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Wreck of the s.s. Tararua
29 April 1881
Passengers & Crew
The s.s. Tararua, of 563 tons struck the Otara reef, Southland, New Zealand in fair weather off about half a mile from shore at 5 o'clock, in the morning 29 April 1881 with the loss of 131 lives (carrying 112 passengers) from Port Chalmers to Bluff and onward to Hobart and Melbourne. Only twenty survived.
List of passengers as the Union Company are able to supply: From Dunedin to Melbourne - saloon: Eva Mr J.O. Ramsay Mr W.O. Steerage: Anderson Mr P. Anderson Andrews Mr H.N.G. Bainbridge Mr J Barry Mr John Brown Mr Robert (body found) Cook Mr Harry A. Dobson Mr J. Dobson Mr William Dowdall Mr M Grey Mr George Martin Mr George age 55 Rae Mr A. Robins Mr George (saved) Shrevar Mr C Wright Mr Robert Young Mr JamesFrom Dunedin to Hobart - steerage: Bryant Mr and Mrs From Dunedin to Bluff - saloon: Bailey Mr From Sydney to Bluff - saloon: Rogers Mr L From Auckland to Hobart - steerage: Kelly Miss Mary From Auckland to Melbourne - saloon: Bell Mr William (brother to Mr Bell, an architect of Auckland) - steerage: Denny (Denz) Mr Chatterton Mr Sarah Mr From Tauranga for Hobart - saloon: Brennan and three children From Napier to Melbourne - steerage: Daly Mr J From Wellington to Bluff - steerage: Penman Mr From Wellington to Melbourne - saloon: Burgett Mr C Shawmarsh Mr R.S.B. Downes Mr and Mrs E.W.M. -steerage: Davies Mr T Holt Mr Charles O'Sullivan Mr T Thalin Mr Williams Mr Wiltshire Mr G From Lyttelton to the Bluff - steerage: Lawrence Mr Sharp Mr Boyle Mr From Lyttelton to Melbourne Armitage Rev. J. Mitchell Rev. Mr Waterhouse Rev. J (he was very cool and calm) Richardson Rev. J.B. Campbell Dr Colin, wife and five children and female servant Crawford Mr R.G. (body found) Connal (Connell) Mr E Gillingham Mr Gough Mr Charles Gordon Mr John (A railway guard who was going home on a six months' leave of absence.) Jones Mr W.B Waterhouse Mr J steerage: Ashworth Mr J (body identified by his son who resides near Leithfield. 15 sovereigns found on body) Bassett Mr W. Carlberg Mr Carl Davis Mr Daniel Gough Mr Neil Green Mr William Hanson Mr B Hill Mr and Mrs and child Jones Mr T Scoon (Scown) Mr J Wallace Mr Joseph (body found) (in his pocket a through ticket for England, per s.s. Liguria) White Mr William Young Mr WilliamOfficers and others: Master: F.G. Garrard (body found with watch, locket containing portrait of mother of his intended wife) First Officer: Robert Lindsay Second Officer: Edward Maloney "I hold a second mate's certificate from the Victorian Board (No. 143) Under employment of the Union Steamship Company for three years and five months." Chief Engineer: Alexander Munro (body found) (had a little stepson with him, aged seven) Second Engineer: Alexander Livingstone (body brought to Dunedin where his parents live) Third Engineer: Andrew Sutherland (Alexander Sutherland) Leaves a wife and even children who are residing at Port Chalmers. Purser: W.B. Jones (body found) Carpenter: John Morrison Chief Steward: Charles Ellen (Allan) formerly in the Wakatipu in a similar capacity Second steward: James Warren (has a twin brother on board the Hawea, and this poor young man's distress of mind can easily be imagined Pantry man: William Smith Stewardess: Miss Jennie Aitken (body found) formerly onboard the Ringarooma Chief Cook: Antonio Michalaieff Fore-cabin steward: James Collins (W. Collins) Second-cabin steward: W Davidson (body found) Messroom steward: Charles da Silva (a Malay) Crew Adams W Armstead A Armstead S Barrett J (Burnett) Brien William Burwood Robert Corbett D Danz F Dobson H Dixon T Gibb J Haynes T Horan George (J), sailor Johnston E McDavitt E Mackaliney Maher James Nicholson T (Nicolson) Polson Hugh Rohl Frank Stewart C Weston E (J) and four unknown names Campbell Colin a boy age 14 of Port Chalmers "Tommy" the boy (brass cleaner)
Mr Lindsay says he saw eight or ten getting tickets from the purser after they left the Port.
