Biographies and Obituaries
Vicar of Eckington. 1877-1919. St Barnabas, Newland, Malvern.
Born 10/5/1846. Died 11/5/1922.
Born 1895 son
of George Ismay of Carlisle, married 1919 Jeanette May, daughter of John Lloyd,
Tredegar, Mon. Home address, Newstead,
Born 20.6.1921 son of John Ismay of Maryport.
Educated at Taunton’s School, Southampton.
Recreation, Sailing. Address, “Pit Lundie” Monument lane, Walhampton Lymington Hampshire.
Widow of Chas Bower Ismay, daughter of George R Schieffelin of New York. Married 1900 Chas Bower Ismay of Haselbech who died 1924, one daughter.
Lord Ismay was the first Secretary General of NATO. He was appointed to the post on March 13, 1952, and took up office both as Secretary General of the Organisation and as Vice-Chairman of the North Atlantic Council on April 4, 1952, the third anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty.
Born in India, 1887, Lord Ismay was educated in the United Kingdom at Charterhouse School and the Royal Military College of Sandhurst, and in 1907 returned to India where he began a distinguished military career serving initially on the North West Frontier. During the First World War he saw active service in Somaliland. He returned to India again after the war and served on the staff of the Commander -in-Chief of the British Forces. At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, Lord Ismay was made Deputy Secretary to the British War Cabinet, becoming the Chief of Staff to Winston Churchill and later to Clement Attlee when the latter became Prime Minister and Minister of Defence in 1945. He participated in many important international conferences, including Moscow, Tehran and Yalta, and in 1946 was made Chief of Staff to Lord Mountbatten in the negotiations for India's independence.
Lord Ismay was the first Secretary General of NATO. He was appointed to the post on March 13, 1952, and took up office both as Secretary General of the Organisation and as Vice-Chairman of the North Atlantic Council on April 4, 1952, the third anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty. The functions he was to assume had been carried out since 1951 by Charles Spofford, Chairman of the Council Deputies. The chairmanship of the Council itself continued to be held by the Foreign Minister of one of the member countries rotating annually, until 1956 when the Secretary General of NATO became the Chairman of the North Atlantic Council at whatever level of government representation it chose to meet. Foreign Ministers continue to act as honorary Presidents of the Council whenever it meets at Ministerial level.
Lord Ismay retired from his post as Secretary General in May 1957 an was succeeded by Paul-Henri Spaak, Foreign Minister of Belgium. Lord Ismay died in 1965.
Mr Joseph Bruce Ismay was born at Crosby, near Liverpool on December 12th 1862. He was the eldest son of Thomas Ismay and Margaret (daughter of Luke Bruce). Thomas Henry Ismay was senior partner in the firm of Ismay, Imrie and company and founder of the White Star Line. The family lived at Dawpool, Cheshire.
Bruce Ismay was educated at Elstree School and at Harrow. When he left Harrow he was tutored in France for a year before being apprenticed to Thomas Ismay's office for four years. He then went on a one year tour of the world and upon his return was posted to New York where he worked at the White Star Line office for a further year. At the end of that period he was appointed the company agent in New York.
In 1888 Ismay married Julia Florence Schieffelin (eldest daughter of George R. Schieffelin of New York) and together they had two sons and two daughters.
In 1891 Ismay and his family returned to England. That year he was made a partner in the firm of Ismay, Imrie and company.
Thomas Ismay died in 1899 and Bruce became head of the business. Bruce Ismay led a thriving firm and displayed considerable business acumen, but in 1901 his firm was approached by American interests towards forming an international conglomerate of shipping companies. After lengthy negotiations Ismay agreed terms with J.P.Morgan under which the White Star Line would form part of the International Mercantile Marine Company. At that time the IMM was led by C.A Griscom, president of the American Line, but in 1904 Ismay succeeded Griscom and held the position of president until 1913 when Harold Sanderson took over.
In addition to his interest in the company his father had created, Bruce Ismay was, during his life, also chairman of the Asiatic Steam Navigation Company, chairman of the Liverpool Steamship Owners Protection Association and the Liverpool and London War Risks Association as well as the Delta Insurance Company. He was also a director of the Liverpool, London and Globe Insurance Company, the Sea Insurance Company, the Birmingham Canal Navigation Company and the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. Of the latter he had been offered chairmanship but had declined.
