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Roll of Honour

Hartlepool seafarers lost at sea

Glennie, Thomas

1st Mate
14, Cundall Road, West Hartlepool
West Hartlepool

Lost on the steamship Ribston. 
Son of William and the late Jessie Glennie; husband of Sarah Jane Glennie (nee McClean), of 14, Cundall Road, West Hartlepool.
The following information has been compiled by Project Volunteer Gillian Smith:
Thomas Glennie was born in West Hartlepool on the 22nd December, 1869, the son of William Glennie and Jessie Lawson. William and Jessie were born in Durris, Kincardinshire, Scotland. Their first three children were born in Scotland in the early to mid-1860’s. The fourth child George Glennie was born in West Hartlepool on the 12th May, 1867. George was baptised on the 9th June, 1867, in Christ Church and the family address was Albion Row.  By 1871 the family had moved to No.1 Rivet Works, West Hartlepool and by the time of the 1881 Census they had moved again to 8 Wesley Street, West Hartlepool. They had nine children by this time, including Thomas who was still at school.

In 1882 Jessie died and William remarried in 1883 to Charlotte Ann Rushbrook. The 1891 Census sees William and Charlotte living in Lothian Road, West Hartlepool with four of William’s children.

Thomas Glennie by this time had gone to sea. He first went to sea as an Apprentice on the 21st April, 1887 and served on the Glasgow-registered Ship Clydebank from 21st April 1887, until 21st April, 1891. He then became and Able Seaman on 22nd April 1891 still on the Clydebank where he remained until 29th December, 1891. Thomas was described as being 5’4” in height of a dark complexion, with dark brown hair and blue eyes. 

Thomas gained his Second Mate Certificate (or "Ticket"), on 11th April, 1892 and his home address was 9, Lothian Road, West Hartlepool where his father was living. He joined the Hartlepool-registered ship Hatfield as a Second Mate on the 14th July, 1892 and served with her on 7 voyages until 18th December, 1893.

Thomas gained his First Mate Certificate on 6th February, 1894 and the family home was now at 45, Lothian Road, West Hartlepool.  During the period 24 February, 1894 – 19th December, 1897 Thomas served as First Mate on four Hartlepool registered ships, the Hartington, Empress, Helmsley and finally the Leonis. He was granted his Masters Certificate of a foreign-going ship on the 17th April, 1897.

Thomas Glennie married Sarah Jane McLean at St. Paul’s Church, West Hartlepool on the 31st May, 1896, and they went on to have two children, Kenneth born on 17th April, 1899 at 6, Straker Street, West Hartlepool and Jessie born 15th August, 1901 at 20, Straker Street, West Hartlepool.
The 1901 Census shows Thomas, Sarah and 1-year old Kenneth living at this latter address with Thomas's brother-in-law, Loynes McLean (a Shipwright/Carpenter), and Agnes Carswell, listed as a 'Visitor'.

It would appear that Thomas was away at sea in 1911, as the Census for this year lists only Sarah and their two children, now living at No.14, Cundall Road, West Hartlepool.

At some point Thomas joined the steamship Ribston and served as 1st Mate. On a voyage from Melilla, Spain to Glasgow with a cargo of iron ore the Ribston was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-45, off south west Ireland on the 16th July, 1917. The crew of 25 were lost including Thomas. Unfortunately, Thomas’ death was not the first tragedy to befall the Glennie family during WW1. On the 23rd October, 1916 his brother George was accidentally killed at Dunkirk and is buried in the Dunkirk Town Cemetery. George had served on the H.M. Paddle Minesweeper Balmoral, as a Deck-hand.

Thomas and Sarah's son Kenneth never married and died in Brierton Hospital in 1968. Their daughter Jessie became a well known and popular singer and also qualified as a music (piano) teacher. Jessie was awarded the Diploma of Associate, pianoforte playing, (A.L.C.M.), in Newcastle in December 1925, as was her cousin Jessie Pearson Glennie. There are many references to the two Jessie’s musical abilities in the local Hartlepool Mail newspapers of the time. She married William Stonehouse Dale at St. Paul’s Church, West Hartlepool on the 20th August, 1930. After her marriage Jessie carried on with her professional career and continued to use her maiden name of Glennie. William and Jessie Dale had one child, a son, Kenneth. Jessie died in Hartlepool General Hospital in June 1974.