[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. Levins, boatswain 33 Drogheda

...

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

...

J. Levins, boatswain

...

["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:--

...

Thomas M. Allen, master.

N. C. Jamieson, chief officer.

W. R. A. Kinley, second officer.

F. G. Peacock, third officer.

F. H. Harris, purser.

J. Levins, boatswain.

...

["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. Levins, 33, Drogheda, 'bosun;

...

[Barker, Malcolm, 2001, The Truth Is So Precious, Success Print, Perth, Western Australia, page 52]

...

Other crew newly signed on for this trip were noticed:

Name Rank Age Place of Birth

F Peacock 3rd Officer 27 Edinburgh, Scotland

J Levins Bosín 33 Drogheda, Ireland

M Dwyer A.B. 25 Dungarvan,Ireland

P Jenkins A.B. 25 Stirling, Scotland

J McGuckin A.B. 35 Harrington, England

F Gunning A.B. 32 Bristol, England

F Herbert Fireman 18 Victoria, Australia

A de Montfort Fireman 25 Jersey Island

T Taylor Fireman 31 Dundee, Scotland

A Bryant Fireman 31 Victoria,Australia

H Stanberg Second Cook 28 Sweden

J Jackson Kitchenman 22 Belfast, Ireland

S Reynolds Steward 27 Adelaide, Australia

W Smith Steward 22 Clapton, England

AB notes:

newly recruited, according to Barker

[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 images 509 & 510

87 Strand Street

Clogherhead

Drogheda

Ireland

15th May 1912

To The Manager

Adelaide S.S. Company

Sir

I beg leave to address

you this note respecting my

son James Levins who I believe

was Boatswain on Board your

steamer the Koombana

which ship according

to a letter I Received from a friend

is given up as lost with all

hands and should the Sad

News be true I will be much

obliged by your letting me know

how I am to get his wages

and effects as I am sure he

must have some money saved

being a good while sailing

on the coast and I believe

principly in your Company

Steamers it is very sad news

for me and if it be true I

must bear it the best I can

Enclosed I send his Baptismal

Certificate and also my

Marriage Certificate so that

you can see that I am his

Mother. I am a widow for

the past 25 years and he has

been a good son and I trust

You will do all You can for

me to recover his wages and

effects I believe according

to some of his letters to me

he was joined

in some Union I

dont know much about such

buisness I would ask you

to kindly let me know what

way I would look about it

Anxiously waiting

Your reply to this letter

I remain

Your Obt Servant

Mary Levins

[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 image 511]

The Shipping Master,

Fremantle.

Dear Sir,

" K O O M B A N A "

...

James Levins, Bosun. We attach original letter received today,

through our Sydney Agents, from the Mother, having retained a

copy of same. We replied as per copy enclosed, and have

handed the Certificates or Mrs Levin's Marriage, and her son's

Baptism to your representative, and shal be glad to receive an

acknowledgement of same.

Yours faithfully,

[signed by Moxon]

Manager for W.A.

[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 image 515

Traffic Department. Fremantle 24th June, 1912.

Mrs Mary Levins,

Strand St.,

Clogherhead,

Droghera, IRELAND.

Dear Madam,

Our Sydney Agents have passed on to us your

letter to them relating to the possessions of your late son.

Their communication only arrived this morning and we are en-

deavouring to forward this letter by the same Mailboat.

All wages due to the late crew of "Koombana" were claimed by

the Shipping Master, on behalf of the proved nearest of kin.

We are handing that Official your letter and also the certifi-

cates furnished by you, and he will no doubt communicate with

you by an early mail. We are not aware of you late son

having any savings banked, but no doubt the Shipping Master

will be able to trace same, if existent.

Yours faithfully,

[this copy unsigned]

Manager for W.A.

Copy to Shipping Master

[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 810

The deputy Shipping Master, Fremantle, writes to Mrs Levins, enclosing a

Postal Order covering outstanding wages (£7/4/-) and the marriage and

baptismal certificates she had supplied in evidence. File copy undated.

[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 903 & 904

87 Strand Street

Clogherhead

Drogheda

Ireland

21 August 1912

To The Shipping Master

Fremantle

West Australia

Sir,

Yours of July 4th to hand

in due time with P.O. Order for

£7.4.0 being amount of wages

due my Son J.W. Levins who was

Boatswain on board the "SS Koombana"

for which I am very grateful.

He was a very good son to me

a poor widow for over 20 years.

