7a["Shipping Intelligence", The Register (Adelaide, SA), Tuesday 13 June 1876, page 4]



Monday, June 12.

NORTHERN MONARCH, ship, 1,238 John James Garden, master, from London March 9, Plymouth March 23. J. T. Turnbull, Town; C. E. Bartleet, Port, agents. Passengers - Dr. Wm. Baly, in the 'cabin; and 403 Government immigrants in the steerage.


7b["Story of the Koombana", The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sunday 31 March 1912, page 12]


A Sketch of His Career

Captain Tom Allen, the skipper of the S.S. Koombana, about whose fate so much misgiving is felt, is undoubtedly one of the most popular seafaring men on our coast. He is in his 53rd year, and a bachelor. His immediate relatives are his mother, who is 83, and Mr. Sea Born Allen of George Wills and Co., his sole surviving brother, both of whom reside at the Semaphore, South Australia. Captain Allen's father, a Cork Irishman, was a shipmaster and owner in the 50's, 60's and 70's, and frequently visited Albany and Fremantle. His son Marmion was born in Marmion's Hotel, Fremantle, in 1867, hence the name. The late Hon. W. E. Marmion and his sister were the child's godparents.

Captain Allen was a sailor from his childhood, sailing with his parents around the Australian coast, and subsequently to New Caledonia. In 1873 he sailed from Port Darwin in the barque Contest, commanded by his father, for Rockingham, to load jarrah. They arrived after calling at Cossack; but in a north-westerly gale the Contest was blown from her anchors at Rockingham and wrecked. As his father then gave up the sea, Captain Allen shipped in one of the Glasgow "Citys," and went to foreign lands, returning to Australia in the Northern Monarch.

He then joined the Orient line as quartermaster of the Cuzco, and was aboard of her when she broke down and sailed from 1000 miles south of the Leeuwin to Portland, in Victoria, he being one of the men lowered over the quarter in a heavy sea to secure the propeller. He next became bo'sun of the Pacific liner Sorata, and after passing his examinations, came to Australia as mate of the Meeinderry.

The old Verulam was his first command, and after commanding various other sailing ships he passed for extra master. He then took charge of various tugs and coastal steamers, and was stevedore in Ports Pirie and Germein. Tried alluvial gold digging at Teetulpa, South Australia, and after commanding various vessels in the early 90's he took charge of the Tekapo, owned by the Union Company of New Zealand, but chartered to the Adelaide Steamship Company for the West Australian trade.

Subsequently he took command of the Marloo in the same trade, and in 1897 had a verdict of manslaughter returned against him by a Fremantle jury, because a man fell down the hold of the Marloo. The Attorney-General ignored the verdict. In 1897 he resigned from the Marloo, and joined the Port Adelaide pilot service, in which he remained 10 years, and left because, a law being altered, the pilots became civil servants at a salary, with undefined responsibility. During the 10 years he was pilot he handled hundreds of vessels of all descriptions satisfactorily, the Royal yacht Ophir being one of them. The present sailor King of England complimented him on his skill, and gave him a scarf-pin bearing the White Rose of York as a souvenir.

During the Crimean War coffee was scarce and dear, and Captain Allen chartered his schooner to a wealthy Chinaman and sailed into various then out-of-the-way places in search of trade. One of Captain Tom Allen's brothers is buried in Singapore, another (Marmion) in Melbourne, a third and a sister in Adelaide, and now it is only too probable that "The sea, the blue, lone sea" covers Tom Allen awaiting the time when "the sea shall give up its dead."

Captain Allen's only surviving brother, Mr Sea Born Allen, was born on board the Sehab Jehan off Cape Northumberland during an awful gale. As Captain Allen could not leave the deck, Mrs. Allen was left to the care of Nature and the steward, with satisfactory results. The elements welcomed the little stranger with a gorgeous display of Saint-Elmo's fire on the mastheads and yards, and fifty years later, on his brother's birthday, off the same place (Cape Northumberland), Captain Allen, then commanding the Grantala, was treated by nature to a similar electric illumination, the corposants outlining the steamer's masts and funnel.


The trading of coffee through the years of the Crimean War relates not to Tom Allen Junior, but to his father!



Crew on the Northern Monarch in 1876/77.


18. Thomas Allen 18 Adelaide AB 21/6/76 Adelaide Discharged



Tom Allen jnr arrives back at Port Adelaide as A.B. aboard Northern Monarch, 12 June 1876, discharged 21 June.