The Star May 18th 1881 The list of passengers reported to have joined the Tararua at Port Chalmers without booking at the office:- Brown Robert from Waikouaiti Brenan Martin from Wangaloa Chapman John from Oamaru Glenman Christiani Peter from Lawrence Cook Dunn Mrs and 4 children Ellis Alexander from Wangaloa English ____ (two brothers) from Oamaru Flaherty John from Timaru Flowers Edward from Timaru Gibb Henry Hardie ___ (brother of Mr Hardie, clothier) from Dunedin Inglis Paisley Alexander Paul Jane (alive) Mackay Donald from Mosgiel Macfalane A from Timaru MaLaren Mackenzie Nicholson Peter from Mosgiel Welsh Roger from Timaru Wilson ____ (Whitelaw Robert)
Miss Jane Paul wishes us to state that she is alive and well, not having taken her passage by the ill-fated Tararua. She saw the brothers English off by that steamer.
Mrs H. Rosenfeldt and her four children who were going to rejoin her husband in Melbourne was amongst those who went on board the Tararua but did not book.
About twenty-five people took passage after joining the steamer at Port Chalmers. One, John Barry is said to have been at one time engaged as driver of Iveson's Green Island coach. Dennis English, William English and Alexander McKenzie were shearers. The last mentioned is well known in the Otepopo District, where his father kept a hotel for many years. The Raes are brothers, who came down country in the early part of the week to proceed to the Mount Browne diggings. Mr Alexander Rae, age about 30, one of the through passengers to Great Britain, had been engaged for sometime in building bridges. He had unfortunately fallen into ill-health, and was returning to his native land. He belonged to Wick, North Britain, and was a nephew of Mr William McRae, the well-known bookseller of that town, and also the proprietor of the Northern Ensign newspaper. (body found)
The Bank of New Zealand had shipped old silver (called in by the government) to the value of 4000 pounds by the vessel. It was insured in Melbourne. Dunedin May 12: The ketch Gold Templar left for Waipapa yesterday, taking boats and a party of men to the scene of the wreck, where Government intend at once to commence diving operations for the old silver.
The following passengers had insured their lives in the New Zealand Department:- The Rev. Mr Richardson, Dr Campbell, Messrs William Stewart and Young. One of the stewards and one of the engineers who were drowned in the wreck of the Tararua had effected insurances for 500 pounds each in the Australian Mutual Provident Society's office in December last. Mr John O. Eva's life was assured in the National Company's Office for 500 pounds , and that only one premium had been paid upon it.
Mr James Anderson (formerly of the Colonial Bank, Dunedin, and his wife and child, who were returning to Melbourne.
Mr Bambridge was proceeding to Scotland in very delicate health. He was a cousin of Mr Mackay, of Mackay, Bracken and Co., and was returning to the Old Country in ill health. A nephew of Robert Mackay.
Martin Brennan belonged to Batllarat, Victoria
Mrs Brennan, who, with her family of three children, booked at Tauranga, is said to be the wife of the storekeeper of that town
Chancy Burgett, was a passenger from Wellington. Mr Chancey Burgett is an old West Coast resident. He lived at Reefton, and was manager of the Keep-it-Dark Crushing Company. He had saved a good deal of money, and owned a considerable amount of scrip in the united Alpine Company at the Lyell. He came to Wellington a short time ago and took up his quarters at the New Zealander Hotel, he and the landlord, Mr T. Smith, being old friends. He had made up his mind to give up speculating in gold-mining shares, and was on his way to Tasmania, where he intended investing a large portion of his captain in tin-mines. Mr Burgett was a man of about 35-40 years of age, and unmarried. His brother keeps a hotel at the junction of Maori Gully and Ahaura roads on the West Coast.
