NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
THE SINKING OF THE SS TASMANIA
OFF TABLE CAPE, MAHIA PENINSULA
THURSDAY 29 JULY 1897
The SS Tasmania foundered off Table Cape, Mahia Peninsula late on the night of the 29 July 1897 after striking a rock off the peninsula. She was sailing from Gisborne to Napier into a southerly gale. The four lifeboats and two smaller boats were successfully launched and heade for Whangawehi.
Two of the larger boats landed safely at Mahia and two also made it to Gisborne. However the two smaller boats attempted to land at Muriwai and were overturned with 11 deaths.
Oneof the passengers was Isadore Jonah Rothschild, a jewellery merchant. He survived the wreck but a suitcase filled with jewellery went down with the ship. In the 1970s this was salvaged by Kelly Tarlton though they, valued at over $300,000 were later stolen.
From the Evening Post, Volume LIV, Issue 26, 30 July 1897, Page 6
These were the 68 persons at at Ormond's Station at Mahia as follows: -
Crew - Wilcox, first officer; McGrath, third officer; Abbott, second engineer; Breddy fourth engineer; S. Knowles, purser; C. Betts, second steward; Olsen, Nelson, Munster, and Croll, A.B.s; G. B. Clifton and W. Clifton, firemen; J: Thorp, boilermaker; Skinner, second cook; Hunter, McLeod, McBride, three stewardesses Maxwell, Brees, D. Crome, Keene, four stewards; Steward and Down, firemen.
Passengers— Mesdames Bayliff, Smith, Milne, and Pearce, Messrs. Milne, Parson, Rothschild, Moss, Emming, Cosdail, Lamborne, F. Ellis, Matuschka, Bodin, A. Bonor, F Phillips, Antoin, Timoni, A. George, Ayden, Mesdames Jamieson, Peters and child, Muir, R. Brown and two children, Mrs. George and child, Misses Nellie Smith, Maudie Davies, Stark, and G. Gregory, Mrs. W. Hastie, Mrs. Robert Wilson, Miss Locke, Miss J. Gibbons, Mrs. Bedgood, Miss Baker, J. Brewer, J. Syrnan, B. Creagh, H. Iverney, R. J. Wilson, Miss Emy Thomson, G. Grose, L. Rickard.
The following are the eleven deaths from the sinking of the Tasmania.
|ALDERTON||M A H (Alex)||30 years||Whangarei|
|BALLARD *||Harry||35 years||Rio de Janiero|
|CONWAY *||Thomas||25 years||Dunedin|
|McGUIRE *||William||21 years||Yorkshire|
|McNELLIE *||John||30 years||Southampton|
|WOODS *||Alexander||30 years||Dumbarton, Scotland|
* buried at Makara Cemetery, Gisborne.
A headstone at Makara Cemetery reads: -
In memory of Chas. Henderson, Sydney; J Lohan, Melbourne; N E Robertson, London; Harry Ballard, Rio De Janiero; Thomas Conroy [sic], Dunedin; J W McGuire, Yorkshire; W Dymock, London; A Wood, Dumbarton; Bidmeade, Christchurch; J McNellie, Southampton; M A H Alderton, passenger, Whangarei; who lost their lives by the wreck of the S.S Tasmania which left Gisborne Roadstead on the night of Thursday 29 July 1897 and became a total wreck near Table Cape. 148 souls were on board, 137 were saved, 11 were drowned. Erected by the Colonial Agents of Huddart, Parker & Co., Proprietary Line.
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