James Wilson Glancy was born in Arbroath, Angus, Scotland in 1892, the son of John and Helen Glancy of 324 Scotland Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire.
He served as an assistant steward in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania, but his usual ship was the SS Cameronia and he engaged on her at Glasgow on 15 April 1915.
However the Admiralty requisitioned the Cameronia for war use as a troop ship at the end of April 1915, so on 1 May 1915 nine crew members not needed for the ship's new role, (stewards, stewardesses and a matron) were transferred to the
Lusitania. These included James Wilson Glancy. What must have seemed at first to be a stroke of good fortune certainly turned sour when she was sunk. He was not listed amongst the survivors. He was aged 23 years.
While on board, he shared a cabin with Steward Jack McIver who also transferred from the SS Cameronia, and was a fellow Glaswegian.
Following the sinking his father sent a description of James Glancy to the Cunard Steamship Company, no doubt hoping it would assist in identifying his body if he was recovered. The description stated:
"5’ 6”, brown curly thick hair, slightly bow legged, medium, stout, and good teeth. Burned as a child with boiling water and burn left side of hand as a result."
His father, probably from information given to him by Steward McIver and Stewardess Leitch, became convinced that body number 106 was that of his son, despite these remains being identified as being those of Archibald Parsons. McIver and Leitch both claimed that when they viewed the remains, it bore number 23, but claimed that the number was later changed to 106. No satisfactory explanation was ever given by the authorities to explain these circumstances but they were satisfied that the remains in question were those of Archibald Parsons, despite the beliefs and protestations of John Glancy that they were the remains of his son.
As James Glancy’s body was never recovered and identified after the disaster, his name is embossed on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
1901 Census of Scotland, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, UniLiv. D/92/6/1, UniLiv D92/2/196, PRO BT 334.