This wonderful, undated* photograph was taken at Hobart, Tasmania and was found in Dinas Cross but the identity of the Master and crew is not known. A Captain David Thomas born 1854 in Dinas Cross was Master of the Glance in 1892 and possibly until 1900, covering the entire period that my grandfather, Evan George, was apprenticed and then employed as able seaman and finally ‘bosun’ on board that ship. My grandfather left the ship when he realised that his colour blindness would prevent him furthering his career at sea but the Dinas connection continued beyond his captain and Captain J.W. Thomas of Pentre, Dinas Cross was Master of the Glance in 1900.
The ‘Bosun’ had particular responsibility for the cordage and rigging and I’m impressed to see, in the background, the enormous quantities of rope that my grandfather had dealt with. My grandfather passed on some of his knowledge of knots to my father (who was otherwise not a very practical person) and he, in his turn, made sure that I knew the usefulness of a round turn and two half-hitches before I started primary school.
The Glance was a 3-masted iron barque of 861 tons and had been built at Sunderland in 1869. It was owned by George H. Meager of Swansea and brought the last copper ore cargo into Swansea in 1902. I don’t know what happened to the ship in the end but she seems to have survived a stranding in the strait between Tasmania and Southern Australia in 1876.
Glance. Cutter. Stranded at Brandy Creek, Three Hummock Island, western Bass Strait, but was refloated with the assistance of the crew of the Falcon, wrecked there a few days earlier on 6 October 1876.
I hope that this wonderful photo, in which even the dog is posed and alert, will stir some memories. Does anyone recognise any of these gentlemen?
*The Sunderland Site, page 124, lists the owners of The Glance as follows:W. Pellier of London, later (1870 & 1880) William Pellier of St. Helier, Jersey, later (1890 & 1900) George H. Meager of Swansea. Our photo shows Swansea as the Home Port so it can’t have been taken before 1880.
(With many thanks to Reg Davies and Roy Davies for the photograph and information about the ship.)