John Douglas Stanley George Blake

Mr John Douglas Stanley George Blake (mess steward),1 better known as Stanley, was born in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England on 2 March 1886.

He was the son of William George Blake (1855-1923), a general labourer, and Elizabeth Jane Millmore (b. 1855), Isle of Wight natives who had married in 1879.

He had six known siblings: Ada (1880-1956, later Mrs Thomas Tripp), Mabel Beatrice (b. 1882, later Mrs Augustus Grainger), Lillian May (b. 1884), Hilda Edith Jane (b. 1889), Violet Irene (1892-1974, died as Mrs Robert Slaughter) and George (b. 1894).

He first appears on the 1891 census, then a resident of 1 Falcon Terrace, East Cowes and the family would still be listed at that address by the time of the 1901 census. His mother apparently died sometime around 1902 but this is not clear.

Stanley initially pursued a career as a barber but that was short-lived and on 19 October 1903 he joined the Royal Navy as a steward. His first two voyages were aboard the Firequeen and he also went on to serve aboard Victory and Glory with his last ship being the Fisgard, his naval service coming to an end on 1 July 1907 after he was discharged for being unfit for service. Whilst his character conduct was excellent, physically he was diminutive and stood just a fraction short of 5' 3" and had dark brown hair and eyes and a fresh complexion.

It is possible that Blake went straight into the merchant service following his naval discharge; he appeared on the 1911 census boarding at Holy Rood House on Winkle Street, Southampton, the home of a Mrs Christine Johnson. He was then described as an unmarried ship's steward.

When he signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, Blake gave his address as Holy Rood House and his previous ship as the Olympic. Working as an engineering mess steward he could expect monthly wages of £5. One of four engineering mess stewards, Blake was apparently second in seniority judging by his wage. John Coleman was apparently senior and earned £6 whilst two other mess stewards, George Gumery and Cecil Fitzpatrick earned just £3, 15s. Only Fitzpatrick would survive the disaster.

Stanley Blake died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.


  1. Previously listed as Seaton Blake

Comment and discuss

  1. Deleted member 173198 said:

    I am still left somewhat thwart after checking the biography page of allegedly born in Portsmouth. This man has kept me on my toes for the last eight years or so and still I am left baffled of his true identity. Has any one had a similar experience? The secession of compiling the Relief Fund is now finally over with as I have recently finished forgathering all the 653 pages by hand, and this man's name doesn't appear, not even a brush with any of the local Southampton newspapers. He seems to be... Read full post

  2. Senan Molony said:

    I believe Seaton Blake was a detective. I further believe Seaton Blake was the houndstooth-wearing, rumpled academic forensic deconstructionist that Sherlock Holmes always wanted to be. It was Blake solved the Carnoustie cottage mystery. The rusted key. The contaminated shellfish. You remember.

  3. Senan Molony said:

    >>He seems to be a bit allusive to say the least

  4. Sheila Dixon said:

    Have a look at the original records when he signed on in Southampton. His first name is not given, just S. Blake. Although his birthplace is given as Portsmouth when he joined the ship in Belfast, it's given as Cowes when he re-joined in Southampton. Then look at the 1911 census for the address Holy Rood (mistranscribed as Holy Road) House, Winkle Street, Southampton. There is a boarder named Stanley Blake aged 25, a ships steward born East Cowes IOW. The full census reference is RG14PN5984 RG78PN273B RD99 SD1 ED50 SN128. The online transcription of the US Inquiry also lists him by... Read full post

  5. Bob Godfrey said:

    Good detective work, Sheila. And speaking of detectives, The fictional Sexton Blake was even more of a household name back then than Sherlock Holmes. So maybe 'Sexton' (possibly mis-transcribed at some point as Seaton) could have been Stanley's nickname. Just a thought.

  6. Senan Molony said:

    Documentary, my dear Dixon. Good God, Sheila, how do you do it? >>There is no entry for a Seaton Blake in the birth indexes for the whole of England and Wales

  7. Senan Molony said:

    Perhaps Bob's nickname theory is right. A weird form of full circle that he should be re-nicknamed 100 years later. Poor Stanley Blake.

  8. Sheila Dixon said:

    Thanks Bob - just call me Miss Marple! Interesting theory about the name though.

  9. Deleted member 173198 said:

    The last week or so my mail box was inundated with loads of suggestions leading to a good surplus of new evidence to search elsewhere. For those, and you know precisely who you all are, a huge thank you for all your help and sound advice, the feedback will be put to proper use effectively and should with a bit of luck put closure to this man who I always refer too - as the invisible man from nowhere. Sheila - I admire your honesty and courage, likewise I also have the same file as you've just discovered on Blake. Although the thought never entered my head to chance tactic's and use... Read full post

  10. Bob Godfrey said:

    Does anybody know a primary source for the name Seaton Blake as opposed to the less specific S. Blake?

  11. Deleted member 173198 said:

    Not sure how reliable the sources are Bob. For all my efforts in searching I am patiently trying to wade through the various Census with Ancestry and comparing each case with the dependent families on the Relief Fund. One an only report back later with the findings when they eventually arise, that's if they ever do pop out of the woodwork!

  12. Deleted member 173198 said:

    For those who are lucky enough at owing a copy produced by the THS, the edition of the Titanic Relief Fund does have a link with this so-called name Seaton Blake. Detective work is the name of the game, and the end result has narrowed down to one likely candidate. The last couple of weeks I've managed to close the gap and double-checked with all the Blake's listed on the Crew manifest. The only remaining candidate left came by a sheer stroke of luck, and no sooner I turned the page to my utter surprise, C55 under the surname of Blake appeared. If we look on page 67 under Class "E", C55... Read full post

  13. avatar

    Bobby Whalen said:

    Sheila are you still looking Let me know if you are ???? Thank YOu

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Gavin Bell, UK
Bill Wormstedt

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2016) John Douglas Stanley George Blake (ref: #1414, last updated: 27th December 2016, accessed 24th July 2021 16:59:54 PM)

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