they lost their lives on the SS WAIRARAPA - midnight 28 Oct 1894 :: Genealogy
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they lost their lives on the SS WAIRARAPA - midnight 28 Oct 1894

Journal by ngairedith

the ss WAIRARAPA sailed from Sydney at 6:00pm on Wednesday October 24th 1894. It sank at 8 minutes after midnight (morning of) October 29 1894 after striking Great Barrier Island outside Auckland
Because the ship's books and papers (passenger list) were lost nearly every site visited has a different number of deaths. This journal will endeavour to record them as accurately as intensive research allows. Your help would be welcome ...

The original list of all those drowned on the wreck of the ss WAIRARAPA on the night of 28 October 1894 was taken from the Otago Daily Times through Papers Past
- that article is very, very long and very informative about the tradgey and those that died

- another source of names was from SS Wairarapa Graves which also supplied these statistics, (bearing in mind that every source differs in the exact numbers on board and who died)

Male Crew, 17 died, 45 survived, total 62 - 72.6% survived
Female Crew, 3 died, 0 survived, total 3 - 0% survived
- 20 died, 45 survived, total 65 69.2% survived
Woman & Children 54 died, 18 survived, total 72 - 25% survived
Male passengers 51 died, 62 survived, total 113 - 54.9% survived
- 105 died, 80 survived, total 185 - 43.2% survived
Total = 125 died, 125 survived, total 250 - 50% survived

Statements by Survivors

I have put the names in surname alphabetical order for easier reference
many names and/or ages have been difficult to find as many of the passengers were from Australia. Your help to complete this list would be appreciated ..

* Miss Chris Arkle age ?, Christchurch
- Daughter of Mr James Arkle, (Mayor) of Eblana Bank, Palmerston
- Sister in law of Mr Hubbard, bookkeeper at Fletcher, Humphreys & Co.
- Returning from holiday in Australia. Saloon passenger
- Drowned in an attempt to get ashore

Mr James Bailey age ?, Livingstone, North Otago

Mr Baker aged ? - death not veified

Henry Thomas Baldwin age 3, Wellington
Sydney Jesse Baldwin age 85, Wellington
* Mrs H Baldwin age ? Wellington

* Miss Barton, aged ?

Mr J Beregar age ? ex Prinz Regent Luitpold for Wellington
- From Germany, steerage passenger

* Mrs Begg, a daughter of the late Mr North of Portobello and sister of Mr H. North, farmer of Omimi

Mr George Bird age ?, Wellington
* Mrs Bird age ?

Mr J. A. or J. E. Bowker age ?, Daylesford Victoria

Mr Arthur Bray age ?, Sydney
Asher Bray age 24

Mr G Bromwell age ?, Napier

Pascoe Brown aged 6,
William Foster Brown aged 8
Mr George Brown age ?
* Jane Brown aged 62
* Sarah Brown aged 28
(1 of these was Mrs Foster Brown, Auckland)

Patrick Burke age 41-45, Crew, Sailor
- a married man living in Main Rd, Woodhaugh

* Miss E Burton age ?, Sydney

Mr T Butler age ?, Napier
* Mrs Butler age ?, Napier

Mr George Chick age ? Port Chalmers. Well known licensee of Chick's Hotel. Body may not have been found. Brother in law of Mr Warry who also perished

Mr G. Clark/Clarke age ?, Napier

Mr James Cooper aged 34-40, Crew, Trimmer
- born in England, lived in Melbourne. Unmarried

Mr Albert Courtney/Courtenay age 21
* Mrs Ellen Courtney/Courtenay (nee Evans), Albert's wife age ?
Albert Thomas George Courtenay age 11 weeks
- big thank you to travelnut for names & ages (see comments below)

Mr John Cree age ?, Oamaru

Mr Richard Croucher aged 32, Crew, Steward
- married man of Auckland

* Elizabeth Clara Crowther aged 7 months
* Sylvia Fredericka Crowther aged 3
* Laura Maud Crowther aged 7
Mr Frederick Crowther aged 35
* Mrs Laura Elizabeth Crowther aged 27

Mr T or J Davis age ?, ex German steamer

Mr John Dean age ?

