John Hepburn Brown

Master John Hepburn Brown
None known
regimentMercantile Marine
JH Brown seems to have spent his whole working life at sea, first of all on sailing ships before transferring to steam. The first record for him shows that by 1889 he had already obtained his 3rd Mates’ Certificate and during the 1890s he passed the exams for his 2nd and 1st Mates’ Certificates and finally his Masters’ Certificate in 1897. During these years he sailed mainly on 4-masted barques which were used as long distance cargo ships sailing to Australia, New Zealand and South America. Brown joined the Donaldson line in 1900 and by 1913 he was Master of their steam ship Marina which he commanded until his death in 1916. In January 1914 he was instrumental in saving the 13 members of the crew of the five-masted American schooner Fuller Palmer 154 miles southeast of Cape Cod. In recognition of this he was awarded a gold watch and chain by the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson.
10th December 1869 Pittenweem, Fife
Death28th October 1916
Drowned in the aftermath of the torpedoing of SS Marina by German submarine U-55 30 miles west from Fastnet. It was reported by eyewitnesses that, after seeing the surviving crew safely into boats, Brown jumped for a boat, missed, and was drowned. The Marina was on passage from Glasgow to Baltimore with a cargo of 50 American horses and 49 American grooms. 18 men were lost out of a total of 104 onboard including 6 Americans. In 1917 when the United States entered the war against Germany, the loss of American citizens to hostile action by German submarines was one reason for this.
MemorialTower Hill Memorial
William Brown (c1836-1914) & Ann Hepburn (c1840-) mar. 1867
Joiner & carpenter; Town Councillor
William (1867-), Robert (1871-), Thomas (c1876-), George (1880-1923)
Ann W Brown (c1873-), mar. 1906 Glasgow
Not known
Merchant Navy
Charles Street, Pittenweem, Fife
Charles Street, Pittenweem, Fife
At sea
Not known
49 Clifford Street, Ibrox – wife only at home, JH Brown at sea?
49 Clifford Street, Ibrox
Glasgow NecropolisCompartment Sextus Lair 336
Scottish National War Memorial
Member of St Adrian’s Freemason Lodge (as was his father) Will date 23rd April 1914 at Glasgow
Acknowledgements and SourcesMuch of the information on which this profile is based is drawn from various internet sources which are listed below.  The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis also wish to make full acknowledgement and thanks for the permitted use of any information or images generously supplied specifically for exhibition, publication or display in connection with The Roll of Honour and accompanying profiles to Ancestry, and Find my past. Commonwealth War Graves Commission Family Search Scotlands People The Scottish War Memorials Project Various newspaper reports.


Compiled by Morag Fyfe, Historical and Genealogical Researcher for The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis.

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