John Grimes and the ‘Baltic’.

Paper: 320

Lecture: 2016

Author: Grimes, Brendan

Report by: Oona Roycroft

Synopsis :

The author’s paternal grandfather, John Grimes, captain of the Baltic, and his crew, died at sea on 25th November 1916.

This paper is based on a collection of letters kept in the Grimes family, and written between 1914 and 1916. It is a fascinating account not only of the lives lived by the seamen who sailed out of Skerries, and of the ships they worked on. It also gives a poignant insight into a marriage that was constantly faced with long separations, sometimes for up to a year, and the way John Grimes and his wife worked together to care for their family, he on the dangerous trade route up to and past Scotland, and she in the small town of Skerries, where she looked after her children, but also undertook the business side of her husband’s occupation. Through these letters, the deep affection and trust in one another of this couple shines through in a wonderful way.

The paper was illustrated with photos, weather reports of the times, and official shipping crew listings.