There were only two single women on board. Miss Kelly and Dr Campbell's' servant, a stout dark young women. Dr Campbell's brother is on the way to the wreck Dr Campbell was on a pleasure trip to England. The whole family has perished with him. Some passenger boxes came ashore, one belonging to Dr Campbell with a children's book inscribed inside "Presented to Donald Campbell by the Principal of Breadalbane School."
The late Dr Campbell arrived in Christchurch eleven years ago, and has practised his profession since. He was on his way to England with his wife and family, intending to combine a holiday with the study of the latest developments of medicinal science. He proposed, we believe to be absent two years. He was well-known here as an ardent disciple of the rod, and he also took a prominent part in all acclimation matters. He was an office-bear in St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Christchurch. For years he had been a resident of Lyttelton. The harmonium in the Sunday School in Rev. James Hill Church in Lyttelton was a gift from Dr Campbell.
Dr Campbell's servant was a married lady, who had recently come from England. She was a native of Manchester, and was returning thither, after spending six months in the colonies. Her maiden name was Eliza Swift, and by marriage Mrs Rydings.
Ashburton: Mr Carl Carlburg was for many years on the farm of Mr Joseph Clarke, at Winchmore. He was a Swede by birth, and was on a visit to his native land.
Cochran who worked at Moeraki shipped as a steerage passenger at the last moment. The deceased was a farmer at Moeraki, and was going to take up land in Victoria said Mr John Cochrane; jun.
Henry Agrippa Cook, was the nephew of Mr George Smart. He was an ironmonger by trade, and was going to take charge of a business in Epping, Essex, and other property left to him by his father. He has a younger brother living.
The brothers Dobson, one of them was for some time an engineer-cleaner at the railway station in Ashburton. Body washed ashore. John Dobson, about 34 year, 5ft 7 in height, dark hair, whiskers and moustache, shaved on the chin and wore a stripped gray tweed suit. He had 21 odd upon him and Bank draft on the Union Bank of Australasian, Melbourne for 40. It was dated Dunedin April 27 it was by this he was known.
Mr M. Dowdell was returning to Ireland, where he had a wife and family. He was on a trip to the colony. We believe he has a cousin employed at Bethune's sawmill.
Mr and Mrs E.W.M. Downes were residents of Wellington and occupied a house on Wellington terrace. They were married about eight or nine months ago. Mr Downes lived in Wellington about three or four years ago. He was a law clerk and latterly in the employ of Messrs Brandon and Son. His name has been prominently brought before the public through several charges of stamp frauds being preferred against him. He was acquitted on all of them. Previous to the trail he broke up his household, with the intention of leaving the Colony at the earliest opportunity. It is thought that he had made up his mind to seek employment in Australia.
Dennis and William English were from Oamaru
Mr J.O. Eva, of Dunedin, a prominent man in commercial circles. He was formerly in the establishment of Oliver and Ulph, of Dunedin, and when their business was turned into the New Zealand Hardware Company, he became its manger. Mr Eva was a leading member of the Choral Society, in which he took an active interest, and his name will be familiar to all cricketers as the President of the Otago Association. During the last Dunedin race meeting he was fortunate enough to win one of the large sweeps on the Dunedin Cup.
George Garton (body found). In his pocket was an Invercargill Post-office Savings Bankbook. Gorton has been identified as a groom to Dr Cotterill, of Invercargill
Of the ill-fated passengers, Mr Gillingham and Mr George Martin were well-known in this district, Timaru, the former having resided for some time at Burke's Pass, and the latter an old settler from Otaio. Mr Gillingham was on his way to England, on a visit to his friends, and Mr Martin was, taking a trip to the other colonies. Mr George Martin who joined the vessel at Port Chalmers, came from near Timaru where his relatives reside. He was brought up to Timaru on the express train on May 3. The remains of the late Mr George Martin were interred in the Waimate cemetery yesterday. The funeral left the house of deceased's brother - Mr John Martin, of Waimate. The funeral was the largest that has ever taken place in Waimate. The burial service was read by Rev. Mr Lindsay, Presbyterian minister.
