The Roemmele family

One of our early members was Carl Hugo Roemmele, an iron merchant from Germany who settled in Glasgow to run a business and raise his family.

Carl Hugo Roemmele was originally from Germany, born in either Baden or Heidelberg in 1851. According to a family geneaologist his father was Johann Michael Roemmele, born 1814 in Zinsheim, and his mother was Amalia Luisa Reinholt.

Carl Hugo settled in Glasgow in the 1870s, working as an iron merchant clerk. He became a naturalised British subject on 5 February 1877 when he was living at 184 St George’s Road, Glasgow. By that time he had been resident in the UK for at least five years and was described as an iron merchant.

In the 1881 census he was lodging in Milton, Lanarkshire., and his occupation was iron merchant clerk. The head of the household was a woman called Jane Turner (50). Her brother George Newbigging (56) who was a gold beater, lived there. And the other lodger was a Julius Roemmele, aged 20, who was a mechanical engineer, born in Baden, Germany. Presumably he was a relative of Carl Hugo.

In 1882 and 1883 he was registered to vote at his lodgings at 266 St George’s Road and is described as a clerk, then as a merchant.

The iron merchant business

In 1887 Carl Hugo Roemmele and Alexander Hurll took over an iron and commission merchant company called Reichman and Co., buying it from the sole partner Emil Clauss.

There’s lot more information about the origins of Reichmann and Co and about Alexander Hurll on the Scottish Brick History website.

In 1890 the business premises are listed at 22 Royal Exchange Square.

In the 1904/05 Electoral Register, the business details are given as Carl H Roemmele and Alexander Hurll, both at 24 St Vincent Street, Iron merchants. They are joint-tenants and joint-occupants of the property. Hurll’s homes address is Altadore, Bearsden.

In the 1911/12 Post Office Directory Reichmann & Co – iron and steel merchants, iron brokers, coal exporters – is at 142 Queen Street. Julius Roemmele also makes a return appearance with a business related to patent key way gauges and patent grooved keys which is also based at 142 Queen Street. Reichmann and Co is still there in 1914.

The family and the Baths

On 31 January 1884 Carl married Emilia Elisabeth Bost.

Emelia was born in Govan in Glasgow on 31 March 1858. Her father was Jean Francois Ami Bost and her mother was Mary Elizabeth Cave. They were married in August 1849. In 1851 census, the details for Ami Bost were that he had been born in about 1819 in Geneva and was an iron broker living at 58 Rose Street in Glasgow. The couple had a child of 10 months called Helen Mary Bost. Also at the address was his brother Timothy Bost, a clerk aged 20, and his Mary’s sister Henrietta Mary Cave, aged 23, as well as a domestic servant and a nursery maid. By 1861 the family had moved to Old Kilpatrick and Ami is a naturalised British subject. By then they had another three children: Francis C (4), Emelia E (3), and John D (1).

In 1890 Carl Hugo Roemmele’s home address is Lillieslea, Lenzie. Then in 1896, according to the West End Addresses website, Carl Hugo moved to 34 Kelvinside Gardens North. This address was a house called Daisybank, where Carl, Emilia and their family lived for almost 30 years.

The 1901 census lists the residents as:

  • Carl H Roemmele, 50, Born 1851, Germany, N[aturalised] Brit[ish] Subj[ect], Iron and Coal Exporter
  • Emilia E Roemmele, 43, born 1858, Glasgow,
  • Alfred Roemmele, Son, Male, 13, born 1888, Glasgow, Scholar
  • Harold Roemmele, Son, Male , 10, born 1891, Lenzie, Dunbartonshire, Scholar
  • Max Roemmele, Son, Male, 9, born 1892, Lenzie, Dunbartonshire, Scholar
  • Mary McDonald, servant, 26, born 1875, Invernesshire, Cook Domestic
  • Isabella Hay, servant, 25, born 1876, Morebattle, Roxburghshire, Table Maid Domestic

Though he isn’t listed on the census there was also an older brother called Hermann, who we think was born around 1890 or 1891, and was a probably a student at this time.

C. H. Roemelle, Arlington Baths Membership List 1889-1894 (Glasgow City Archives TD965/64)

C.H. Roemmele is listed as a Life Member – without a membership number – in the Arlington Baths Membership List 1889-1894.

Interestingly , also in the 1889 Life members list with number 132, is Timothy Bost of Lynedoch Street, who may have been Emilia’s uncle or another relative. In the 1891/92 Lady members list is Helen Bost, of 34 Lynedoch Street, who is presumably Emilia’s older sister.

