1912 – the Wreck of the Glanmire

Glanmire at the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Britol, via Wrecksite uploaded by Jan Lettens. Source and copyright unknown

On Thursday 25th July 1912, The Glanmire, a steamship from Glasgow, struck Black Carrs Rock. All hands and passengers were saved. The first reports reached the press from the Lloyds agent at Eyemouth on the same day.

GLASGOW STEAMER Founders Off St Abb’s Head.

Passengers and Crew Rescued.

Lloyd’s Eyemouth agent telegraphs today that the British steamer Glanmire, from Amsterdam, sunk at St Abbs. All hands were saved by the fishing boats. The passengers are at St Abbs village. The Glanmire is a vessel of 1141 gross tonnage, belonging to the Rankine Line, of Glasgow. About 6.30 this morning during a dense fog, the steamship Glanmire, of Glasgow, on a voyage from Amsterdam to Leith, struck St Abbs Head immediately below the lighthouse, and foundered within an hour of the contract.

The St Abbs fishing craft were making for the harbour, and all the crew and a number of passengers were taken off the sinking vessel and landed safely at the village. The vessel, which was 1141 tons gross tonnage, traded between Grangemouth, Leith, and Amsterdam, and belongs to the Rankine Line, Ltd., West Nile Street, Glasgow. She was built of iron at the Caledon Yard, Dundee, in 1887, and is a 300 h.p. screw steamer. The Glanmire was under the command of Captain Band, an experienced navigator. The steamer sails from Grangemouth every Saturday for Amsterdam, carrying passengers and goods, and was specially fitted up for the transport of old horses to the Continent win 7 32 bit kostenlos herunterladen.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, Thursday 25 July 1912

The Scotsman provided additional details of the wreck.




About half-past six o’ clock yesterday morning the steamer Glanmire (1441 tons gross and 541 tons net) struck a rock off St Abbs Head, and sank within twenty minutes. The steamer, which belonged to the Rankine Line (Limited), 45 West Nile Street, Glasgow, was bound from Amsterdam to Leith with a cargo of sugar. The crew numbered 22, and the passengers, most of whom were bound for Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Ayrshire, numbered 15. A dense fog prevailed throughout the night, and Captain Band stated that the vessel was going dead slow when the accident occurred. He had taken his reckoning from the Longstone, and he understood that St Abbs was on his starboard side, whereas it was on his port side. The amount of electricity in the air owing to the recent thunderstorm is believed to have affected the compass. The vessel is believed to have struck the rock known as the Black Carr, where the water is fully ten fathoms deep. This rock is immediately below the St Abbs Lighthouse, and stands about ten feet out of the water at high tide. It is less than a hundred yards from the shore. The vessel struck bow forward, and the bottom was ripped open.


The first lifeboat was launched three minutes after the accident, and four were in the water within ten minutes. The passengers were all asleep in the cabin and were hurried on deck, there being no time to dress. There was no trouble in getting the passengers into the boats, the only incident of note being the fact that two Dutchmen, with their luggage, jumped into a boat before the ladies.

[Reports vary on how many Dutchmen were involved, from one to all three members of the Bakker family. It is possibe that in their fright they did not understand the sailors’ commands].


A rocket was fired from the ship, and this was seen at the St Abbs lighthouse. The alarm was at once given, and the life-saving brigade turned out yotube video. Owing to the fact that something had gone wrong with the motor, the lifeboat could not be launched. The St Abbs fishermen got four fishing boats and a salmon coble out, and met the ship’s boats coming in. Owing to the narrowness of the harbour, the guidance of the fishermen was necessary to secure the safe landing of the boats. One of the boats in going out struck something, and was holed. It lies practically submerged near the harbour. The passengers and crew were kindly treated by the villagers, and most of the former were supplied with clothing. An artist, who was returning after a painting expedition in Holland, lost all his pictures. The crew practically lost all they had. One of them had not a halfpenny, and another just managed to secure the wages which were last paid to him.

The rescued party left Reston by the morning train for their various destinations.

While one of the fishermen’s boats was out, a steamer was observed heading for the rocks, but was warned in time. It immediately headed off and proceeded seawards.

Messrs James Rankine & Son, Glasgow, the owners of the Glamnire, stated yesterday that the only information they had received regarding the mishap to their steamer, was a telegram from the captain intimating that she had struck a rock and sunk in deep water, and that all on board were saved.

The Scotsman, Friday 26 July 1912

Further details came from the Berwickshire News.


Exciting Scenes.