St. Columba Church Grounds, Fairlie. Erected in Memory of Stephen England Gillingham. Born Nov. 22nd 1843 and lost in the S.S. Tararua, April 28th 1881.
NOTE that the memorial also has three other Gillingham names (infants) on the other 3 sides.
Francis Robert Gillingham 7/7/1849 - 28/2/1852
Arthur Gillingham 1/9/1860 - 7/5/1864
Alfred Gillingham 27/11/1862 -1/8/1865
An Adelaide telegram in the Age says :
"Gillingham, one of the passengers by the Tararua who was drowned, is S. E. Gillingham, brother-in-law of Mr S. D. Glyde, J.P., of this city. He was on his way to England to look after property recently inherited by his father, Stephen Gillingham, and he leaves a widow and three children."
North Otago Times, 5 May 1881, Page 2 Timaru. May 4.
The remains of George Martin, wrecked in the Tararua, were buried to-day at Otaio. The funeral was attended by a large number of people. It has been ascertained that John Flaherty, Roger Welsh, Edward Flowers, and A. M'Farlane, all from this district, went on board the Tararua at Port Chalmers. The names do not appear amongst the catalogue of passengers.
Ashburton: Mr John Gordon, recently guard on the Rakaia and the Ashburton Forks railway, was a passenger by the Tararua, on a visit to Scotland. It was only a few days ago that the residents in the Methven district entertained Mr Gordon at a public dinner, and presented him with a purse of sovereigns in token of their good will.
Neil Gough was bound for London, and had 33 pounds on him. He was dressed in a light blue tweed trousers, coat and vest dark brown serge, dark brown hair, short beard, thick everywhere except his lips, complexion fairish. (C. Gough). The wife was able to recognise the clothing by her sewing.
Mr Benjamin Hansen, a Swede, well known in the Timaru District, where he and his brother were farming. They both sold out, and his brother left for Utah by the last San Francisco mail. The deceased took a ticket for London, and from there was going to Sweden to see his aged mother. He was 31 years of age, dark hair and beard, and when leaving Lyttelton had on a dark tweed suit. He had a draft for 50 pounds on the Bank of New Zealand, Christchurch, with him. He is a relation of Mr O. Larson, Knightstown, Christchurch.
Mr George Horan, one of the, crew, was a young man of 19 years of age, son of Colonel Horan, who took part in the Waikato War. He was a good scholar having been educated at Helensborough, but the sea had a peculiar charm for him, like many other young men. This was his second voyage. Hs was very well liked, and his death will be lamented by several friends in Christchurch.
Charles Holt, body washed up, was known by a passage ticket, found in his pocket, from Wellington to London. It was dated April 22. He had sixpence in cash in his pockets, and a silver watch. He looks to have been 22 years old; is clean shaved, dark hair, and stout build. Boots, peculiar, laced up, with elastic sides.
John Joyce was from Oamaru
Alexander McKenzie was from Oamaru
Mr S.T.B. Marsh, who booked in Wellington, was on his way to England. Body found of Russell Marsh.
Mr W.O. Ramsay is the oldest son of the Rev. D. Ogilvy Ramsay, minister of Closeburn, Dumfriesshire, and nephew of Mr Keith Ramsay, of this city (?Christchurch). He had come to the Colonies for the benefit of his health, and was returning Home.
Rangiora: The late Mr John Scoon was a native of Ireby, near Skiddaw, in Cumberland, and came to this Colony in 1863. He went to the diggings shortly after his arrival, but was not very fortunate, and returning to Rangiora devoted himself to farming with much more success. He was formerly one of the champion ploughmen in the Northern district and was frequently called upon to act as judge for the ploughing competitions. As a judge of draught stock he always ranked high in the district. He was about to visit the Old Country and had made no provision for such a tragic event taking place, not having made a will. His brother lives near Rangiora, and hastened to the scene of the wreck. Body found.
