Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Waratah - an eye witness John McMillan wrote..

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)  Previous issue Saturday 21 June 1947

"The Waratah Mystery Is Still Unsolved"

"Of all the strange disappearances
of ships at sea none has left
a deeper and more lasting impression
than that of the Waratah."

"Through her story runs a vein of
intangibility; an indefinable thread
of mystery."

"One day in June, 1909, I stood
with my parents on the balcony of
our Randwick home watching a new
steamer whose launching and fitting
out had been completed only the year
before. She was steaming past Coogee,
bound south."

"We who watched realised as little
as those who had seen her leave her
berth at Miller's Point that this was
the beginning of a voyage which was
to end long before it could be completed;
to end abruptly in strange and
terrible tragedy."

"The Waratah was a twin-screw passenger
and cargo steamer built on the
Clyde by Barclay Curle and Co. for
Lund's Blue Anchor Line."

"She was completed in October, 1908, and,
save for the absence of radio was up-
to-date in her equipment and classified
"100 Al" after inspection by the
Board of Trade and Lloyds."

"Commanded by Captain Ilbery,
commodore of the fleet, she made
her maiden round voyage from London
to Australian ports via the Cape
of Good Hope, and on April 27,1909,
she left London again."

"In late June the Waratah sailed from Sydney homeward
bound for the second time and
called at Melbourne and Adelaide."

"Adelaide was her last Australian port,
and she cleared there on July 7."

"On July 25 she arrived at Durban,
and after coaling she sailed again
on the following day with 92 passengers
and a total loading of a little
over 10,000 tons."

Again a larger figure quoted cf. Inquiry - 6400 tons.

"The last conclusive message to be
read from the Waratah was in
conversation by signal with the Clan
Macintyre, a smaller steamer, which
she overhauled and passed early on
the morning of the 27th."

to be continued....



Coogee Bay - Charles Conder



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