Binning, Thomas Henry

[Passenger list, "KOOMBANA" 37, compiled 02 April 1912, Adelaide Steamship Company. Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University, 0186/N46/634]

Carnarvon-Derby Bunning Mr. Son of Owners of Winderie Station

[Passenger list, "KOOMBANA" 37, compiled 04 June 1912, Adelaide Steamship Company. Broome Historical Society]

List of passengers known to have been bound for Derby.


From Carnarvon

Binning T. Son of owner of Winderie Station aged 23 years.

Matthews C. Drover (?) steerage.

Bailey C.A. Late Manager for Wooramel Pastoral Coy.


[Northern Times]

T.A. Bunning, son of T. Bunning, Winderie Station

["Fate of the Koombana", The Northern Times (Carnarvon, WA), Saturday 06 April 1912, page 2]


We regret exceedingly to have to condole with one of our squatters, Mr. Thomas Binning, of Winderie Station, on the loss of his son, Mr. T.A. Binning, who was working on the station with his father.


[Barker, Malcolm, 2001, The Truth Is So Precious, Success Print, Perth, Western Australia, pages 54]


Thomas Binning was also waiting for the Koombana in Carnarvon and watching her approaching the mile long Jetty may well have made leaving his fatherís Minderie Station seem longer than a week ago. The 23 year old Thomas had walked 120 miles into Carnarvon with Charlie Matthews a drover aged between 40 and 50. Both men hoped to work with cattle at Levarynga Station. Thomas would probably have known the other passenger from Carnarvon Mr C. A. Bailey manager for the Wooramel Pastoral Company.


["Peeps at People", The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sunday 16 June 1912, page 17]


The pathos of the Koombana seems to be never-ending, and almost daily, as is often the case with a migratory population such as is here in Western Australia cases are cropping up showing that someone else has disappeared in that terrific hurricane. Only recently this paper learned that amongst those who went down in the Koombana was a splendid young Australian, the son of Mr. Tom Binning, of Winderie and Mooka stations, in the Carnarvon district. Young Binning, who was going up to the Nor'-West to seek fresh country, was a type of the clean, healthy son of Australia; had never touched liquor nor smoked in his life, was a daring rough-rider, a splendid shot, a good swimmer and a fine bushman full of courage and resource. His father had instructed him to go away up to the practically-unexplored portion of the State in search of pastoral country, and had provided him with an outfit to enable him to stay out for many months. Full of earnest purpose and good health and spirits young Binning boarded the Koombana, and was swallowed up in the mighty cyclone that roared, and swept so many others to a grave in the ocean.


["Announcements", The Western Mail (Perth, WA), Saturday 27 April 1912, page 23]




BINNING.--On March 22, lost at sea, in the s.s.

Koombana, Thomas Henry, the beloved and eldest son of Thos. and Hester Binning, of Windre Station, Gascoyne, aged 23 years Deeply regretted.


["Family Notices", Geraldton Guardian (WA), Saturday 21 March 1914, page 2]

Family Notices




BINNING.--In loving memory of Thomas Binning, age 22, who lost his life in the foundering of the Koombana, about March 22nd, 1912.

He left his home,

and those he loved.

Not thinking that death was near;

Not dreaming he would ne'er return

To those he loved so dear.

Farewell dear son and brother; Adieu to thee, adieu

And we. your dearly loved ones, Say farewell, dear, to you.

Though you are gone and we are left

To tread this world alone.

We'll hope to meet again in heaven

With Christ before God's throne.

Ever remembered. Inserted by his loving aunt, Mrs. H. Caine.

["Action by Australian Workers's Union", The West Australian, Thursday 30 May 1912, page 8]


Among those who lost their lives on the Koombana were a number of men--about 20 in all, so far as can be officially ascertained--who were proceeding to the shearing sheds in the North-West. These men were members of the Australian Workers' Union, and their mates on the Upper Liveringa Station have subscribed and forwarded to the head office of the Union in Perth the sum of £50 15s. 6d. to be distributed among the widows and orphans of their late comrades. The secretary of the union (Mr. T. L. Brown) has obtained authority from the headquarters of the Union in the Eastern States to forward subscription lists throughout the shearing sheds in this State in order to augment the amount already donated.

[Personal communication, Bethwyn Brandis, granddaughter of Koombana passenger Fred Clinch, 25 May 2005]

Background: In March 2002 Mrs Brandis, granddaughter of Fred Clinch, sought to contact with other descendants of those lost on the Koombana. She placed an advertisement in The West Australian under the heading "Can you help?". She was very surprised at the response and has recorded the correspondence which followed. Amongst her correspondents:

"Shirley Brown

[address withheld]

Geraldton 6530

Her uncle was Thomas Binning - shearer."

[Personal communication, Shirley Brown, descendant of Koombana passenger Tom Binning, 05 June 2005]

Two phone called at about 5pm, Sunday, June 05, 2005]

I called the Geraldton phone number, spoke to son Peter Brown. He suggested I could catch Shirley on Perth number on [phone number withheld]. I did. Shirley does not know a lot, and her only photo of Thomas Binning was taken when he was about ten. I have asked that she contact me if ever she finds anything or meets anyone with a Koombana interest; I will send my contact details to [email address withheld].