During thick fog early on Thursday morning, the passenger steamer Glanmire, of the Rankine Line, Glasgow, while returning from Amsterdam to Leith with a crew of 22, 15 passengers, and general cargo [mainly sugar], struck rocks at St Abbs Head.

The alarm was at once given, and the fishermen promptly put off in three boats. Meantime the ship’s boats had been launched, and all the passengers and crew got safely in, with lifebelts, and the fishermen’s boats guided them to harbour. The Glanmire sank very shortly afterwards.

The St Abbs motor lifeboat, Helen Smitton, (placed on this rocky coast a few years ago, after the loss of the Danish steamer Alfred Erlandsen), was under repairs, and not available for service download free easter greetings. The rescued were landed at St Abbs Village.

The Glanmire was built in 1887, and is of 545 tons net register and 1141 tons gross. She was a weekly trader between Grangemouth and Amsterdam, and was on a voyage to Grangemouth via Leith with a large general cargo, when the disaster took place. She was under the command of Capt. Band, of Crail, Fifeshire, an experienced navigator who, with the crew, was saved. The steamer sailed from Grangemouth every Saturday for Amsterdam, carrying passengers and goods, and was specially fitted up for the transport of old horses to the Continent.


The Glanmire left Amsterdam on Tuesday night at 12 o’clock, and the journey had been an extremely pleasant one until she neared the Berwickshire coast in the early hours of Thursday morning. They then entered thick fog.

Capt. Band stated that at the time of the collision the vessel was going dead slow. He had taken his bearings at the Longstone, and was under the impression that he had made the corner at St Abbs, and that the lighthouse was on his starboard side. As a matter of fact he was approaching the Head from the port side.

It would seem that the great amount of electricity in the air had affected the compasses. About an hour after the catastrophe a violent storm broke over the neighbourhood.

It was about 6.20 the vessel struck rocks at St Abbs Head, immediately below the lighthouse. Captain Band, the skipper, sent up two rockets, and these were answered from the lighthouse. A third rocket exploded in the tube, and blew away a portion of the ship’s rail. The Captain was thrown down on the deck, and had a narrow escape from being killed. The two ship’s boats were meantime launched. The Glanmire also carried a third boat, but it was not needed.

The vessel had struck the rock and then bounded forward, the result being that the bottom was ripped open.

The only trouble the Captain had was (it is stated) with three Dutchmen passengers, who their luggage dashed into a boat, before some of the ladies had left the ship.

By 6.30 the passengers, with life-belts, were all in the boats. The stewardess refused to leave the fast-sinking ship until the crew did so, but was prevailed upon to join the ladies bilder schnittprogramm kostenlosen. The passengers numbered 15, including six ladies, the youngest a girl of 13.

The crew of 22 (including the skipper) next left the vessel, and there was not a soul on board her within 15 minutes of the time she struck. This was a remarkably smart piece of work, and shows that most admirable coolness must have been displayed.


Half an hour after striking, the ill-fated ship sank in 20 fathoms of water. No hope is entertained of her being salved, and not only is her general cargo lost, but almost all the belongings of the passengers and crew.


The greater number were in their bunks when the disaster occurred, and most them had left in night-dresses or pyjamas. In most cases, however, they secured their money. One of the lady passengers, it is stated, was taking home to Scotland a considerable number of wedding presents, not only from herself but from friends in Holland. Of the passengers, the Dutchmen alone saved their travelling bags.

Most of the ladies were scantily attired, some of them only in their night-dresses, and some without even shoes on their feet. One of the crew, noticing one barefooted lady, took off his slippers and gave them to her.

One gentleman, Mr Finlay, a Glasgow artist, had been painting Holland, and all his pictures and sketches went down with the ship. The ladies managed to secure their chief valuables, which they had slung round their necks in little bags. Otherwise the belongings of the passengers were lost.

The crew were in an even worse plight generally. One man had the clothes he stood in, and not a halfpenny in money. He had lost nearly £6, and his kit on the ship were two new suits of clothes. Another man was lucky enough to secure the last wages that had been paid to him.


The sea was smooth, but the fog continued so thick, that for some time those in charge of the boats were in doubt as to the best course to take download apps website. First, they stood out to sea, but later they kept nearer the shore. Meantime the signals of distress fired when the vessel struck had aroused the St Abbs folk. The fishermen, for the most part, were away at the herring fishing for the night, but a coble and two punts were put out, and manned by salmon fishers and other villagers and some visitiors. They soon reached the Glanmire’s boats, and guided them to the harbour, which was reached about 7.30. The shipwrecked men and women, presenting a strange spectacle as they disembarked, were heartily cheered by the crowd which had assembled at the harbour.