One summer evening in 1907 (the exact date is unknown), Bruce and Florence Ismay dined at Downshire house in Belgravia, the London home of Lord Pirrie. Pirrie was a partner in the firm of Harland & Wolff, Belfast shipbuilders with whom the Ismay's firm had enjoyed a long and lucrative history.
Ismay and Pirrie were determined to formulate a response to the popularity of their nearest competitors latest ships. Cunard had introduced the Lusitania in 1907 followed shortly afterward by the Mauretania. These ships had been built with the help of a governemt subsidy and had set new standards in luxury at sea as well as being faster and larger than any that had gone before.
Ismay and Pirrie decided that high speed, while desirable, was not the essential element in capturing the vital immigrant trade which was their main source of income at that time. They would concentrate on creating the largest ships to maximise steerage capacity while making them the most luxurious in first and second class accomodation in order to woo the wealthy and the prosperous middle class.
Ismay accompanied his ships on their maiden voyages and the Titanic was no exception.
On April 10th 1912 he boarded the Titanic with his valet Richard Fry and his secretary William Henry Harrison. While on board he was also assisted by Ernest Freeman who unlike the other employees was listed as a crew member.
Ismay was rescued from the Titanic in Collapsible C.
During his life Ismay would inaugurate the cadet ship Mersy for the training of officers for the merchant navy, gave £11,000 to found a fund to benefit widows of lost seamen and in 1919 gave £25,000 to establish a fund to recognise the contribution of merchantmen in the war. He divided his time between his homes in London and Ireland.
Joseph Bruce Ismay died on October 17th 1937.
The Times obituary (October 18th 1937) recalls some interesting insights into Ismay's personality:
He was a man 'of striking personality and in any company arrested attention and dominated the scene. Those who knew him slightly found his personality overpowering and in consequence imagined him too be hard, but his friends knew this was but the outward veneer of a shy and highly sensitive nature, beneath which was hidden a depth of affection and understanding which is given to but few. Perhaps his outstanding characteristic was his deep feeling and sympathy for the 'underdog' and he was always anxious to help anyone in trouble. Another notable trait was an intense dislike of publicity which he would go to great lengths to avoid. In his youth he won many prizes in lawn-tennis tournaments; he also played association football, having a natural aptitude for games. He enjoyed shooting and fishing and became a first class shot and an expert fisherman. Perhaps the latter was his favourite sport and he spent many happy holidays fishig in Connemara'.
AN ABLE SHIPOWNER
Mr Bruce Ismay, who died yesterday at his residence, 15 Hill Street, Mayfair, at the age of 74, was well known, particularly in Liverpool, as an able ship owner. His grandfather, Joseph Ismay, was a builder of small boats at Maryport, in Cumberland, and his father, Thomas Henry Ismay, was one of the great outstanding figures in British shipping. Thomas Henry acquired the White Star Line, which was originally engaged in the Australian trade, formed the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company in conjunction with the firm of Ismay, Imrie & Co, and entered the transatlantic service. A long and successful association then began with Harland and Wolff of Belfast, which constructed all the White Star liners.
Born in Liverpool on December 12, 1862, Joseph Bruce Ismay was sent to Elstree and then to Harrow, where he was in a Small house. In his younger days he was fond of Association Football and lawn tennis. After leaving school he served an apprenticeship in his father’s firm, Ismay, Imrie & Co, and then represented it in New York.
In 1888 he married Julia Florence, daughter of Mr George R.Schieffelin, of New York, the heiress to a pharmaceutical fortune. Her sister afterwards married his brother, Mr C.B.Ismay, who died in May 1924. When his father died in 1899 he succeeded to the control of the White Star Line, which was already very successful, and he showed both hereditary and developed skill in the planning of large vessels. In 1902 the International Mercantile Marine Company, sometimes known as the American Shipping Trust, was formed to control Atlantic passenger fares and cargo rates, and Mr Bruce Ismay accepted a favourable offer for the inclusion of his line. Not long afterwards, in 1904, he succeeded Mr Griscom, of Philadelphia, as president and managing director. His policy was one of building large and palatial ships not of the highest speed, such as the Celtic, Cedric, Adriatic, and Baltic, which in due course have been succeeded by larger and more luxuriously fitted vessels. Mr Ismay also favoured Southampton as the mail and passenger port. In 1908 he started the cadet ship Mersey for training mercantile marine officers; he also gave practical support to camp training for the auxiliary forces and to Mr Alfred Mosely’s scheme of exchanging visits between British and American teachers.
