Categories: Ten Journeys.
James Valentine Fairbairn,  grazier, politician, flyer, was a man whose adult life had been shaped by war, the Great War. Fairbairn, born in Wadhurst, England, in 1897, grew up in Victoria’s Western District. His grandfather George Fairbairn, who died before he was born, was a pioneer pastoralist whose holdings in Victoria and Queensland totalled millions of acres. His father, Charles, the third of six brothers, had been joint general manager with his brother, George, of the Fairbairns’ Queensland properties.
At one time, as another brother, the legendary Cambridge rowing coach Steve Fairbairn, recalled, they were running 300 000 sheep ‘the finest big flock … in the world, but they were travelling all over Australia for food’. Charles Fairbairn married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Osborne of Yackendandah. He acquired Banongill near Skipton,\|/ and moved there with his family in the year of his second son James’s birth.
On his eleventh birthday Jim, or Jimmy as some of his friends called him, was despatched with 11 cakes to be a boarder at Geelong Church of England Grammar Preparatory School. In 1909 he moved to the Geelong Grammar senior school, where he had been preceded by his father, five uncles, and his older brother, Charles Osborne, known as Osborne.
The Fairbairns were a Grammar dynasty, captains of the cricket team, senior prefects and then, spurning the fledgling Melbourne University, undergraduates at Jesus College, Cambridge. Like most of his forebears, Jim’s six years at Geelong were remembered principally for his sporting achievements. He was a member of the running team, played in the tennis four, and rowed in the first eight. Scholastically, he distinguished himself in Classics, winning the prize for Greek in his final year . . . more . . . anu.edu.au
BIRTH. 28 Jul 1897, Wadhurst, Sussex, England
1902. TO AUSTRALIA. In the Oldenburg
MARRIAGE. 21 Mar 1923, St. John's Church, Toorak, Victoria, Australia
MARRIAGE. 21 Mar 1923, Daisy Olive Forrester, daughter of Charles Forrester & Alice Maud May (Mooney) Forrester
m (1). 21 Jul 1945, Rosamund Anne Clifford, daughter of Lewis Joseph Clifford & Amy Beaumont (Webster) Clifford, div. 1965.
m (2). 1965, Anne Body, neé Reid, granddaughter of Sir George Reid
m. 23 Apr 1954, Peter Ramsden Cockburn Mercer, son of William Frank Cockburn Mercer & Jessie Stuart (Ramsden (Gayer) Mercer
DEATH. 13 Aug 1940, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
DEATH REPORT.  TEN KILLED IN AIR CRASH AT CANBERRA.
THREE MINISTERS. Sir Brudenell White And RAAF. Crew. From Our Special Representative. CANBERRA, Tuesday. — Australia suffered a grave loss at a most critical stage in her history this morning, when a Royal Australian Air Force bomber crashed a few miles from Canberra/ while carrying two service Ministers, the Vice-President of the Executive Council and the Chief of the General Staff, to a Cabinet meeting, which was to have been held here to-day. All the occupants of the plane, ten in number, were killed. The victims were : —
Air Disaster Memorial and the Great War: 
On a hill near the NSW city of Queanbeyan, and not far from Canberra Airport, is a memorial dedicated to the memory of several distinguished Australians killed when an aeroplane carrying three Federal Ministers bound for a cabinet meeting – Sir Henry Gullet, James Fairburn and Geoffrey Street – crashed on approach to Canberra on 13 August 1940.
It was a time of new national crisis, and the disaster was a body-blow to the war effort. Australia could ill afford to lose such experienced and capable men. . . more . . . image
FUNERAL NOTICE. FAIRBAIRN.  — The Funeral of the late JAMES VALENTINE FAIRBAIRN, Minister of Air, will leave St. Paul's, Cathedral, Melbourne, THIS (Thursday) MORNING, August 15, after a service commencing at 11.45 a.m., for the Spring Vale Crematorium, where a service will be conducted by Rev. J. H. Allen.
Death of Spouse: 19 Apr 1972, Easthampstead, Berkshire, England
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James is 32 degrees from Rosa Parks, 22 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 14 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.