Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Waratah - Cotts; Browne; Hays; Nora Connolly and the Turner family

'Mr. Cotts was the head
of the firm of William Cotts & Co.,
shipping agent at Durban, and who were the
agents for the Waratah.'

'Great anxiety was felt in South Australia about
the fate of the Waratah, particularly in Mount 
Gambier where P.J. Browne (49) of the Moorak 
Estate came from and Victor Harbor where the 
Hays lived.'

Nora Connolly was the widow of a coal miner and was returning to Dublin with her daughter. She had wired $5,000 in savings prior to her departure.

The Turner family:

Mr and Mrs David Turner with their five children (3 - 14 years) and nursemaid, boarded the Waratah in Durban.

Mr Turner was a landing agent for Scottish Railways.

In one dreadful sweep of the playing board of fate, an entire family was wiped out with the Waratah.

Portrait of David Turner and a beautiful model of the SS Waratah


Stuart Flood said...

Just looking at that model in the photo it looks like the Waratah may have had a lower freeboard than the photos indicate.


Yes, I agree Stuart. The freeboard of the Waratah when she departed Durban was 8 ft 1 inch, which is relatively low, facilitating flooding of the deck (vulnerable cargo hatch). This is probably a further factor contributing to the speed with which the Waratah foundered. Thank you for raising this.