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MV HOLMGLEN
LOST AT SEA
23/24 NOVEMBER 1959

The MV Holmglen was a coastal trader operating around New Zealand and was owned by the Holm Shipping Company. On the 23 November 1959 it left Dunedin for Wanganui and was last heard of with a "may-day" call at 9.15pm. A search and rescue mission was launched immediately in deteriorating weather. At 5.30am a large oil slick was found 35 kilometres east-south-east of Timaru but the reason for the loss of the Holmglen was never found. It remains one of New Zealand's maritime mysteries.

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Dedicated to the fifteen men who lost their lives with the sinking of the MV Holmglen - 23/24 November 1959


ANSON Joseph Cook (of Petone)
BARKER Keith Lawdon (Lorden/Lawton) Second Officer (of Auckland)
BILLINGHURST Keith Douglas Chief Officer (of Port Chalmers)
BOYCE Garry Joseph Ordinary Seaman (of Motueka)
CLEARY John Able Seaman (of Preston, Lancashire)
FOSTER Ronald Andrew McColm Chief Engineer (of Petone)
HARDING Wilfred Henry Third Engineer (of Greymouth)
McCLELLAND Aubry Shepherd Steward
McEWEN James Wiper
McKENZIE Sydney Able Seaman
PEMBERTON Alfred Able Seaman
REGNAUD Edward Joseph Eugene (Joe) Captain (of Nelson)
WEASTERLEY* David* Able Seaman
WHORLOW Derek Able Seaman (of Whitedale, Kent)
WOLGAST Alexander James Second Engineer (of Dunedin)

* In some reports he is noted as H WETHERBY or H WEASTERLEY. In May 2008 I was emailed by a relation who has advised that the correct name is Henry WEATHERLEY. He was born in Liverpool, England in 1925. Thanks to David Nichol for this.

James McEwan (of Timaru) and Sydney McKenzie (of Glasgow) were buried side by side in the lawn cemetery in Timaru and Wildred Harding (of Mangakino) was buried in Greymouth. The Shipwreck Relief Society gave the sum of £545 to the dependants of those lost.

In March 2009 I received the following email: "Dear Christine, My name is Bart Beuken. I take part in a rowing club in Emmeloord Netherlands. We have almost finished restoring one of the recovered lifeboats of the MV Holmglen that sank off Timaru November 23 1959. From Mr and Mrs Brand from Motueka we received a mail in which they told that Mrs Brand’s brother Gary Joseph Boyce was 18 years of age when he drowned due to the Holmglen sinking. At this moment we are preparing a memorial plaque that will be mounted in the lifeboat, to commemorate all 15 victims of the Holmglen. If you want to see more from our rowing club please visit our website at De Zuyderzee Roeiers.

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