Encyclopedia Titanica

Gilbert Rimmer

Gilbert Rimmer
Gilbert Rimmer

Mr Gilbert Rimmer was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in mid-1883.

He was the son of John Rimmer (b. 1844) and Alice Witter (b. 1848), natives of Scarisbrick and Halsall in Lancashire, respectively and they were married in 1866, producing eleven children, six of whom lived past infancy. 

Gilbert's siblings were: Thomas (b. 1867), William (b. 1869), John (b. 1871), Charles Wesley (b. 1875), Elizabeth (b. 1878), William (b. 1880), Alice Ann (b. 1880), Jane (b. 1882) and Elsie (b. 1891). An unnamed male child was stillborn in the closing months of 1868. 

Gilbert first appears on the 1891 census and at that time he and his family were living at 59 Rushton Street, Everton and his father was described as a casker (in a brewery house). They had relocated to 429 Scotland Road, Liverpool by the time of the 1901 census and Gilbert also appears to be working in a brewery at the time.

When he commenced a career at sea is not clear but Rimmer first appears on crew records in March 1903 when serving aboard Cedric as a steward; his stated address at the time was 429 Scotland Road and his previous ship was Germanic.

Gilbert was married in Liverpool on 15 April 1907 to Mary Elizabeth Adams (b. 26 November 1884 in Walton, Liverpool), daughter of stonemason Frederick William Adams and the former Mary Dunn. 

The couple subsequently moved to Southampton where their son Gilbert Edward Lingarde was born on 9 November 1908. The 1911 census shows Gilbert's wife and son living at 31 New Road, Southampton.

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 Rimmer gave his address as 50 Cranbury Avenue, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Oceanic and as a saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s. Also serving aboard was James Witter, perhaps a first cousin whose paternal family also originated in Halsall, Lancashire.

Gilbert Rimmer died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in The Hampshire Independent (unknown date):

RIMMER--Gilbert Rimmer, of 50, Cranbury Avenue, Southampton, who lost his life on s.s. Titanic, April 15th. Sadly missed by his sorrowing wife and child.

Gilbert's widow Mary was pregnant at the time of the disaster, giving birth to a son named Leslie Charles shortly after on 29 May 1912. 

Mary Rimmer never remarried and relocated north to Liverpool. She placed a memorial to her husband in the Liverpool Echo on 15 April 1914:

RIMMER--In loving memory of Gilbert, the beloved husband of Mary E. Rimmer, late of Cranbury Avenue, Southampton, who was lost at sea through the foundering of the steamer Titanic, April 15, 1912. (Deeply mourned by his loving wife and children).

By 1939 she was with her son Leslie at 2 Sudbury Road, Crosby with her son Leslie, then a cabin steward aboard RMS Samaria. Mary died on 24 February 1941 in Seaforth, Lancashire. 

Son Gilbert later worked as a general labourer and was married in 1933 to Margaret Patricia Palmer, with whom he raised a family. Gilbert died in Chester in January 1982 

Son Leslie, as mentioned above, also went to sea and married in 1943 to Joan Mills, with whom he raised a family. He died in Mold, Wales in February 2008 aged 95.

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)


Liverpool Echo (1912) Gilbert Rimmer
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Comment and discuss

  1. deethomas

    Thank you for this information as my grandmother was Gilbert's baby sister Elsie Elsie live till December 1976 Gilbert's youngest niece Jean died in 2006 and my self is his only great niece as far as I can see Thank you again

  2. Les Rimmer

    I am Gilbert's grandson. Living in Chester. I would like to make contact with my cousin Dorothy.

  3. Gary Reed

    Hello, I have recently discovered my Grandfather was Gilbert's brother in law. I live in London.

  4. deethomas

    I would love to contact les rimmer

  5. deethomas

    Hi Gary I happen to be Gilbert rimmers great niece as my nan was Gilbert's youngest sister Elsie

  6. Cam Houseman

    It is great to see this family reconnect

Reply Watch Thread

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Gilbert Rimmer
Age: 29 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Mary Elizabeth Adams
Last Residence: at 50 Cranbury Avenue Southampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Saloon Steward
Last Ship: Oceanic
Embarked: Southampton on Thursday 4th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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