Carl Hugo is still listed as a Life member in the 1914 membership book (Glasgow City Archives TD965/75), as well as the 1915 membership book (TD965/76) and 1916 book (TD965/77).

His sons also joined the Arlington Baths. Harold and Max were both proposed for supernumerary membership by their father in September 1900, when they were nine and eight years old. In September 1902, Hermann – a student – was a supernumerary member but by March 1903 he was old enough to join as an adult.

The First World War and after

Hermann and Max both served in the First World War. Max joined the 4th Cameron Highanders.

Max Roemmele in uniform, published in Steel and Tartan.

“He joined the 4th Cameron Highanders as a Private Number 2223, in September 1914. He travelled to France on 19 February 1915 attached to A Company and was commissioned on 25 February, joining B company before the Battle of Festubert. He served with distinction throughout 1915 and was Mentioned in Dispatches on 1 January 1916. H transferred to Number 1 Entrenching Battalion on 12 March and to the 1st Cameron Highlanders on 27 April, joining them in the field on 15 July and being posted to A  Company.”

Steel and Tartan: The 4th Cameron Highlanders in the Great War, Patrick Watt, 2012, pg 203

By 1918, the electoral roll for 34 Kelvinside Gardens lists the voters there as:

  • Carl H Roemmele, merchant,
  • Mrs Emilia E Roemmele
  • Harold A Roemmele, clerk
  • Bertha Roemmele
  • Hermann A Roemmele, soldier (absent)
  • Max A Rommele, soldier (absent)

Unfortunately, it’s a mystery as to who Bertha is.

The next year CH Rommele (sic) is registered at the business address at 22 Royal Exchange Square that he had used in back in 1890. Whether he had kept an office there all this time, or had moved back, isn’t known. There are also three other families registered there, one of which is his business partner Alexander Hurll and a Mrs Annelia Hurll, who presumably is his wife. Carl Hugo, Emilia and the Hurlls are also registered there in 1923, with Max and Harold Roemmele registered at number 28 Royal Exchange Square.

Carl Hugh Roemmele died on 17 June 1927. In the probate notice, the confirmation of death is given by Harold Ami Roemmele, his son, and Alexander Hurll, merchants, Charles Kirkwood, estate agent, Donald Campbell Fletcher, bank agent, and John Hurll, writer [lawyer].

Alexander Hurll died in 1929 and Reichmann and Co was then carried on by a Robert Alexander Wilson from 78 St Vincent Street, Glasgow.

The family then moved from Daisybank, and in the 1932 electoral roll Mrs Emilia Roemmele, Hermann H Roemmele and Max A Roemmele are registered at 5 Parkgrove Terrace.

In the early 1930s Hermann Michael Roemmele was living with his mother and brother Max, at 5 Parkgrove Terrace. In the 1936 electoral roll he is resident at 65 West Regent Street with his wife Margery. He had established a chemical merchants company called H. M. Roemmele & Co. based at 65 west Regent Street. By 1948 he was living by himself at 86 Downahill Street, and he died on 10 January 1949. But his company was still in existence in the early 1970s.

In 1918 Harold Ami Roemelle was a clerk, living at 34 Kelvinside Gardens. In September 1919 he went to New York, USA, on the Elysia of the Anchor Line, returning in October on the Columbia of the Canadian Pacific Line. He is described as a merchant. According to the family headstone he married Catherine Jane Mearns, born in Aboyne on 11 Oct 1895. In 1925 he was in London, with a business address at 47 Victoria Gardens in Westminster and a home address in 12 Stanhope Gardens, SW. Catherine died in May 1961 and Harold died on 2 May 1976.

Max and Harold went into business together, setting up a building materials merchants called Roemmele, Webb and Co. The Glasgow address for the company was it was listed at 113 South Douglas Street. The 1935 electoral roll for that address lists Harold and Catherine, and Max and his wife Barbara. The company also had a yard in Leith, Edinburgh, which sold cement and artificial stone.

Max Alexander Roemmele, lived in Kessington Road, Bearsden. He died on 6 August 1952 and was survived by his wife Barbara.

Alfred Hugo Roemmele (born 21 June 1887) became a doctor, graduating from Glasgow University with his medical degree in 1909 and was registered in the UK and Ireland Medical Directory 1910 at his family’s address ay 34 Kelvinside Gardens. He died in Limavady, County Londonderry in Northern Ireland, in on 6 January 1963, survived by his wife Mary Miller Crockett, and son Peter Michael Roemmele.

Emilia died on 18 February 1953, at the age of 94. She is buried with her husband and sons, and her daughter-in-law Catherine, in the Western Necropolis in Glasgow.

Researcher: Lucy Janes

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