Rangiora: Mr William White resident for some years with his uncle, Mr Bainsby White, of Swannanoa, but lately has been working on Mr R. Coup's farm, which left to go Home, with the full intention of returning soon. He carried with him a supply of money for immediate wants, in lieu of sending it Home through the Banks. (body found)
L. Rogers, of Invercargill, was not a passenger. He missed his passage at Port Chalmers. G. Wiltshire is to be added to the list of those who joined the vessel at Wellington
Mr Robert Wright was lately out of Dunedin Hospital, and recently in the employ of Messrs Kempthorne, Prosser and Co., and formerly with Beaver Bros. and Co., of Christchurch. Mr Wright's wife is at Auckland staying with her sister.
James Young has a brother living at Pine Hill, and another at Purakanui.
The only passenger belonging to Lyttelton on board was Mr William Young, who was on his way to London and his native place, which he had long wish to revisit. He was born in Dundee, and was 45 years of age. He came to this colony between twenty and twenty-one years of age, and worked at his trade as a boot and shoemaker. By his steady industry he worked himself into an excellent business position in Lyttelton. He had a seat in the Lyttelton Borough Council for some years, and discharged his duties there to the satisfaction of his constituents. He leaves a wife and four children of whom is senior an apprentice on board the ship Rangitikei.
Timaru Herald May 5 1881
Messrs John Flaherty, Roger Welsh, Edward Flowers and A. McFarlane, all of Temuka, it is believed were aboard the ill-fated vessel at the time of the wreck. The two former took tickets at the Timaru office for Melbourne, and the later two are supposed to have taken tickets from the purser, for Sydney. (turns out the last two gentleman named are booked by the Rotorua for Sydney on April 28th.
Mr W.B. Jones, the purser (who perished with his wife) They never had any family, and his mother-in-law has been living in Christchurch for many years.
Mr A. Sutherland, the third engineer, leaves a wife and seven children, who are resident at Port Chalmers.
The Wesleyan church took a heavy blow, three ministers and two lay representatives to an Australian conference dying; two ministers, John Armitage and J B Richardson, were from Canterbury.
"Star" Christchurch Friday 24 June 1881 page 3
The TARARUA disaster. - ARMITAGE - RICHARDSON The Rev W. KEALL, of the Ashburton Wesleyan circuit, has closed a subscription list --- for the benefit of the widows of the Rev.'s Armitage and Richardson, drowned in the Tararua.
Timaru Herald 3 May
On a special train from Dunedin to Edendale travellers were pleased to find that Mr Leslie, of Wyndham had a coach waiting o convey them. I was 25 miles to Fortrose township, at the Toi-Tois, and ten miles from Fortrose to the wreck. The coaches, left Milne's Hotel an hour before daybreak, contained Messrs J. Mackay and A. Ferguson (whose cousin, Bainbridge, was on board the steamer), D.C. Cameron and Rev. Buddle (interested in learning the fate of the Wesleyan clergymen from Christchurch), Mr Thomson, of the Criterion Hotel (whose waiter, named Bailey, had obtained three days' leave of absence and gone for a trip to the Bluff in the boat), Mr Hardie, clothier (whose brother was returning to Melbourne. He had persuaded his brother to wait for the Tararua, instead of going by the previous week's steamer, as he fully intended), Mr G. West, Mr T.J. Leary, Mr James Gore (interested in Mr Eva) and Mr S. Clayton, the Press representatives, and a number of police. The horsemen were a mounted constable and your reporter for the Otago Daily Times.
The Rev. Mr Fairclough, Wesleyan Minister at Invercargill, also went with a view to the identification of the Wesleyan Conference delegates' bodies. His wife is also related to Captain Garrad. The Rev. Armitage leaves a widow and eight children, the Rev. J. Waterhouse a widow and seven children, Mr E. Connell leaves one son, and Mr Mitchell leaves a widow and daughter. The Rev. Waterhouse was well known as having been for many years in charge of the Wesleyan mission at Fiji, and Mr Waterhouse is his son. The Rev. Mr Richardson was President of the New Zealand Wesleyan Conference, and the Rev. J. Armitage one of the secretaries of the Conference, and editor of the Wesleyan. The Kaiapoi Choral Society is planning a benefit for Mrs Armitage and her family in the Oddfellow's Hall. Rev. J. Armitage was on the Leeston circuit.
