I was absolutely amazed when my late uncle’s copy of Sea Breezes arrived in October (November 2018 issue) and it automatically opened on an article about the Dundee Gem Line by Edward Valentine.
The Master, James Douglas of Johnshaven of the SS Jasper, referred to in the article, was my great grandfather and my uncle’s grandfather. My uncle was Captain James Alastair Douglas of Glasgow Nautical College whose obituary by Alan Blackwood was published in the October 2018 issue of Sea Breezes.
When the SS Jasper ran aground on May Island in 1894, Master James Douglas’s wife, Jane, and 2-year-old son, Richard, were both on-board and taken off together by breeches buoy.
Also on-board at the time as 1st mate, was Richard’s future father-in-law James Gove from Johnshaven. Richard Watson Douglas later went on to be chief engineer on Blue Funnel for all his working life, mainly upon the Glenapp from the late 1930s and throughout WW2 without a scratch, then later on the Agapenor from new in 1947 until he retired in 1952 aged 60.
Master James Douglas and the family moved to Cardiff when he joined Turner Brightman and, to this day, there is still a house in Morlais Street, Cardiff which he named Benholm after his home parish. He contracted blood poisoning during a voyage and died at the British Hospital in Buenos Aires on 24 August 1905, aged 55 years. The family then moved back to Johnshaven after his death.
I believe he was a shareholder in Turner Brightman or in one of the ships as one of the Turners / Brightmans came to Johnshaven some years later when his widow sold the remaining shareholding.
Edward Valentine is correct that there is a Fullerton connection albeit remotely: Master John Douglas’s brother David (also a ship’s master from Johnshaven) married a Rose Fullerton.
ALAN WATSON DOUGLAS