Mr Mark Dickson age ?, ex Austral, Edinburgh

Mr J. Donovan age ?, Geelong

Mr David Dryborough age ?, Sydney

Mr Stephen Dunckley age 53, drysalter, Essendon, Melbourne

Mr Frederick Ellis age ? - death not verified

* Laura Flavell age 27, Captain Salvation Army, Christchurch

* Mrs J. M. Fyfe age ? Dunedin
- wife of Mr ?. M. Fyfe of the firm Fyfe and Cuming, drapers
- resided in Queen St, Dunedin she left in the Mararoa 12 Sep
Infant Fyfe age ? Dunedin

* Miss Annie Glen age ?, Sydney

Mr A. Gordon age ? ex Austral

* Miss Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Grindrod age 34, Crew, Stewardess
- single woman of Melbourne. FOrmerly with the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Company

Mr Thomas or G Hastie age ?, North Otago

Mr P Heavey age ? - death not verified

Mr Charles Walter Hill age 36, of Wallace & Co, Chemists, Christchurch
* Mrs Sarah Hannah Hill age 37, Christchurch

* Mrs H Hollis age ?, Adelaide

Mr Arthur Holmes age 24, Crew, Assistant Forecabin Steward
- born in London, unmarried and lived in Clarendon St, Dunedin

Reverend Mr Hotcke age ? Lutheran missionary, Minyip Victoria

Mr T. C. or J. C. Howland age ?, Livingstone, North Otago

Mr W Johnstone age ?, ex RMS Austral

Mr Elias Jones age 22, Crew, Fireman
- unmarried son of Elias Jones who lived between Warrington and Omimi

Mr William Henry Judd aged about 50, Crew, Chief Steward
- he was the oldest steward on the books of the Union Company whom he joined in January 1876. Prior to this he was the chief steward of the steamers Albion and Hero and for about 9 years he was providoring for Mr D. Gibson of Melbourne

* Miss H. Keen age ? - death not verified

Mr Andrew Kelly age ?, Dunedin

* Miss Daisy Knight age ?, Wellington, niece of the Chief Justice, returning from a lengthy visit to Australia

Mr J. F. 'Fred' Leighton age ?, was returning home after 4 years

* Mary Emma Levesque (nee Wilcock) age 27. Geelong. Married James Daniel Levesque (scroll to end at that link)

Mr J. Lewis age ?, a butcher in Hope St Dunedin. Left a wife and family

Mr G. Lyon age ?, Napier

Mr J. L Mackay age ?

Mr W. Denniston Manderson age ? West Coast

* Mrs Archibald Manderson age ?, Sydney, NSW

* Mrs C. W. Martin age ? by the Prinz Regen Luitpold (German Mail Steamer) to Australia

Mr George McDonald age 16, Crew, Deck Boy
- brother of James below
- they lived with their widowed mother at the corner of Cumberland and Dundas St Dunedin

Mr James McDonald age 15, Crew, Brass Boy/Saloon Boy
- brother of George McDonald above

* Mrs Charlotte McDonald age 34, Crew, Stewardess
- a widow living in Port Chalmers. She had 4 children dependent on her. Her husband had been employed by the Union Company as a shore hand

Mr Robert OR John McGee age 33, Crew, Trimmer
- unmarried, lived in Sydney

Mr John McIntosh age 40, Crew, the Captain.
- As the bridge gave way he dived into the sea with a woman and neither was seen again

Rev Seraphim McIvor C.P. age ?, Hobart

Mr Joseph/James McKenzie age 50, Leeds, England

Mr Charles McKinnon age ?, East Strathbourne, Victoria

Mr Allan James McLean aged about 25 Crew, Steward
- single man, he was a native of Victoria and was a new man in the service of the Union Steam Ship Company

