Sunday, 1 November 2015



Formal description of the ship. 

The "Waratah," Official Number 125741, was a twin screw steamship, built at Whiteinch in 1908, by Messrs. Barclay, Curle & Company, Limited, of that place. Her length was 465 feet, breadth 59.45 feet, and depth in hold from tonnage deck to ceiling at midships 35.05 feet. Her gross tonnage was 9,339.07, and registered tonnage 6,003.96. She was fitted with two sets of reciprocating compound quadruple expansion direct-acting vertical inverted engines, with five steel boilers having a working pressure of 215 lbs., and developing 548.4 nominal, 5,400 indicated, horse-power. Her speed was 13 knots. Engines and boilers were also by Messrs. Barclay, Curle. 

The "Waratah" was owned by the Blue Anchor Line, Limited, the managers being Messrs. William, Frederick William, and Albert Edward Lund. 

The Waratah was intended for big things, cargo being the all-important profit-making component of inter-Continental business. Her quadruple expansion engines were state of the art, but prone to excessive vibration and less economical than intended, but more importantly, relatively under powered compared with similarly sized vessels of the time. Would this be a factor in the Waratah's ultimate demise? Messrs. William (Wilhelm) and Albert Lund were not about to allow the Inquiry to sink them further than the loss of their flagship and the humiliation of selling off the Blue Anchor Line to the P&O Line.

Caxton Hall, venue for the inquiry, 1913. In this instance, suffragettes had taken centre stage.

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