Thursday, 23 January 2014

Waratah - John McMillan continued...

"What ship?" asked Clan MaCintyre.

"Waratah for London."

"Clan Macintyre for London. What
weather did you have from Australia?"

"Strong south-westerly to southerly
winds across."

"Thanks," returned Clan Macintyre.

"Good-bye. Pleasant passage."

"Thanks. Same to you. Good-bye."

"Later that day the Clan MaCintyre
was pitching in a heavy head sea with
a strong gale from the south-west
which, however, moderated in the evening,
when the wind shifted into the

"But the weather on the
27th was the precursor of something
even worse. On the 28th the wind
blew with hurricane force and when
ships which, had left Durban after the
Waratah and set a similar course arrived
at Cape Town they were unable
to give any news of her."

"Even now my thoughts travel back
to the reactions of the Sydney public;
to the theories and imaginings of
"the man in the street"; to the negative Press reports
from the first stirring
of uneasiness to the final flickering of
the last glimmer of hope and
the abandoning of the searches after
thousands of miles of sea had been

"The Board of Trade inquiry was
held in London, and it occupied two

"That it did not open until December 16, 1910,
nearly eighteen months after the disaster,
is explained by the difficulty of producing evidence owing
to the absence of survivors."

"Many of the witnesses were ex-members of
the ship's company, others went from
Australia or South Africa."

"The Court delivered its finding on
February 23, 1911, and its main conclusions were:

"The ship was lost in a gale of exceptional violence,
the first great storm she had encountered, and the
vessel capsized."

to be continued.....

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