The following is a transcript from the Otago Witness Saturday 6 September 1873.
The ship Dallam Tower, 1499 tons, left London on May 10 1873 for Port Chalmers, New Zealand under the command of Captain John Sayers Davies and arrived at Melbourne on August 19 1873 after an incredible journey of 2000 miles under jury masts. A more crippled looking vessel certainly never entered Port Phillips Head before. The destruction has been too complete.
Otago Witness Saturday 30 August 1873 page 11
Melbourne, August 19th
A ship was beating about Cape Otway in distress all day yesterday proves to be the Dallam Tower, from London, Captain Davies, for Otago. She is now being towed up the Bay, under jury-masts, having lost all masts, sails, and even signal flags. She left London on the 11th May. A steam tug left her off Seaford next day. Passengers: -William Leach, Fred. Drabble and family, Dr Thomas Dicken and family, Mr A Newjohn, Miss Wardropper, Miss Harriet Powel, Messrs A. Seaton, Harry Scott, T.S. Baker, G. Levinger; and 10 in the steerage. The Dallam Tower encountered a fearful hurricane when 3000 miles from Australia. She lost her masts by the board, and her decks swept of boats, galley - everything in fact. None of her cargo has suffered in the slightest degree. No casualties. Six passengers transhipped in a Sydney bound vessel that came up with the Dallam Tower soon after the accident.
Otago Witness 6 Sept. 1873 pg 10 columns a b c d
In a hurricane, barometer 28.50. Not so much as a loose spar is to be seen on the deck. Apparently the only portable article which has been left is a fragment of the main cap - half of a broad band of iron with iron projections. A depression in the bulwarks, just in front of the poop marks the spot at which the mainmast went overboard. 20th July: Got a jury mast up at the fore. July 26: The ship Cape Clear of and from Liverpool, bound to Sydney, came and asked if assistance was wanted, when the captain asked for a chart or two and a few small things, which were quickly supplied. Some of the saloon passengers then expressed a wish to be transferred to the Cape Clear, the captain of which then sent a boat for them. Captain Davis told them they could go if they wished, but it would be at their own risk and responsibility, and wrote a note to Captain Landsborough to that effect. Eventually, twelve saloon and four steerages, viz., Mr Dicken, family (7), and governess; Messrs Baker, Scott, Leech, Newton and Vincent, and Manns and child, Owen and Brent were transferred. 27th: Got topmast studding sail boom, and bent a main topgallant sail on it for a mainsail. 28th July. Got spanker boom on end for jury mizenmast, and bending a mizen top gallant sail on its proper yard, set it aft and a course shaped for Melbourne, as it was deemed to be more prudent than going on to New Zealand. Those who stuck to the ship now have the satisfaction to feel that they got into port before the Cape Clear.
Otago Witness Sep 6 1873 page 11
The passengers by the Dallam Tower have sent to the Press along report concerning the disaster to the ship. The passengers will be sent on to Dunedin in the Albion.
The ship Dallam Tower has been visited by thousands. She presents a picture of utter desolation, and it will cost about £6000 to place her in a state of good repair. Her cargo, however, appears to be but little damaged. Messrs Lorimer, Marwood, and Rome, have provided handsomely for her passengers, and will send them on to New Zealand.
Otago Witness Sep 6. 1873 page 15
Bluff, Sept. 1st
The s.s. Albion, with the Suez mail on board, arrived this evening at 5 o'clock. She left Melbourne at 12.15 a.m. on the 28th. She brings for all ports 582 tons of cargo, and 52 saloon and 35 steerage passengers, including 13 ex Dallam Tower. The Albion will sail for Dunedin at 4 p.m. to-morrow.
Passengers for Dunedin:
Mrs Goodair, Mrs and Master Hepburn, Mrs Henry, Mrs Anderson, the Misses Anderson (3), Mr and Mrs Curran, Mrs and Dr Abble and family (7), Messrs Anderson, McCaul, Harper, Mitchell, Goodair, Sheriff, Smyth, A. Webb, Lang, Christophers, Simpson and Murray and 20 in the steerage. Cargo for Dunedin:- 280 tons.
Otago Witness Sep 13. 1873
The Sydney Morning Herald
A very sad and fatal accident occurred on board the ship Cape Clear while on her passage to Sydney. On July 25th - the day previous to her falling in with the Dallam Tower - the ship running before a stiff breeze and high sea, an apprentice named Alfred Jones fell from the mizen-topgalant rigging, striking the ship's rail, and going overboard. Immediately on the alarm being given a life-bouy was thrown to him, and before any one could interfere, a fellow-apprentice named William Dunnall sprang over the side to assist his shipmate. A boat with four hands was promptly lowered and pulled in the direction pointed out from the ship, but after an absence of over an hour, was compelled to return without having succeeded in picking up either of the unfortunate boys.