While the fishing boats were putting out, the rocket apparatus had been taken by all possible speed by four horses round to the Head, but they could see nothing of the wreck, which most probably sank before they arrived.


Immediately on landing, passengers and crew were taken to the Anchorage (Miss [Isobel] Cowe’s), the Rock House (Mrs Wilson’s), and Albion Cottage (Mrs Colvin’s), the majority going to the first-named house. Thev were rigged out with dry clothes as quickly as practicable, and then entertained to breakfast. A telegram was sent to Coldingham for brakes.

Before leaving, the party gathered at the Anchorage, outside which a crowd had gathered to give them a hearty send-off. Mr Shearer, one of the passengers, expressed the sentiment of one and all of the Glanmire’s company, when in a few feeling words he said how deeply grateful they were to the St Abbs folks for their great kindness. Cheers, lusty enough, it seemed to rend the fog, were sent up as the rescued 37, rehabilitated from the spare wardrobes of the village, drove off to Reston Junction, to catch the 11.39 train for the north.

Captain Band was naturally very much “cut up” about the loss of his ship, of which he has been skipper on the same “run” for some 4 years. He has the reputation of being an experienced mariner, and he deserves particular credit for the promptness and decision with which he acted when his vessel struck.

Most of the passengers had been enjoying a holiday in Holland, and consequently had not a great deal of luggage, so that their personal loss is not so serious as might have been the case under other circumstances. As will be gathered from the rapidity with which the vessel went to the bottom, they had had the narrowest of escapes, and they were only too thankful to be alive.


The names of the passengers were:

Mr Shearer, Airdrie.

Mrs Shearer, Airdrie.

Miss Hope Shearer, Airdrie.

Herr Bakker, Amsterdam, and his two sons.

The Misses Russell (2), Carluke.

Miss Peat, Carluke.

Miss Macgregor, Newmilns, Ayrshire.

Mr Robert Downie, Newmilns.

Mr James Girvan, Newmilns.

Mr William Connell, Darvel.

Mr David Macalpine, Glasgow.

Mr Finlay, artist, Glasgow.

The senior passenger was Herr Bakker, whose age is about 60.


The men in the salmon punt (under Mr Charles Crow), who had been out fishing, and went to the rescue of the Glanmire’s company, reported a singular incident on returning. They were on the point of going to the rescue, when they saw a large steamer bearing directly down upon a rock. They shouted a warning and thereby prevented a double wreck. The unknown vessel sheered off and disappeared in the fog.


The last wreck at St Abbs was in October, 1907, when the Alfred Erlandsen, of Copenhagen, on a voyage from the Russian port Riga to Grangemouth with a big cargo of timber, struck the Ebb Carr Rock, which lies not more than 600 yards south of the harbour. On that occasion, the Captain and crew, fifteen in all, were lost, and only a great Dane hound survived.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 30 July 1912

A more entertaining piece of editorial appeared in the ‘Jottings of the Werk’ column of the Falkirk Herald, but adds a few nuggets of information.

Grangemouth was taken completely by surprise on Thursday morning on receipt of the news that the Glanmire had foundered off St Abbs Head. The announcement that everybody had been saved somewhat relieved the anxiety felt, however. Evening papers that night were at a premium. Scarcely one was to be had half an hour after their arrival. The one topic of conversation was the disaster that had overtaken the Glanmire.

Nearly all the crew’s and passengers’ belongings went down with the vessel. As one member of the crew afterwards put it, “The only thing on his back he could call his own was a pair of trousers.” This must be new mode of wearing them.

Thursday was a tragic day for shipping. The heavy fogs which proved so disastrous to vessels were so dense that one could scarcely see one’s extended hand. Though it was damp and gloomy enough here, Grangemouth seemed to be immune from the enveloping canopy of clammy vapours.

Falkirk Herald, Saturday 27 July 1912

A personal account of the event was provided by Mr Shearer in the Orcadian newspaper.


Shipwrecked off St Abbs.

Mr G D Shearer, solicitor, of Airdrie, son of the late J J Shearer, merchant, Stromness, along with his wife and daughter, while on the way home from Amsterdam, where they had been spending a holiday, were shipwrecked off St Abbs Head, on Thursday morning, 25th July.

[Here follows a typical account of the wreck with few additional details except these].

A number of fishermen put off in small boats to the rescue, and a salmon fishing coble, which was at the nets, hearing the noise of the impact, also made for the rescue.

