Monday, 20 January 2014

Waratah - "A voice from the grave".

"A Voice From the Grave."

"W. Gosse, whose mother and sister were
passengers on the Waratah when she was
lost, quoted the following passages from a
letter posted by his mother in Durban:- .

"Nothing can exceed the comfort of this
steamer, both as regards her cabins and
her build, and also the attention of the
captain and all the attendants on board. . ."

"She is certainly a splendid steamer. ."

"We had, as usual, some stiff blows, which came
to a climax when rounding the Leeuwin."

"The captain said he was sure the mail boat
would make much worse weather than we

Mrs Gosse Hay was a frequent passenger on steamships from Australia to England.  She wrote from experience and was in a position to compare the Waratah with other vessels. This letter places Mrs Hay in a rare category where her comments were not influenced 'after the fact'. She had nothing to gain or lose by endorsing the Waratah. The fact that she gave the Waratah an excellent review suggests the negative witness accounts presented at the Board of Trade Inquiry were highly exaggerated.

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