Thursday, 21 November 2013


Daily Observer

Flagship Steamer - Waratah:

“Although mainly British, there was an international flavour to the ship’s crew of 119. In the complement of firemen, trimmers, greasers, cooks, stewards and able seamen were five Germans, five Swedes and one Frenchman. The youngest crewman was 16-year-old cabin boy Fred Trott. There were only two stewardesses on board: 40-year-old Emma Swan and 35-year-old Sarah Whitehorn,”

“At Durban, the Turner family, with five children ages three to 14 and a nursemaid, joined the growing passenger list. David Turner was a landing agent for Scottish railways."

“The human manifest also included Dr. J.T. Carrick, the famous biologist who discovered gold in the Orange Free State; Neil Walter Black, a young man from Victoria who was planning to propose to a lady he had been courting; Nora Connolly, the widow of a coal miner who was returning to Dublin with her daughter and $5,000 in savings; Alf Clarke, a world champion wood chopper [from Tasmania]; Ernest Page, a travelling showman and hypnotist; and Charles Taylor, a renowned miner from Sydney heading to Europe with his wife and two children.”

"After her launch the Waratah’s maiden voyage from London to Adelaide started on 6 November 1908 and arrived in Adelaide on 15 December and at Sydney on Christmas Eve 1908. She was back in London on 7 March 1909 without any incidents although it was said that she had run aground at Kangaroo Island."

"Without any delay she was loaded again and started her second trip for Australia on 27 April with cargo and nearly 200 passengers, arriving in Adelaide on 6 June. After visiting Melbourne and Sydney she was back at Port Adelaide on 2 July."

"In Adelaide she took on 300 tons of lead concentrates and a large quantity of refrigerated meat and boxes of butter and grain, a total of 6,665 tons as well as 82 passengers."

This one sentence yielded so much information. First of all the Inquiry came to the conclusion that Waratah carried about 6250 tons of cargo - TOTAL. However, the truth revealed here does not include cargo from both Sydney and Melbourne. Stevedores at Adelaide referred to the Waratah departing that port with about 9000 tons of cargo, which is far closer to the truth. The Waratah had a pre-existing or acquired 1000 tons of lead concentrates, primarily used as dead weight ballast. The additional 300 tons took the total figure to 1300 tons. It was quoted at the Inquiry that Waratah took on 970 tons of lead concentrates at Adelaide, but my personal feeling is that this referred to the inbound voyage and was kept outbound.

"Among the passengers boarding in Adelaide were M. Morgan, Mrs H.H. Carwood, J. McNaught, A. Brookes and E.J. Waters and family. All were going to Durban."

"Going to Cape Town were Col. P.J. Browne, Miss Lees and her maid."

"Among those going ‘home’ to England were Mrs Agnes Hay, nee Gosse and her daughter H. (Dolly) Hay, Miss Jones, Mr and Mrs Waters and child and R. Lowenthal. There were also many passengers from Melbourne and Sydney."

"Before sailing Captain Ilbery had taken on several new crew members. Among those from Adelaide were F.H. Benson, A. Barr, H. Taylor, W. McKiernan, F. Sterne and James Costello."

"After leaving Adelaide on 7 July she arrived a day ahead of schedule in Durban on 25 July. Here she unloaded some of her cargo before proceeding to Cape Town to take on more passengers and coal for the remainder of the voyage."

"As late as January 1911 the Waratah Board of Inquiry examined Sir William White who stated that the ship was first class in every aspect."



John Fuller said...

What an amazing photograph this is. Note the hilarity of the couple on the right who have swapped hats. Any chance the source information could be posted?


Hi John.

Glad you enjoyed it. This photo and others can be found at:

"on the Water - Liners to America"