Blaney, Robert James

Blaney, Robert James

Third Engineer Officer

SS Orlock Head (Belfast), Merchant Navy

Died as the result of enemy action on Tuesday 3 September 1940 (aged 35)


Ballynahinch Congregational Cemetery, Co. Down (Grave 133)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission


In some records his surname is spelt Blayney.

Built in Dublin and launched in 1921, the SS Orlock Head was owned by the Ulster Steamship Cpmpany, Belfast (G. Heyn).  This ship was bombed and set on fire by Luftwaffe aircraft on 28 July 1940 and later sank.  The dead and injured were brought by the Star of Liberty to Scrabster Harbour, Thurso, Scotland.  Third Engineer Officer Robert James Blaney died on 3 September 1940 and was one the six fatalities.

  • Third Engineer Officer Robert James Blaney was buried in Ballynahinch.
  • Chief Steward John McNeill was buried in Belfast.
  • Chief Officer James Ross and Able Seaman Hill Wilson were buried in Islandmagee.
  • Chief Engineer Officer Samuel Sloan was buried in Dundonald.
  • Second Engineer Officer Victor Edwin Ward was buried in Thurso.

Third Engineer Officer Robert James Blaney’s connection to the Ards area is through his marriage to Agnes Alexander on 10 April 1929 in Killinchy Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church.

Robert James Blaney was born on 22 May 1905 at 75 Montrose Street, Belfast and he was a son of James and Margaret (Maggie) Blaney (nee Davidson) who were married on 2 March 1900 in Kilmore Presbyterian Church, Crossgar.  James Blaney, a fireman from Ballynahinch, was a son of Hugh Blaney, a tailor.  Maggie Davidson was a daughter of John Davidson, a National School Teacher.

James Blaney worked as a railway fireman and engine driver and he and Maggie had at least ten children:

Agnes Davidson (born 22 February 1903 in Ballynahinch)

Robert James (born 22 May 1905 at 75 Montrose Street, Belfast)

Sarah Elizabeth (twin, born at 6.10 am 6 June 1906 at 59 Tower Street, Belfast)

Margaret Jane Campbell (twin, born at 6.20 am 6 June 1906 at 59 Tower Street, Belfast)

Hugh (born 19 October 1907 in Ballynahinch)

Isabel Winifred (Isabella, born 15 May 1910 in Ballynahinch)

Christina Mary (born 6 June 1911 in Glasdrumman)

Mabel Valerie (born 19 March 1914 in Ballylone)

Charlotte (born 29 August 1915 in Ballynahinch)

William Johnston (born 23 February 1917 in Ballynahinch)

During the Second World War Third Engineer Officer Robert James Blaney served aboard the SS Orlock Head and he died on 2 September 1940.