Craigie, James S.

[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 Fremantle to Broome or Derby.


Craigie, James S. Had return half, employed on C.[or G.] Blythes Station,

Fitzroy Crossing, former butcher of Kalgoorlie,

Relations at Strathalbyn, S.A.


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

Fremantle-Derby Craigie J.S. United Service return half.

["Koombana's Passenger List", Broome Chronicle (WA), Saturday 30 March 1912]



For Derby.


Mr. J. Craig


AB notes:

This will be James Craigie.

["The Passengers", The West Australian, Wednesday 03 April 1912, page 7]




Mr. Jas. Craigie.


["The Koombana", The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), Monday 08 April 1912, page 10]



Perth, April 7.

A Roebourne telegram reports that the Una has found the wrecked steamer Koombana, the masts standing out of the water five miles from Bedout Island, on a reef running out from the island. When Mr. Moxon, manager of the Adelaide Steamship Company, was seen with regard to the telegram he said he had telegraphed to Roebourne, but nothing was known there of it. He also ascertained that the Una was not at Cossack, and was not expected until Monday. Neither the police nor the harbormaster, the owners of the Una, or the owners of the Koombana, had received any information of the news up to a late hour this afternoon. The Una's instructions were to return to Roebourne if any wreckage was found, and not to Cossack.



Perth, April 7.

The wreckage found by the Una, 33 miles W.N.W. of Bedout Island, consisted of the mast of a lifeboat and cabin doors, which belonged, it is believed, to the Koombana. The captain of the Una savs the wreckage appears to be coming from the bottom, but there is no truth in the earlier telegram that the position of the wreck had been located.


Wasleys, April 6.

Mr. R. H. Jenkins, a brother of Mrs. R. H. Oliver, of near Wasleys, was a passenger by the ill-fated Koombana. Mr. Jenkins was accompanied by his daughter on their unfortunate trip. He was travelling from Fremantle to Derby, carrying out his duties as stock inspector for the firm of Emmanuel Forrest & Co. A brother and sister and two sorrowing daughters live at Woodville, at which suburb Mr. Jenkins himself formerly resided.


The Kadina and Wallaroo "Times" states:--Mr. F. H. Harris, eldest son of Mr. Frank Harris, formerly of Moonta, occupied the position of purser on board the ill-fated Koombana. Mr. Harris, who had been on the Koombana since November last, was appointed to go on the ill-fated Yongala on occasion of her last trip, but by a mere accident was prevented from doing so at the last moment.


Mrs. E. Shilton informs us that her brother, Mr. James L. Craigie, was one of those lost in the Koombana. He was a resident of Derby for over 15 years, and was highly respected and beloved by all who knew him. His ead death will cause much grief amongst his many, friends and relations.


["Missing Passengers", The Western Mail (Perth, WA), Saturday 13 April 1912, page 15]


Kalgoorlie, April 1.


Among the passengers who left Fremantle by the Koombana was Mr. Jas. Craigie, butcher, who was well known on the fields in the early days. After spending seven years on Mr. C. Blythe's station at Fitzroy Crossing, beyond Derby, he took a holiday trip East, and was on his way back to Derby in the Koombana.

Blythe's station?



At our meeting of 4 July 2001 Dr Cathie Clement spoke about some of the people and incidents that feature in the history of Old Fitzroy Crossing. The accompanying visual material and readings provided glimpses, both serious and frivolous, of what life was like in the area.


In 1890 the Emanuel brothers engaged Joseph Blythe to establish Noonkanbah sheep station on land downstream from the Fitzroy Crossing. The government built a telegraph station at Blue Bush Swamp near Fossil Downs. Edwin Rose put sheep on Quanbun and John Collins put cattle and horses on Beef Acres (later known as Oscar Range Station) thus filling up the land west and north-west of the crossing. The Blythes ran stock on Brooking Creek Station, between Fossil Downs and Oscar Range Stations. The Bunuba people fought against this expansion and there were killings on both sides. Police stations opened at Fitzroy Crossing and elsewhere during this period. The Bunuba resistance continued until 1897 when a police patrol killed the young leader, Jandamarra (Pigeon).

A few European women had come to the Fitzroy Crossing area by this time. Eliza Annear, wife of the first telegraph master, was possibly the first to do so. Hannah Nicholson and Maria ("Dolly") Pilmer lived at the police station where their husbands served as constables in 1896. Pauline and Mary Blythe were on Brooking Creek Station by 1901.

By 1897 the Emanuels had established Margaret Downs (Gogo) Station on the south-east side of the Fitzroy Crossing, and Hutton and Rose were ready to establish Leopold Downs Station to the north. Jubilee Downs Station also came into existence, replacing Plumbís Plain Station, which the MacDonalds had managed for absentee owners. With wages around and big thirsts building up in the Kimberley heat, there was now money to be made from the provision of amenities. Charles Blythe opened the Crossing Inn, which later included a store, in 1897.


AB notes:

the original Blythe station was Noonkanbah, but Craigie was problably working at Brooking (Brooking Creek, Brooking Springs)

Margaret Downs nicknamed 'Gogo' was Emanuels

["Deaths", The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), Monday 8 April 1912, page 8]

CRAIGIE.--James T., the beloved brother of Euphenia Shilton, shipwrecked on Koombana.

Deeply regretted. Aged 40 years.

["In Memoriam", The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), Friday 21 March 1913, page 8]

CRAIGIE.-In sad but loving memory of my dear brother,

James, who was a victim of the SS Koombana disaster,

off Post Hedland, on or about March 21st, 1912.

No grave to visit,

No flowers to buy,

No-one knows

Where dear Jim lies.

-Inserted by his loving sister and family, Mrs. D. J. Roberts, Adelaide.