The Rev. J.B. Richardson was the first Wesleyan minister of this town, Timaru, and his untimely end was referred to in terms of profound regret by those who had become aquanitaned with the rev gentleman during his term of residence here. Mr E. Connal, of the firm of Messrs Wood and Connal, painters and house decorators, of Christchurch, was closely related to Mr Hislop of Woolcombe street, and was proceeding in company with the Rev. Mr Richardson and others to the Wesleyan General Conference; as lay representative, Mr Connal during twenty-three years' residence in Christchurch, has never been more than twelve or fourteen miles from the city till he started on this disastrous voyage.
A male body found on the beach has been identified by Mr William Thomson as that of Mr W. Thomas Bailey, belonging to Manchester, late head waiter in the Criterion Hotel, Dunedin. He was on holiday to Invercargill. He had no relatives in this colony, his brother who came out with him, having returned a few months since to England.
Invercargill, May 10 1881
Up to Monday 2 p.m. 58 bodies in all had been covered, 54 of these having been found on Otara beach, two at Waikawa and two recovered at sea and taken to Dunedin. Captain Francis George Garrard was buried at Otara on Monday forenoon. Bodies not claimed by friends will be interred at the Company's expense. All will be buried on an acre pegged off, which will henceforth be known as the "Tararua's acre." Mr Henry, photographer, of Invercargill, took portraits of the four bodies before burial at Fortrose. The friends of Captain Garrard intend to have his body exhumed and taken to Christchurch. Captain Garrard was making his last trip before being married to a lady in Melbourne. He was only twenty-nine years of age, and is understood to be the youngest captain in the inter-colonial service. Captain Garrard has a married sister in Christchurch, a brother in Wellington, and a brother in Nelson. Captain Garrard brought the lady in Australia to whom he was engaged, over to New Zealand in December last, in the Albion steamer, when that vessel was under his command.
A body of a Chinaman was found
"Many bodies identified by the property found on them"
Found on the beach: A box belonged to Mr George Wiltshire one of the passengers from Wellington. He had been the proprietor of the Travellers' Rest Hotel, Honeymoon Cottage, Taiti, Wellington.
There was a box addressed "J.W., per steamer Liguria," and another had a book inside "William Green" and a box belonging to William Downer, although such a man is not on the passenger list. It contained a receipt from Money Wigram and Co. for William Downer's passage money by the Norfolk to Port Lyttelton, dated 19th April, 1880. His age is stated in it as 42. He was a Freemason belonging to the Gosport Lodge.
A trunk belonging to Mr W.B. Jones. A part of a man's night shirt, with "W.B. Jones."
An empty seaman's chest, locked. Someone could have used it to have floated ashore on it if they had only known.
A box marked "William White, per ship Otaki,' with per Tararua, for London, via Melbourne'
A dressing gown having the name 'E. Buckle' on the neck.
Twenty five travelling cloaks were retrieved from the wreck by the Jessie.
The Star Tuesday 3 May 1881
The s.s. Tairaroa that arrived in Lyttelton from Dunedin this morning has on board Antonio Michalaieff, the late cook of the ill fated steamer Tararua, and Edward Johnson, one of the A. B.'s Mr Bailey, the steward has a pipe that was presented to Mr Jones, the purser, in Melbourne. It was washed ashore and picked up by one of the steerage passengers that the Hawea took on to Dunedin. Mr Bailey and Mr Jones sailed together for years. The cook is on his way to Wellington to visit some friends.
