[SS "Koombana": list of crew as per copy of Articles at shipping office, Fremantle, Adelaide Steamship Company, April 1912. provided to the author by Jean Northover, City Beach, Western Australia]

THE CREW AGE BIRTHPLACE

...

J. Downie, fireman 33 Glasgow

...

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

...

W. Clarke, J. Smith, J. Brown, C. Nortin, C. Anderson, G. Furlong, H. Offord, G. Olsen, A. C. de Montfort, T. O'Loghlan, T. McDermott, Thos. Taylor, A. Bryant, J. Downie and C. Peters, firemen;

...

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

The following is the complete crew which left with the vessel, according to the records in the Adelaide Co.'s office:--

...

W. Clarke, J. Smith, J. Brown, C. Norton, C. Anderson, G. Furlong, H. Offord, O. Olsen, *W. Fitzpatrick, A. C. de Montfort, T. O'Loghlin, T. McDermott, Thos. Taylor, A. Bryant, J. Downie, and C. Peters, firemen.

...

["The Koombana", The West Australian, Friday 12 April 1912, page 7]

OFFICIAL LIST OF CREW

The following official list of the names of the crew who signed on the s.s. Koombana's articles and who were supposed to have gone in the vessel is supplied by the Shipping Master of Fremantle (Captain T. W. Smith). The age, birthplace, and capacity of each member is given:--

...

J. Downie, 33, Glasgow, fireman;

...

[Passengers Arriving 1855-1922, Shipping Master's Office, Sydney. State Records Authority of New South Wales, NRS13278, X259 reel 2046, see Crew list, "Koombana", Sydney, 13 June 1909]

KOOMBANA

OF ADELAIDE, JNO. REES, MASTER, BURTHEN 4399 / 2678 TONS

FROM THE FREMANTLE via MELBOURNE TO SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, 13TH JUNE 1909

Surname Given name Station Age Of what Nation Status

REES JNO. MASTER CREW

...

DOWNIE J. FIREMAN 30 GLASGOW CREW

...

AB notes

Downie had been with Koombana since at least June 1909. That may explain his reinstatement after the strike

[Barker, Malcolm, 2001, The Truth Is So Precious, Success Print, Perth, Western Australia, page 43]

...

As stated above, on 29th November 1911, the replacement crew of 16 firemen signed on. Sadly, four of these, W Clarke, W Fitzpatrick, T McDermott and C Norlin were still aboard when it left Fremantle on 12th March 1912. Even more curiously, three firemen on that last voyage were none other than J Downie, H Offord and A Olson. These three were among the original 16 who declined to resume aboard the Koombana in protest against the presence of the the Chief Steward.

...

AB notes:

Downie, Offord and Olson were part of the Koombana Firemen's Strike of November 1911,

while Clarke, Fitzpatrick, McDermott and Norlin were part of the (union-sponsored) strike-breaking team.

[Wreck of the KOOMBANA - letters re men's estates, Correspondence between the office of the Chief Harbourmaster, Fremantle, and the families of lost crewmembers, Harbour and Lights Department, 1912. State Records Office of Western Australia, AN16/5 Cons 1056 Item 062]

my img 885

S O U T H A U S T R A L I A.

MERCANTILE MARINE OFFICE,

PORT ADELAIDE,

6th August, 1912

Dear Madam,-

In reply to your letter of the 6th May respecting your

brother Joseph Downie, who you think may have been lost in the

S.S. "Koombana", I am sorry to say that in the list of the men that

perished in the vessel there appears a man named J. Downie so, that

most likely he may be your unfortunate brother.

You did not give particulars as to age and birthplace

as you should have done, but any further communication on this subject

will have to be addressed to the Shipping Master, Fremantle, Western

Australia, where all accounts were made out.

I have the honor to be

Madam,

Your obedient servant,

[signed ? ? Smith]

Superintendent Mercantile Marine.

Miss Minnie Downie,

C/o Mrs. Scott,

49, Finnieston Street,

Anderton,

GLASGOW,

S C O T L A N D.

[hand-written beneath: "Wages are to be had by application at Fremantle

by mother, father, sisters, or brothers."]

[Wreck of the KOOMBANA - letters re men's estates, Correspondence between the office of the Chief Harbourmaster, Fremantle, and the families of lost crewmembers, Harbour and Lights Department, 1912. State Records Office of Western Australia, AN16/5 Cons 1056 Item 062]

my img 887

Letter from sister Minnie Downie, to the Shipping Master, Fremantle.

Glasgow 4/8/1912

['to' address apparently washed away]

Dear sir

as i have been advised

to make an application

to you i being the

sole surviving relative

of my brother Joseph

Downie who i am very

sorry to think is

identical with the

unfortunate fireman

who was lost in

Koombana [unclear]

i may state that he is

away from glasgow

about five years he left

here in a steamer called

the Juna my father

and mother are both

deceased also my sister

Susan and my brother

George so that I am

the only heir to any

money or effects which

my unfortunate brother

may have left behind

i am sending you his

birth certificate i will

give you the best

description i can of

him he was about

5 feet seven fair hair

blue eyes and of slenda

build i am sending the

letter i received from

the ship owners also

his register Papers

if this is not enough

i will be glad to

send you any further

information in my

Power i would be

grateful if you would

write me as soon as

you can as i have

[the rest is missing]

[Wreck of the KOOMBANA - letters re men's estates, Correspondence between the office of the Chief Harbourmaster, Fremantle, and the families of lost crewmembers, Harbour and Lights Department, 1912. State Records Office of Western Australia, AN16/5 Cons 1056 Item 062]

my img 890

5th. September

Miss M. Downie,

c/o Mrs. Scott,

49, Finnieston St,

Anderston, GLASGOW.

Dear Madam,

Replying to you letter of the 4th. ult., I have

to state that and amount of 7/-/-, balance of wages due to

your late brother, has been forwarded to the Accountant General,

Board of Trade, London, to whom it will be necessary to apply

for same.

I return herewith Birth Certificate, also letter

from the Adelaide Steamship Co.

Yours faithfully,

[copy unsigned]

SHIPPING MASTER.