Mr James Orr (Assistant Vegetable Cook) was born in Leith, Midlothian, Scotland on 26 October 1872. He was the son of James Orr and Agnes Bowie.
His mother was English by birth, having been born in Newcastle, Northumberland around 1840. She had married in Leith on 8 July 1862 to Frederick William Smith (b. 1833 in Suffolk) and had three children: Isabella Jane (b. 1863), Frederick William (b. 1865) and George (b. 1867). Agnes was made a widower before the close of the 1860s and seemingly had a relationship with a man named James Orr, of whom nothing is known, and their son James was born in 1872. Agnes later married an English man named Robert Pettit (b. 1839), a sawyer.
Young James Orr appears on the 1891 census living with his mother, half brother George and his step-father at 91 St Andrew Street, South Leith and he is described as a grocer. James' mother would pass away later in the year and his stepfather Robert Pettit remarried, still living at 91 St Andrew Street by the time of the 1901 census but James was absent. He was unmarried.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Orr gave his address as 45 Coleman Street, (Southampton), the home address of fireman George Combes. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as an assistant vegetable cook he received monthly wages of £4, 10s.
Orr died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.