Happily the sea was as calm as the proverbial mill pond.


Interviewed in his office, Bank Street, by a press representative, Mr Shearer gave the following account of his experiences.

“We heard the steamer’s foghorns blowing several times during the night, and about 6.30 am on Thursday morning we were awakened from our slumbers by a large crunching or grating sound. I jumped out of bed and remarked to my wife that the ship must have struck something. I ran up on deck in my pyjamas and bare feet, and there I found the sailors on deck, trying to lower the boats from the davits. I shouted “What’s wrong?” and one of them replied, “You had better get your women folks up at once.” A dense fog prevailed and meantime the Captain was putting up rockets as distress signals. I noticed that the steamer was gradually going down by the head, and ran ran downstairs and told my wife and daughter to take whatever clothing they could lay their hands on ad come up. I myself picked up the thickest clothing that was lying handy, and in two minutes the three of us were upstairs, leaving all our luggage and valuables behind. By this time, on reaching the deck again, I noticed that the vessel had a stronger list towards the rocks on which she had struck, and she was now heaving and swinging with the swell of the sea. Lifebelts were served out to each one of us. A boat was being lowered to the level of the water, when all at once a Dutchman, carrying a bag, made a hurried scramble into it. The sailors had been shouting “Women and children first,” and a sailor jumped in after the Dutchman and threatened to throw him out if he did not give place to the ladies and children. With the exception of this incident, the greatest order was maintained, although there was of course a good deal of suppressed excitement. Some ladies were then assisted into the boat, which with the swing of the ship was sometimes as far as five feet out. It was with some difficulty that the passengers were got aboard at all, as they had to watch their opportunity to jump in. Fortunately the sea otherwise was calm, and the boat was safe when kept clear of the ship and the rocks, where there was a constant surge in the water. When all the ladies and children were got into the boat, the Dutchman, who was sitting in the stern, let go his end of the davit rope, with the result that the whole boat-load was nearly turned into the sea. One of the sailors, however took things in hand, and we were pushed off from the sinking ship. On going round the stern of the ship we found the sailors getting into the other boat, and when it was got clear of the vessel, both boats pulled away. When about 40 yards away we saw the ship rapidly sinking by the head. In another five minutes her stern rose up in the air, as the Titanic was reported to have done, and she took the final plunge by the head, and went down. As she sank we heard a report as of the bursting of boilers. At this time the fog was very thick, and with the exception of the foghorn at St Abbs Head we had no direction by which to steer for land. We pulled about in what the captain considered was a shoreward direction, when the captain suggested that we should all shout. The otherwise scared and somewhat silent occupants of the boats took the hint, and raised their voices in cries of distress and calls for help. The result was that we heard other shouts in response, to which we replied. In a few minutes three fishing yawls drew up and took us in charge, and it was with thankful hearts that we saw them. The ladies of the party behaved with great coolness and bravery. In about three-quarters of an hour’s time we were landed at St Abbs, and were most kindly entertained by a number of visitors who were holidaying there. We were taken to the Anchorage Boarding House, and happily Mrs Shearer, my daughter, and I were at once recognised, notwithstanding our dishevelled condition, by some Airdrie friends also on holiday. They kindly supplied us with underclothing and other comforts, and soon we were all seated at breakfast. The people of St Abbs informed us that they had heard the signals of distress which the captain had sent up from the steamboat, and they had endeavoured to get the lifeboat started, but the motor had got out of gear. The villagers also showed us much kindness, and the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Association arranged for our being sent to our respective homes. On our departure we were driven from the village to the station at Reston, where we got the train for Edinburgh. Before leaving, at the request of the rescued party, I took the opportunity of voicing the thanks of the passengers, officers, and crew to the villagers and visitors, for their kindness and generosity to us in the trying circumstances in which we were placed. My wife, daughter, and I arrived back in Airdrie at 3.15 the same afternoon. Mrs and Miss Shearer are now getting on all right, and are, like myself, none the worse of the exciting experiences of our shipwreck.”

Orcadian, Saturday 17 August 1912

Within four days of the wreck the decision had beeen made that the Glanmire could not be saved. The Hartlepool News reported:

No attempt will be made to raise the steamer Glanmire, which foundered off St Abbs Head, Berwickshire, owing to the depth of water in which she is lying.

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail, Monday 29 July 1912

The wreck was not dived until 1965. There are several videos of recent dives on YouTube, including the video below.

A dive to the wreck of the Glanmire

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