A quick update....
The first install was done following the install instruction pdf in the TW8 zip file. Can I suggest that someone @ TW do a fresh install following this document. It is greatly in need of a quality review, there are a number of errors. In working around these errors I think that I created the issue above.
I've done a second install following the instructions here https://developer.thingworx.com/resources/guides/thingworx-8-installation/thingworx-8--installation-ubuntu. There is a single issue with these instructions in that the /usr/share/tomcat8 directory should have a owner of tomcat8:tomcat8. Once I fixed this ownership problem, I had a system that was fully functional.