N: Robert Douglas Norman (1885 – 1912)

Robert Norman entered into rest 23rd Feb. 1894 aged 58; Mary Harriet Hicks died 19th May 1903 aged 50, wife of the above; Robert Douglas Norman, elder son of the above, drowned in the Titanic disaster April 1912 aged 27, interred in Halifax Nova Scotia.

This is the only mention of the Titanic disaster in the Grange Cemetery.  The Titanic struck an iceberg shortly before midnight on Sunday 14 April 1912 and sank less than three hours later with the loss of over fifteen hundred lives.  By 25 April Robert Douglas Norman’s family knew that he had not survived and put a notice of his death in The Scotsman.  The paper followed this with an obituary the following day.  North American papers were full of reports of the disaster and the names of those on board.  They reveal that Robert’s was one of 189 bodies picked up by the cable ship Mackay Bennett, which arrived back in Halifax with them on 29 April.  Robert is one of 121 victims buried in Fairview Cemetery, Halifax. 

Robert Douglas Norman was the son of Robert Norman and his second wife Mary Hicks.  Robert Norman was born in Penrith in 1834 and served his apprenticeship as a draper.  He worked for the firm of Messrs. Scott, Son, and Co., Shawl Merchants and Warehousemen, Cannon-street, London, working his way up to be head of one of the departments in the business and being taken into partnership in January 1875.  He married Margaret Kirkbride in 1861 and they had a daughter, Lucy, born in Govan in May 1865, but Margaret died aged only 30 the following year.  

Robert Norman married his second wife, Mary Harriet Hicks, at St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Edinburgh, on 8 August 1883.  Mary Hicks was born at Rothesay, Bute, in 1852, one of 13 children of George Hicks, a chemist, and Margaret King.  Robert and Mary had two sons both born at Petteril House, Priestfield Road, Edinburgh: Robert Douglas Norman on 14 September 1884 and George Stanley Norman on 29 September 1885. 

Robert was educated at Merchiston Castle School and then studied at Berlin University for three years.  In 1912 he was working for the A.E.G. Company in Glasgow as an electrical and civil engineer when he resigned in order to travel, telling his uncle, Wallace Hicks, who lived in Dalrymple Crescent, Edinburgh, that he might settle abroad.  He boarded the Titanic intending to start his travels with a visit to his brother, George, in Vancouver, where George had moved several years earlier and worked as a real estate agent and share broker.  George returned to Edinburgh in 1914 with his wife, Anne or Jane Haig Miller, and their son, Robert Douglas Norman, then aged 2, and was working as an insurance manager when he died suddenly on his way to work on 15 February 1945.


The Scotsman, Thurs., 25 April 1912, death, & Fri. 26 April 1912, obituary

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8876834/robert-douglas-norman (viewed 4.6.20, includes photograph and description of clothes and effects)

London Evening Standard, Wed. 27 Jan. 1875, London Gazette, 7 April 1891 & 3 Feb. 1893, Scott, Son, and Co., partnership changes

Scotland’s People, Will & Inventory for Robert Norman and Robert Douglas Norman

N – Norman grave location

Encyclopedia Titanica