Saturday, 30 April 2016


The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, Thursday 23 September, 1909. 

There is much doubt as to whether
the Waratah (now 52 days overdue)
was ever spoken after she left Durban.
The statement was made by an officer
of the Union Castle liner Guelph that he
sighted the Waratah on the evening of July 27

If ever there was a shadow cast over the Guelph account it must be this. The very officer who reported the now famous 'TAH' signal exchange, refuted his own account with the words, 'much doubt'. One wonders why he presented the information to the public if he had 'much doubt'. Perhaps he was encouraged to share his 'doubt', creating a lasting impression - Waratah was still on course at 9.50 pm, 27 July. 

What could be the purpose of such a 'doubtful' account ?

Much-needed time was bought in futile search for the missing steamer ? Protection of the Blue Anchor Line's image (storms were known to overwhelm sound steamers) ? Escaping culpability at a very sticky Inquiry ? General confusion which left the whole affair hanging without any chance of resolution ?

Check mate.

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