List of Survivors
Passengers (steerage passengers): Daly Henry English (Dalby) (Deely) Davis Thomas English Hill William Lawrence George L. English Chatterton John English Robins George English Tellien Gustave Swede Crew: Lindsay Robert (chief mate) Denny Michalaieff Antonio (chief cook) (Micallef) (Micacliff) Rohl Frank German Dickson Thomas A.B. Tasmanian (Dixon) Stewart Charles A.B. Scotch (was at the wheel when she struck) Weston John A.B. SwedeIn addition to the above there are those who were saved in the second's mate's boat - the second mate Edward Maloney (Irish), - a steerage named William (James) Hill (a through passenger for England in the steerage with his wife and child) and six men - 1. James Maher A.B. (engineer's storekeeper - fireman) (Marr) 2. James Burnett A.B. Scotch (Bennett) (Barnett) (sailor) (the look-out when she struck) 3. Franz Danz A.B. German 4. Franz Rahel A.B. Dutchman, fireman (Rohl) 5. Edward Johnson A.B. Swede 6. Torquel Nicholson A.B. Swede
Reference: Newspapers of the day.
The Star, Otago Witness and the Timaru Herald from the National Library of New Zealand Papers Past website
Spelling of surnames differed in all three newspapers.
"Star" Christchurch Thursday 23 June 1881 page 3
Invercargill - 22 June - The sea is still at intervals casting ashore bodies of those drowned in the Tararua. ------- wife of DANZ, one of the crew of the ill-fated ship.
Elterton Mitchell, had retired in 1880, after giving 'long, continued and conscientious service' as headmaster of St Albans School, Christchurch.
James Ashworth. An illiterate working man of 'Harleston', North Canterbury, Ashworth had, before the establishment of the railway system, worked in harsh conditions cutting tracks to and provisioning isolated runs.
Captain, Francis George Garrard, 29, was an outstanding officer and stern abstainer; after a Canadian shipwreck, he had saved his drink-befuddled companions by walking through frozen wastes to get help. His fiance lived in Melbourne and it was planned that the couple should marry when the ship reached port. Francis' Christchurch family included a sister, Sarah Emily Kinsey. Her husband, Joseph, had been Francis' classmate at Greenwich's Royal Navy School, was sole beneficiary under the terms of his will, would become a shipping magnate, an attorney for one of Shackleton's and both of Scott's Antarctic expeditions, receive a knighthood and give his name to Kinsey's Terrace, Sumner. There was also a brother, William Garrard, swimming instructor, a gunsmith, who purchased a plot in the Anglican section of the Barbadoes Street Cemetery. The body of the 'dashing', 'gallant' captain was interred there on 21 May 1881. The funeral was of a private nature, only relatives and friends of the deceased being present'. Garrard's gravestone, with its impressive stone shaped like an anchor and chain. A Court of Inquiry determined that fault lay with Captain Garrard. He had not known whether he was at a safe distance out to sea but could easily have gauged this by dropping over the side a heavy lead ball on the end of a rope. Culpability also rested with a seaman, Weston, who failed to keep a proper lookout and note broken water, a sure sign of the vessel's proximity to land.
To the memory of Francis George Garrard, master of the S.S. Tararua who perished at the wreck of his vessel on the Otara Reef, 30th April 1881 aged 29 years. The anchor fluke an and chain broken. Photo taken Aug. 2015.
The lych gate at Barbadoes Street Cemetery with Capt. Garrard's headstone visble.
The Otago Witness Saturday January
27th 1883, page 17
Waimate writes: I observed in your notes and Queries on the 13th instant. page 17, a correspondent asking for information about George Gray, who lost his life in the Tararua disaster. Although the query from Kaitangata was not addressed to the public, I feel it a duty to give what information I can: - George Gray, who was reported in this district, perished in the Tararua, was about 35 years of age, 5ft 10in. in height, dark hair (not black), taciturn in manner, and slow of speech, slightly built, with narrow and somewhat lengthy features, and sharp pointed nose. He was a native of Tyvie, Aberdeenshire, and in his speech retained his native local accent."
Mr Henry, photographer, of Invercargill, took photographs of a number of unidentified bodies which were recovered.
Be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.
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