Mr Ismay was on board the Titanic when she was sunk by collision with an iceberg in April 1912. By his own account he was in the position of an ordinary passenger and exercised no influence or control of any sort over the captain. He stated that after the ship struck he helped for nearly two hours in clearing the starboard boats, helping women and children into them, and lowering them over the side, when at last he got into the forward collapsible boat there was not a woman on the boat deck nor any passenger of any class.
In view of the fact that more than 1,500 persons perished in the disaster, Mr Ismay was the subject of criticism, not well informed, both in England and in America, for his conduct in leaving the Titanic at all. From this criticism the late Lord Mersey, in his masterly report on the loss of the vessel, expressed complete disagreement.
Nevertheless, the affair cast a shadow over Mr Ismay. In the following year he retired from the presidency of the International Mercantile Marine Company in accordance with an arrangement made some time before the disaster. In June, 1916, he resigned his position as a director of the company and a member of the British Committee. In 1919 he gave £25,000 to inaugurate a national Mercantile Marine Fund as a token of his admiration for the War service of British merchantmen.
This followed on a gift of £11,000 from his wife and himself for the benefit of seamen’s widows. Among other business interests Ismay was at one time chairman of the Asiatic Steam Navigation Company and a director of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway, the Liverpool and London & Globe Insurance Company, the Sea Insurance Company, and the Birmingham Canal Navigation.
He was also chairman of the Liverpool Steamship Owners’ Protection Association, the Liverpool and London War Risks Association, and the Delta Insurance Company.
In business Ismay was accounted an austere man. He was certainly taciturn by nature, but could be a charming host. He had an extraordinary memory; his success was due to his industry, integrity, and acumen, qualities which he inherited from his father.
Last year Mr Ismay suffered from a serious illness and decided to withdraw from most of his business activities. He spent most of his remaining years in retirement in Costelloe in County Galway, on the West Coast of Ireland, but died at his house in London. A few days ago he was again taken ill, and the end came quickly. Mrs Ismay survives him with two sons and two daughters. His wife who survived him by 26 years had not been on the Titanic voyage and would never allow her husband to talk about the disaster.
The younger of the sons, Mr George Bruce Ismay, continues to be associated with North Atlantic shipping through Cunard White Star Limited. The elder daughter, Margaret, married Brigadier-General Ronald Cheape, and the younger, Evelyn, married Mr Basil Sanderson (a son of the late Mr Harold Sanderson, well known in North Atlantic shipping.
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.
MRS. ISMAY, widow of Mr. Thomas Henry Ismay, the founder of the White Star Line, and mother of Mr. Bruce Ismay, head of the International Mercantile Marine Company, died yesterday morning, at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Geoffrey Drage, in Cadogan-square, London, where she had been staying for some months. Mrs. Ismay had been in failing health for some time. She was the daughter of the late Mr. Luke Bruce, shipowner, and was married, in 1859, to Mr. Ismay, by whom she had a family of three sons and four daughters. Since her husband’s death in November, 1899, Mrs. Ismay had lived in retirement at Dawpool, Thurstaston, Cheshire. In the early part of 1900, in accordance with her husband’s wish, she gave £10,000 to establish the Margaret Ismay Widows’ Fund as a continuation of the Liverpool Seamen’s Pension Fund, founded by her husband, under the Mercantile Marine Service Association, in 1887, by a gift of £20,000. Mrs. Ismay augmented her gift in October last by a further domination of £5,000. She also contributed £10,000 to the Liverpool Cathedral scheme, and had agreed to provide the great east window of the Cathedral in memory of her husband, while she augmented the benefice of Thurstaston, and the new Dawpool schools were almost entirely the result of her generosity. She was in her 70th year. The funeral will take place at Thurstaston Church, at 3 30 on Friday afternoon.
