Jenkins, Robert Henry (Rob)

[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 [saloon]


Jenkins, R.H. Emanuel Brothers' representative at Derby.

Jenkins Miss Daughter of above.


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



Now that it appears more than probable that the Koombana no longer exists, the personality of the passengers who most likely have shared her untimely fate will be of interest. Amongst them are several well-known people, and it is quite possible that some of them may have left the ship at an intermediate port.


Messrs Piper and Jenkins both manage stations for Messrs. Emanuel Bros., and were returning to Derby after a trip to the metropolis. Mr. Jenkins was accompanied by his daughter.


["Some Of The Passengers", Broome Chronicle (WA), Saturday 06 April, 1912]


Mr. Jenkins, cattle shipper for Emanuel Bros., en route to Derby, accompanied by his daughter.


["No News of the Koombana", The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sunday 31 March 1912, page 1]



Mr. Jenkins, who is a passenger for Derby, is a brother to Nurse Russell, of Kalgoorlie, and Miss Jenkins, also mentioned in the list, is her niece.


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




Mr. R. H. Jenkins.


["Relatives On The Goldfields", The Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA), Tuesday 02 April 1912, page 32]




Mr. G. H. Jenkins, whose name figures in the passenger list of the Koombana, is a brother to Nurse Russell, of Kalgoorlie, and the Miss Jenkins, whose name also appears in the list, is her niece. Mr. Jenkins has been for over a decade of years stock manager Messrs. Forrest, Emanuel, and Co., and he was on his way to Derby to superintend; shipments of stock for the firm, when the Koombana got caught in the blow.


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


Mr. Jenkins was stock buyer at Derby for Messrs. Emanuel Bro., Ltd., and was taking one of his daughters with him for company. Two other daughters are in South Australia. He was a widower for a lengthy period. His friends in describing how long he has been on the coast and how well he is known, say: "He is another Dad Fleming."


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



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.


[Vila Liebich, letter to the Adelaide Steamship Company, 29 April 1982, seeking information on Koombana passengers Rob and Edith Jenkins, Records, 1875-1994, Adelaide Steamship Company. Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University, 0186/N46/634]

Jenkins was great uncle of

Vila Liebich

[address withheld]

who wrote to Adelaide Steamship Co. 29 April 1982 requesting information. The replied sending a passenger list.

[Research file "s.s. Koombana", 1973-. Department of Maritime Archeology, Western Australian Museum, 189/73/1, Letter dated 29 April 1982 from Vila Liebich, descendant of Koombana passenger Rob Jenkins]

On the same day, Vila wrote also to Maritime Museum in Fremantle

[Research file "s.s. Koombana", 1973-. Department of Maritime Archeology, Western Australian Museum, 189/73/1, Letter dated 12 November 1982 from Vila Liebich, descendant of Koombana passenger Rob Jenkins]

This letter identifies Allan Hanson as a grandson of Jenkins

Allan Hanson

[address withheld]

Allan likely to be interested in developments

[Research file "s.s. Koombana", 1973-. Department of Maritime Archeology, Western Australian Museum, 189/73/1, Letter dated 04 December 1986 from J. H. Hanson, descendant of Koombana passenger Rob Jenkins]

[address withheld]

4th Dec 1986

Department of Marine Archeology,

c/- Western Australian Maritime Museum,

Cliff Street

Fremantle 6160 W.A.

Dear Curator of Shipwrecks,

I understand you are seeking information about passengers on the ill-fated S.S. Koombana.

My grandfather Mr R. H. Jenkins & his daughter Edith were both lost on this ship. I found the enclosed newspaper clippings (Adelaide I believe) amongst my Mother's papers.

Robert Henry Jenkins was born 14th May 1859 Hindmarsh S.A. Married Elizabeth Sara Keal(?) 3rd Sept 1884.

Elizabeth Sara Jenkins died 16th May 189?, aged 37.

They had a family of three daughters Edith Emily, Clara Keel (my mother) and M????

Robert Jenkins was 52 years of age and Edith 27 at the time of the Koombana disaster April 2nd 1912.

Robert Jenkins was a stock inspector and station manager for Emmanuel, ???? and Co...

Family heresay[sic] relates that he pioneered the shipment of cattle from the Kimberley to Fremantle, that Robbs Jetty was named after him in those days I believe the spelling was Robs Jetty. In the period before the WA Bi Centenary the local council engaged a writer to write up the local history and he found a resident once lived in the area called Robb so the spelling was altered.

I have never had the time to follow this up but I guess if the old records of the district had the spelling as Rob's then you know how it came about.

Rob Jenkins managed Sturt Meadows Station via Leonora WA between 1908 & some some time prior to 1912 with his three young daughters, Edith being the eldest had to take on the role of "Mother" and deal with often hostile aborigines when the men were away mustering.

Rob Jenkins success at dealing with the cattle duffers is evident by the note enclosed with photo of the three daughters, the marks he has used I assume to [be] cattle brands. The photo of what appears to be part of a cold store(?) or slaughterhouse showing Rob Jenkins and his dog and as the photo was taken by a East Fremantle photographer it was somewhere in that area, may be Rob's Jetty area! Trusting the enclosed is of interest and should you ever find the SS Koombana I would be pleased to hear from you.

Yours Sincerely

J. H. Hanson

P.S. I have a copy of a letter to Forrest Emmanuel & Co of Perth from Rob Jenkins in Derby dated 11th Oct 1907 listing cattle he had shipped on the "Moonta" 2 o'clock Thursday 10th from various cattle stations (named) total 649 head. If you would like a copy I would be happy to oblige."

AB notes:

with the letter were some photoes of Rob, Edith and family. photocopied.

Rob 52 and Edith 27 at the time of the disaster


Photo of Rob Jenkins (with dog) and other workers at a siding, probably near Robb's Jetty, Fremantle.

Taken taken by E. Gray, 278 Rockingham Road, South Fremantle, prior to 1912.



Photo of Edith Jenkins 1912 with her sisters Chara and Minie



A poem about cattle duffers by Rob, when he was manager

of Sturt Meadows Station, Leonora. 1908-1912?


["The Loss of the Koombana", The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sunday 07 April 1912, page 10]

<<>>"Mr R. H. Jenkins (a North-West Station Manager) and MISS JENKINS (his daughter) who were passengers on the Koombana."

["Announcements", The Western Mail (Perth, WA), Saturday 20 April 1912, page 23]



JENKINS.--On or about March 22, 1912, boat Koombana, Robert Henry, husband of Mary Jenkins, of Fremantle. ...


["Deaths", The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), Saturday 27 April 1912, page 18]

[not transcribed]