Blair Luck Misfortune and also Heroism by Rosanne MacIntyre (10 posts)
If Blair had sailed and Wilde hadn't (8 posts)
David BlairThe Would Be Second Officer (7 posts)
Davy Blair: Particularly engaging Particulars of Engagement (7 posts)
David Blair not on the list of Belfast Delivery Crew (10 Feb 2020) (6 posts)
Family (4 posts)
News from 1905: Blair returns to England from the Pacific (4 posts)
David Blair and the lookouts' binoculars (2 posts)
The sadness of Blair (2 posts)
Blair's medals up for sale at auction (2 posts)
Key to "Crow's Nest Telephone Titanic" (2 posts)


J. G. Burdette

References and Sources

Donald Hyslop, Alastair Forsyth and Sheila Jemima (1997) Titanic Voices: Memories from the Fateful Voyage, Sutton Publishing, Southampton City Council. ISBN 0 7509 1436
Lightoller, C.H. (1935) Titanic and Other Ships
Patrick Stenson's (1984) Lights: The Odyssey of C.H. Lightoller
National Archives (UK)
Probate Record
Dundee Courier
Photo: Art Braunschweiger
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2013) David Blair (ref: #2245, last updated: 12th December 2013, accessed 14th April 2021 20:18:41 PM)

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