A NOTED AGRICULTURALIST
We regret to announce that Mr. James Hainsworth Ismay died at Iwerne Minster House, Blandford, Dorset, yesterday. He belonged to the well-known family of shipowners, and was himself formerly a partner in the family firm of Ismay, Imrie, and Co. But he was perhaps better known, especially in later years, as an agriculturalist and stockbreeder, and in him the farming industry has lost a warm and valuable friend
James Hainsworth Ismay was born on March 4, 1867. His grandfather, Joseph Ismay, was a builder of small boats at Maryport, Cumberland, and his father, Thomas Henry Ismay, joining a firm of Liverpool shipowners, ultimately founded the White Star Line. James was educated at Elstree, Harrow, and Exeter College, Oxford, and in due course entered his father's firm, to become a partner. His health later broke down, and to recover it he went on a long sea voyage round the Empire. It was then that his great interest in farming was first aroused, and when, while still in his thirties, in 1902, he retired from business he determined to take up agriculture. He acquired the Iwerne Minister [sic] Estate near Blandford, Dorset, and without loss of time he set himself to develop the farming side of the property. The history of his farming enterprise, exceeding 20 years, is remarkable. It would be difficult to describe minutely or adequately either the quantity or quality of the work he carried out on his home farm. But from the first it was of a kind planned and conducted primarily with a view to investigating and testing the industrial and economic merits of the different systems applicable to the district
He did not restrict his scheme to the local custom and known attainments, for he broadened the scope of his experiments enough to ensure that all reasonable procedures might be subjected to practical proof. At first, as has been said, things were planned on a comprehensive scale and as experience directed. The procedure was contracted until a really workable scheme was established on solid and enduring lines.
Work of any kind on a farm, but especially that of the type of Iwerne Minster, proceeds slowly, and, although the system that was moulded out of the extensive trials had assumed definite shape, it was still only in its early stages at the death of the owner. While the methods of arable farming adopted were extremely intelligent and enlightened, the outstanding features at Iwerne Minster were the herd of dairy Shorthorn cattle, the herd of Berkshire and Middle White pigs, the bacon factory, and latterly the poultry farm. For many years Mr. Ismay owned one of the most successful flocks of Hampshire Down sheep, but it was dispersed some years ago to allow of greater development of the herds of cattle and pigs. He had already achieved great success with his Shorthorn cattle, but in this case also both in breeding and management the evolutionary stage had not long been passed, so that the full fruition of the preliminary work was not yet experienced, although strains and individuals of high merit abound in the herd. The herds of pigs had long occupied places of distinction in their respective spheres, and the system of crossing breeds---large white boars being used chiefly---in producing pigs for the bacon factory also was the outcome of careful observation and practical experience
The Iwerne Minster farming enterprises were exceptionally noteworthy in that they marked the diversion of a mind and energy that had undergone a thorough business training to the affairs of the land
There was no adherence to convention in the scheme, and yet in the directing light of practical experience the alert mind and strong will of the astute business man had to bend by degrees to the dominating influences of environment. Mr. Ismay's connexion with the farming industry will be remembered with deep appreciation of the important services rendered in an unostentatious manner, for his aim was ever to point the way for his neighbors and farmers in general. He was actively associated with many movements for the improvement of livestock and dairying, and was a former President of the Dairy Shorthorn Association. He disliked publicity, however, and on this account his strength and the value of his work for the farming industry greatly exceeded what is generally known
The interest Mr. Ismay manifested in the village of Iwerne equalled that devoted to his own mansion, grounds, and farm. No village was ever more fortunate in its owner. Not only was every building repaired or replaced as occasion suggested, but houses were added if required, and the community was provided with buildings for its social well-being in a manner rarely seen elsewhere. The village hall especially is enduring evidence of his generous, even indulgent, consideration for dwellers on the estate, all of whom will deeply deplore his death. Mr. Ismay served as High Sheriff of Dorset in 1912. In 1914 he took a commission in the Hampshire Carabiniers Yeomanry, and in 1916 transferred to the Dorset Yeomanry
Mr. Ismay was twice married. His first wife, Lady Margaret Alice Seymour, eldest daughter of the 6th Marquess of Hertford, died in 1901. His second wife, by whom he is survived, is the daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonald Moreton, late Coldstream Guards. He leaves also five daughters. Mr. Joseph Bruce Ismay is his elder brother. Another brother, Mr. C. B. Ismay, died in 1924
The funeral will be on Monday at Iwerne Minster Church at 2.15.
William Alfred Ismay, pottery collector and writer: born Wakefield, Yorkshire 10 April 1910; died Wakefield 13 January 2001.
Collector, connoisseur and writer on studio ceramics, W. A. Ismay was a familiar figure at exhibitions of pottery for nearly 50 years. Short, rounded, bearded, he invariably wore a black beret pulled well on his head and wielded a huge magnifying glass to inspect the surface of a pot or read a small label.
He started to investigate the burgeoning world of studio pottery in the 1950s, making, at first, modest but careful purchases. At his death he had amassed a highly important collection of several thousand pots, many by leading figures such as Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper and the Japanese potter Shoji Hamada, in all representing the work of over 500 potters.
