Peter Blix playing for Shanghai against Meiji University in March 1936, four years before his sad death
Merchant Peter Blix was the Shanghai Rugby Club’s first casualty of the Second World War. He was a member of a respected Norwegian family living in Shanghai.
He first played for Shanghai in 1933 and like his younger brother Reginald represented Shanghai in interport games. ‘Reggie’ played against Hong Kong in 1935 and Peter played the following year in 1936 and again in 1937. Peter also played two games against Meiji University in 1936.
Peter had a good rugby pedigree. He was educated at Trent College, Nottingham and had captained the school’s first XV. In his school team was Prince Obolensky, the iconic English rugby player who died shortly after Blix, flying his Hawker Hurricane over England.
After his time at Trent College, Blix returned to Shanghai and started working for the Shanghai Waterworks Company. He later worked for Reuter and covered the hostilities in Shanghai in 1937 before moving to Canton in 1937.
Blix met his death aged twenty-four serving on a Norwegian vessel, the Snestad south of the Faroe Islands. The Snestad was torpedoed on 11 February on a trip from Bergen to Philadelphia sinking quickly. The entire crew managed to safely get into the lifeboats and were picked up by the Albert L. Ellsworth the following day. On 13 February the rescue boat was torpedoed by a U-boat. It was while getting into a life raft that Peter Blix was forced to jump into the water to try to reach the raft which had drifted away from the boat. The cold water soon overcame him and he drowned along with another Snestad survivor Hans Aaserud.
Peter Blix (1916? - 1940)
Announcement in the North China Daily News of the death of Peter Blix in March 1940
The Snestad Norwegian Merchant ship on which Blix was serving when it was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in 1940. (Photo Courtesy of Library of Contemporary History, Stuttgart)