Mr John McLeod age 37, Crew, Sailor
- married man with 3 children
- lived in the Wairarapa since 1890
- lived at the Glen, Mornington
Mr Duncan McMillan age 25, Waikouaiti

* Miss Annie McQuaid age 27, Crew, Assistant Stewardess
- single woman, daughter of Mr R. MacQuaid, poulterer of George St Dunedin

Mr James Melicie age ?, Naples, ex Austral

Mr Charles Alfred Merrill age 27, Crew, Trimmer
- married man His wife & child lived in Melbourne
- former jockey

Mr A. Mills age ?, Te Aroha

Mr Hugh Monaghan aged 36-41, Crew, Baker
- single man. Baker

* Miss Agnes Morse Pitches age ?, bound for Southland, ex German steamer

Mr Edward Pratt age 26, Crew, Lamp Trimmer
- single man. He lived in Dunedin

* Mrs Jane Rayward age 30, Christchurch
* Dorothy Rayward age 2, Christchurch
* Gwendolin Rayward age 6 months, Christchurch

* Miss Read age ? ex RMS Austral for Wellington

* Mrs Rhodes age ?, Cairns, Queensland
Infant Rhodes age ?, Cairns, Queensland

* Mrs Rosmergy age ?, New Plymouth
* Miss Rosmergy age ? New Plymouth
* Miss Rosmergy age ? New Plymouth

* Mary Ann Stewart Rowbotham age 45. Sydney

Mr Leslie Runting age ?, Melbourne

* Mrs T (Louisa) Ryan (nee Smith) age 28, Port Chalmers. Daughter of Mrs Nicolas (Mary) Smith below. Louisa married Thomas Ryan, a Fireman on board, a few months before

Mr William Scoular age 64
- head of the firm of W. Scoular and Co., of Jetty St, Dunedin & his wife and two daughters
- played the violin and was a performing member of the Dunedin Orchestral Society
* Mrs Fanny Mary Scoular age 48, Dunedin
* Fanny Scoular age 17, Dunedin both her & Nellie were educated at the Girls High
* Nellie Scoular age 19, Dunedin

Mr Andrew Sherry, otherwise J Donovan age ?, Geelong Victoria

Mr Walter Simpson age 35, Crew, Sailor
- single man. A native of Scotland

Mr W. H. Sinclair age ?

* Mrs Skewes age ?, Napier. Husband survived
Child Skewes age ?, Napier
Child Skewes age ?, Napier
Child Skewes age ?, Napier

* Mrs M (Amelia) Smith age ?, Auckland, ex RMS Austral, wife of a well known civil servant

* Mrs Nicholas (Mary) Smith (nee Coleman) age 52, Port Chalmers
- Mother of Mrs T Ryan above. Mary was born in 1842 at Boyle, County Roscommon IRL, the daughter of Dominic COLEMAN and Mary McHUGH, she arrived at Port Chalmers on the GANANOQUE in 1863.
- She married Nicholas Smith at Dunedin in 1864

Mr Joe Some age ?

Mr Thomas Spencer age 68, Auckland

Mr William Stanley age ? Geelong Victoria

* Mrs C or D Stewart age ?, Launceston, Tasmania

Mr E Stuckey age ?, England, ex RMS Austral

* Miss Sullivan age ?, Hunter Hill, Sydney

Mr J. Talbot age ?, Victoria

Mr Tarabochia age ?, Naples, ex Austral. Master Tarahochia survived

* Mrs G. Tuckworth age ?, Wellington
Child Tuckworth age ?, Wellington

Mr Henry Vear age 42, Crew, Chief Cook

Mr F. Veneke age not recorded

* Mrs Eliza Vorbach (nee Schild) age 70, Victoria, Australia for Blenheim
full name was Elizabetha Margretha, born in Germany 1894
- big thank you to leebear for more info (see comments below)

Mr Chan Wong age not recorded

Mr William Warry age ?, Port Chalmers
- brother in law of George Chick. Buried in Port Chalmers

