6[Research file "s.s. Koombana", 1973-. Department of Maritime Archeology, Western Australian Museum, 189/73/4]
[From a Liverpool newspaper; no details on the cutting sent by Jane Burke to the museum.]
Memorial Service at Bootle Welsh Church.
A Farewell Message.
A special service was held at the Merton-road Free Welsh Church on Sunday evening in memory of the Bootle victims of the Koombana disaster, Robert William and Evan Davies, who were members of the church, with which the bereaved parents are also associated. The service was conducted partly in English and partly in Welsh, and was of an impressive character.
The sermon was preached by the Rev. W. O. Jones, B.A., on the text "Behold I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again." (II. Chron. xxxiv., 28). He said they all deplored the death of the two brothers who were friends of many of them. He believed them to be two young men of Christian aspirations, and of excellent moral character, and from whom great things were expected. But instead, they had been called to higher service. They were respected and beloved by a large number of members of their church, and he took it that the silent testimony of their presence that evening to the endeared memories of the brothers was a token of their sincere sympathy with the breeaved family. They realised the sorrow of the aged parents who were dependent on their two sons. He asked them not to mourn as those without hope because these calamities had a deeper meaning. They had every reason to believe that their two young friends had passed into the Kingdom of Glory, and when the sea gave up its dead, they would meet in the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Mr. J. J. Owen said that Mr. and Mrs. Davies and family had their heartfelt sympathy in their trouble. They had had several memorial services at that church, but none that affected them so directly as this terrible marine disaster, taking from their midst two members of their own congregation. Both Evan and Robert Davies went to Australia with a good purpose--to maintain their parents--and it was deeply to be regretted that the career of two such promising men, for whom they held great hopes, should have had such and abrupt ending.
Mr. John Jones said he was acquainted with the young brother Robert, who for two years before he went to sea was a member of his Sunday School class. He read the following letter which he had received from him before he went away on his fateful voyage:--"I regret to state I shall not be in Sunday School next Sunday, or for a good many more Sundays to come. I am about to try my luck in Australia, if I can succeed there, and by God's help I will. Remember me to my class at Sunday School. Good-bye."
The hymns "Shall we meet" and "Eternal father", of which Evan Davies was most fond, were sung during the service, which concluded with the Dead March in "Saul"...
Robert Davies, aged 18 years.
This photograph is from a group taken of his school class seven years ago.
Evan Davies, aged 31 years.