[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
W. Kelly, third engineer 31 Ballarat
["Story of the Koombana", The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sunday 31 March 1912, page 12]
["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. B. Innes, chief engineer.
A. Wassell, second engineer.
W. Kelly, third engineer.
A. G. Christie, fourth engineer.
J. G. Arrow, fifth engineer.
["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:--
W. Kelly, 31, Ballarat, third engineer;
["Announcements", The Western Mail (Perth, WA), Saturday 27 April 1912, page 23]
KELLY.--Lost at sea on s.s. Koombana, about March 21, Walter John, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. T. Kelly, Shenton-road, Claremont.
[Steward, Noel, 1987, As I Remember Them, Artlook Books, Perth, Western Australia]
Kitty's own life, full and interesting as it was, had not been without sadness. When the Koombana sailed from Fremantle in March, 1912 she was on the wharf to farewell a young officer to whom she was engaged to be married. In fact, he had begged her to marry him before the ship's departure, but she told him her "box" was not quite ready. Those were the days when a well-stocked glory box was almost an essential prerequisite to marriage.
But the Koombana did not return to port; she completely disappeared and every soul on board with her. A small amount of wreckage washed up along the north-west coast was the only indication of her fate. Walter was the fiance's name, but none of Kitty's family can recall his surname. My search of old newspaper files revealed one Koombana officer with the initial "W" -- Second Officer Kinlay, but who knows whether this was the young man to whom Kitty gave her heart nearly 70 years ago?
Killy Gillies was born Oamaru, New Zealand in March 1882. She was 29 or 30 therefore, when Koombana disappeared.
["In Memoriam", The West Australian, Friday 21 March 1913, page 1]
KELLY.-In loving remembrance of Walter, lost at sea, s.s. Koombana, March 21, 1912.
-Inserted by Kitty Gillies.
This just about settles it: Kitty's fiancee was not second officer Kinlay, but third engineer Walter Kelly