There was little in his early life to indicate the extent of his interest in and commitment to pots. Born in Wakefield, William Alfred Ismay was very much a proud Yorkshireman. His father was a trouser presser in a mill, his mother an elementary-school teacher, and he was an only child. When he was one year old his parents moved to a modest two-up and two-down terraced house, and there he remained until his death. From Wakefield Grammar School he entered Leeds University to study Classics, a grounding which held him in good stead for his interest in books and the arts.
As a signalman in the Royal Signals Corps during the Second World War he was stationed in India, where it took six months for him to hear of the death of his father. He fell in love with the country and its traditional art, in particular its pottery. Enthralled by the work of village potters he bought and used earthenware water-coolers. In the mid-Fifties he came across the pottery of Barbara Cass in the Shambles in York and became a regular visitor, curious to learn about it and to acquire pieces. His interest sparked, he read avidly and started to collect, first pots by makers in Yorkshire, then nationally and even internationally as well as historically, combining this with his work as a librarian at Hemsworth, near Wakefield, and his interest in rare editions and other special books.
But it was ceramics that became his first love and he travelled to shows in London and round the country to see work, assessing each piece before making a purchase. Whether at large galleries or more modest local showings, Ismay was diligent in keeping an eye on established makers and keen to search out potters at the start of their careers. Above all he liked to visit potters, often spending the night talking, looking at pots, hearing how they were made.
Visits were regularly made to such luminaries as Leach, Rio and Cardew, and he was on friendly terms with scores of others. A purchase by Bill Ismay was always thought to be a sign of approval, and was much appreciated by potters, especially those at the start of their career. Pots that failed the test of time were kept as salutary reminders of poor decisions. None was sold or disposed of. He was also assiduous in searching out northern potters whose work he thought may be missed by more southern-orientated collectors.
Following his mother's death in 1956 he threw out many family possessions in order to do things his way, and inevitably make room for more pots, which began to fill every nook and cranny. They stood on the stairs, packed the hallway, filled the main bedroom, and even reached the cellar. All had a special place and could be located relatively easily, though the roughly packed and stacked boxes often involved tortuous manoeuvres to produce a particular piece. The house had remained virtually untouched since it was built. The stone-flagged kitchen contained a table crammed with pots, all but for a small area where he ate, while an outside toilet was functional and basic.
The main principle on which Ismay collected, he said, was to select the pots he liked, which were not necessarily showy or spectacular but might be quite modest, although he did confess to having a prejudice in favour of a pot which in addition to pleasing him was also useful. One such piece he was fond of was a small, globular teapot by Richard Batterham which he used for making coffee. By 1982 he was able to boast that in his alphabetical roster of potters the only one missing began with X, and was particularly proud of having two whose name began with Z. Bill Ismay continued collecting as long as possible, and pieces had still to be picked up from an exhibition after his death.
As limited resources allowed he added historical pieces to his modern collection. These included a tiny Attic wine-cup, a small Sung pot, two German Bellarmines and a pair of Dutch tiles in addition to cooking and storage pots from Zambia and a Mexican modelled group of father and son.
With a methodical, precise mind, Ismay was assiduous in cataloguing his pieces, though it was an individual, idiosyncratic system that only he could appreciate. His cataloguing skills were also used to good effect when he started indexing the magazine Ceramic Review, producing a superbly detailed and crossreferenced annual guide. Ismay preferred things straightforward and uncomplicated. He liked uncluttered pots, good plain English cooking and freshly made ground coffee, greatly disliking what he called "messed-about food".
Pots from his collection were regularly loaned to important museums, illustrated in books, catalogues and articles. It is a mark of Bill Ismay's collecting sensibilities that the Yorkshire Museum in York was only too pleased to accept his collection on his death, agreeing to take the several thousand pieces rather than just those by the more famous potters, as well as related material in the form of invitation cards and books.
The death is announced from Octacamund, Southern India, of Sir Stanley Ismay, K.C.S.I., late Judicial Commissioner for the Central Province.
Sir Stanley was born 66 years ago, was educated at Bromsgrove Grammar School, and passed into the Indian Civil Service after examination in1871. His entire Service career was spent in the Central Province, where he was successfully officiating Insector General of Police and Jails, a Judge of the Jabalpur Small Causes Court, a Sessions Judge, then a Divisional Judge, and finally Judicial Commissioner – in other words, the chief judical appellate authority in the province. He was a member of the Supreme Legislature for some years, and at the close of 1911 he was promoted from C.S.I. to the knighthood of the Order.