* Mrs Hephzibah Waterhouse age 41, Dungong, NSW
* Hephzibah Marguerite Lawry Waterhouse age 3, Dungong, NSW

Mr West age ?, booked for Port Chalmers
* Mrs West age ?, booked for Port Chalmers
Master West age ?, booked for Port Chalmers
Master West age ?, booked for Port Chalmers

Mr William Whaley age 45, Camberwell, Victoria

Frank Carlton White age 33, Ballarat, Victoira. Shared a cabin with JC White below

Mr James Charles White age 85, from Jondaryan Queensland, had been in NZ for 66 years

* Miss Sarah Williams aged 20, Auckland, became tangled in the line which was made from the foremast rigging in an attempt to get people ashore

Mr Willis age ?, former shop assistant at Wallace & Co Chemist Christchurch. Had been in Australia for medical treatment for varicose veins

Harry Year, cook. He was a resident of Auckland and joined the steamer from there. He had previously been cook on the Moa and Takapuna

the SS WAIRARAPA from Wikipedia
the book the Wreck of the S.S. Wairarapa
the book on trademe as at October 2010 Eight Minutes Past Midnight

by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2010-10-23 06:13:16

ngairedith has been a Family Tree Circles member since Feb 2008.

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by ngairedith on 2011-09-10 02:20:29

updated - adding ages and other info as found

if you can help please leave a comment

by leebear on 2013-11-28 22:31:12

I would like to help verify two people on board -Mrs Eliza Vorbach, Annie Hauser - I believe they may have been three in the travelling party (a male but this is unconfirmed).

"Mrs Eliza Vorbach age 70, Victoria, Australia for Blenheim" - was my great grandmother (full name was Elizabetha Margretha Schild born 1894 in Germany - married name was Eliza Vorbach) and so I can verify these details are correct.
She was travelling from Victoria to visit her eldest son John in New Zealand and was travelling with her Grand-daughter Annie Hauser nee Vorbach aged 18 years old - eldest daughter of Sophia and John ( who also lived in Victoria) Annie survived the wreck.

Eliza Vorbach's body was returned to Victoria and her gravestone can be still be seen in the Daylesford Cemetery there with details of the wreckage noted. When I was a young girl I remember my father telling the story of her drowning - a sad story but telling story of the dangers of navigation from Australia to New Zealand at the time. regards Leonie Sinclair nee Barron

by leebear on 2013-11-29 17:11:40

Apologies It was Miss Annie Hauser Who accompanied her

by ngairedith on 2013-11-29 17:20:20

thank you so much Leonie, this is great info.
So many people were lost unknown, unsung. It would be good to be able to add to all of them as you have

by travelnut on 2014-04-15 03:09:19

I've just discovered your journal while researching the shipwreck. You've listed Mr Courtney and Mrs Courtney with a question mark by their ages - I can help! Albert Courtney (Courtenay) and his wife Ellen (nee Evans) were my paternal great-great-uncle and aunty; Albert was almost 22, age unknown for Ellen sorry, also travelling with them was their 11-week-old baby boy Albert Thomas George Courtenay. Their bodies were never recovered. Plenty more information available on my Courtenay family tree for people interested.

by travelnut on 2014-04-15 17:45:50

Glad to have been of assistance, will let you know if and when I find out wife Ellen's age by the way. Our family name has been recorded in some places as Courtney but the correct spelling is Courtenay. I'm only up to page 2 on my Google search for writings about the SS Wairarapa, looking forward to continuing on the next rainy day! Baby Albert is mostly mentioned in the passenger lists but is missed out a couple of times.

by twhite1706 on 2016-07-02 18:15:46

Mrs H Hollis is an ancestor of mine

Name: Mrs Harriet Hollis nee Bennett
Age: 67
Originally from Clayworth, Nottinghamshire, England

by genealogiadavini on 2016-08-27 10:50:40

hi, where you found the info about Smith passengers? i'm interested to find any info about Nicholas

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