William Glover obituary: Angus music tutor and transatlantic sailor

William Glover.
William Glover.

William Glover, a former music tutor in Angus who sailed solo across the Atlantic at the age of 72, has died aged 85.

He was born in Glasgow, the eldest of three sons born to Annie Clelland.

His early years were spent in Kirkcaldy and Coaltown of Wemyss where his grandparents lived and his schooling began.

It was in Coaltown of Wemyss where, as a youngster, he began playing cornet in the local colliery band, encouraged by members of his family who were also musical.

Career at sea

After initially training as a gardener, William joined the Royal Navy at the age of 18, going on to serve mainly on aircraft carriers until his departure from the service at the age of 37.

During his time in the navy, William developed his musical talent, performing in both formal Navy bands and jazz bands.

Towards the end of his service, William was posted to RNAS Condor, Arbroath, where he met his future wife, Sheena.


They married in August 1970 and went on to have two of a family, Joanne and Malcolm.

After leaving the navy, William Glover became a brass instruments instructor at schools in Angus, where he worked until his retiral.

Both William and Sheena were heavily involved in the musical and artistic life of both Arbroath and Angus for many years, including Arbroath Operatic Society and Angus Minstrels among others.


After retiring from his role as a music instructor, William dedicated much of his time to his two other loves: sailing and Dishland House.

His solo transatlantic voyage typified his gritty determination and resolve, coming as it did in his 73rd year, and after his first attempt ended with a mid-ocean fall on deck and rescue by the US Navy.

As the years went by, and he was less able to enjoy sailing, Willie spent many hours looking out to sea from his house on the hill.

Musical legacy

His son Malcolm said William had bequeathed a musical legacy to Arbroath and Angus.
“He composed, arranged and conducted music and was responsible for starting the careers of a number of professional musicians through his role as a brass instructor.

“More than one of these musicians have mentioned recently how much they appreciate what my dad did for them, remembering in particular his absolute commitment to making them the best musicians he could.”

You can read the family’s announcement here.

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Kirkcaldy – The Courier