Captain BLAIKIE who was in charge of the ship the “Caledonia” when she met her fate in the Mediterranean on December 5th, 1916. When 125 miles east of Malta she encountered the German submarine U-65, which torpedoed her without warning. Captain Blaikie tried to ram the submarine, and struck her, but the impact was insufficient to sink her. The “Caledonia” sank within three quarters of an hour. Captain Blaikie was taken prisoner by the Germans.
James Blaikie was born in Aberdeen in 1861, and joined the Anchor shipping line in 1884, aged 23.
In 1903 received the Transport Medal (Clasp: South Africa) for service on ship “City of Rome” (Anchor Line).
Records in The National Archives
- ADM 171/80 Mentioned in Dispatches for Transport Service in Dardanelles 31st May 1916
- CAB 37/161/21 and CAB 23/1 War Cabinet: 6th Meeting. (Reprisals for outrages [the case of Captain BLAIKIE].)
- CAB 37/162/29 and CAB 23/1 War Cabinet: 23rd Meeting. (Reprisals for outrages [the case of Captain BLAIKIE].)
- FO 383/205 Capture of Captain James Blaikie of the SS Caledonia by the German Navy on 4 December 1916
- FO 383/283 Captain James Blaikie of SS “Caledonia” : information that he was in good health and interned at Friedberg
- FO 383/284 Extracts from minutes of the proceedings of the War Cabinet of 30 December 1917 with reference to repisals
- FO 383/295 Captain James Blaikie, interned at Augustabad Camp: copies of letters requesting financial assistance
- MT 9/1101 1916-17 Correspondence with regard to safety and whereabouts of Captain BLAIKIE