John P Baird

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
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  • Occupation: Merchant Seaman
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  • Spouse:

    Jessie Sandeman Baird

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More about John P Baird

John P. Baird served in the Merchant Navy before and during the First World War.  Post War as Captain Baird he was one of the Tay Pilots and then Assistant Harbourmaster in Dundee.

In 1914, as a young man, he served as an Officer on the Mauretania. The Mauretania and the Lusitania were twin liners of the Cunard Company.

In July 1918 John (or Jack) Baird was 1st Officer on the Cunard’s Carpathia. (The vessel famous for going to the aid of the passengers and crew of the Titanic in 1912). The Carpathia sailed from Liverpool bound for Boston carrying passengers and cargo.  She joined a convoy but on 17th July off Ireland was torpedoed by a U-boat, several of the engine room crew being killed. As the vessel was badly damaged the passengers and crew were ordered to the life boats.  The submarine surfaced and fired another torpedo sinking the ship. The U-Boat seemed to be preparing to machine gun the survivors. Fortunately the Royal Navy sloop, HMS Snowdrop, engaged the U-Boat which promptly submerged.

John was married to Jessie Sandeman. Jessie’s brother Andrew Sandeman joined up in 1914 at the age of 17 and died at the Battle of Loos aged just 18.

Additional information kindly provided by Ian McCraw, (Jessie Sandeman’s first cousin once removed).

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