I know he had some money

saved and how to look about

I dont know. he Boarded at

a Mrs Craigs 75 Kent Street Millers

Point Sydney. his Chest remains

there and I wrote to her to open it

and see if his Bank Book was

there she did so and there

was no book he must have it on

the Ship. She advised me to write

to the Inspector of Police at Sydney

and Perth that Perhaps they could

direct me how I would find

The Bank. He was also a member

of The Federal Seamen's Union of

Australasia [unclear]

and all the instalments are paid

up the last payment was August

in S. S. Junee signed by the [unclear]

as i see by his book sent by Mrs. Craig the number

of book is 1725. Would you kindle let me

know if I am entitled to any

help from said Federation or how

or where am I to apply. Please [unclear]

me for giving you so much trouble.

I Remain

Yours gratefully obliged

Mary Levins

Any information you can give me

as to how I am to look after the Bank

or the Federation shall be thankfully

rec'd by your Obliged

Mary Levins

[Wreck of the "Koombana" - photocopy of material relating to, Harbour and Lights Department, Western Australia, 1912, State Records Office of Western Australia. Series 1618, Cons. 5055, Item 001, see Koombana Relief Fund correspondence]

EXTRACT FROM LETTER RECEIVED FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE

"KOOMBANA" RELIEF COMMITTEE, PERTH

Dated 31st July, 1912.

--------------

"I give you hereunder a list of persons in Great Britain

to whom the Perth Committee has allotted amounts, and shall be

glad if you will communicate with the Agent-General, requesting

him to pay the sum mentioned in each case, out of the amount he

has in hand, and forward the receipts to me at the earliest

possible opportunity:-

Miss Wardlaw, 36 Bank Street, Hillhead, Glasgow, £47.

Mrs. W. C. Dick, 4 James Park, Burntisland, N.B., £47.

Mrs. W. Clarke, Chestnut Grove, off Marsh Lane, Boudel

Liverpool, England, £65.

Mrs. Levins, 87 Strand Street, Cloyerhead, Drogheda,

Ireland, £11.

Mrs. M. Dwyer, King Street, Abbyside, County Waterford,

Ireland, £11.

Mrs. W. Carton, Droghed, County Louth, Ireland, £11.

Mrs. J. Kearne, 36 Malcolmson Street, Springfield Road,

Belfast, Ireland, $11.

Mrs. Rea, 21 Conderton Road, Loughboro Junction, Camberwell,

London, S.E. £11.

----------------------------------

Further names since received:-

A. Dellar (? English address)

- Clinton ( " Local Committee making enquiries

- Offord ( " " " decline applica-

tion for assistance.

W. Burkin ( " Nothing done so far.

----------------------------------

...

[Quaile, Declan, "The Koombana Tragedy", Termonfeckin Historical Society Review, 2006, No. 6, pages 27-29]

[available online at http://www.mcveydesign.com/grandmabelle/book/termonfeckin_review.pdf]

...

Three Local Seamen

James 'Nish' Levins, the oldest of the three local men on the Koombana, was born in Clogherhead on 28th June 1879 to Peter Levins, from Clogher village, and Mary Moore, from Sunhill in Termonfeckin parish. James would have followed his father and other family members to sea in his teenage years, like many of the young men from Clogherhead at the time. In 1912 he was a boatswain on board the Koombana, meaning he was in charge of lifeboats, sails and rigging on board.

The second local man, Peter (Petie) Clinton was born in Termonfeckin village on 20th July 1880 to Patrick Clinton and Margaret Gargan. There were several Clinton families around Termonfeckin at this time, at least two at the Yellow Gap and two more on Big Street and it is uncertain to which family Petie actually belonged.[1] He would have been taught by Patrick Brodigan the headmaster at Thunderhill, who was known to have included navigation lessons to those pupils expressing an interest. By 1912 he was listed as an able bodied seaman aboard the Koombana.

A third man with Termonfeckin links was serving on the Koombana in 1912. This was Villiam "Bill" Carton. Though he was born in Liverpool Bill's father, also William, was born in September 1840, in Termonfeckin. William senior emigrated to Liverpool sometime in the 1860s where he worked on ships from the port in that city. He got married in Liverpool and his son Bill was born there around 1875. Bill junior later went to sea, following in his father's footsteps. He married Amelia Alcock from Plymouth and they had three children, one daughter, who died young, and two sons.[2] Like his two companions from Clogherhead and Termonfeckin Bill Carton would have sailed around the continents of the world on various ships.[3] By 1912 he was an able bodied seaman, alongside Petie Clinton, on board the Koombana.

[1] In the 1856 Griffiths valuation for Termonfeckin a Peter and Michael Clinton reside in separate houses at yellow Gap.

[2] One of the sons, Jack Cadon, is buried in Termonfeckin graveyard.

[3] A note inserted into Mickey Moore's 1898 diary (cf. THS Review 2002) suggests that Bill was on board the RMS (Royal Merchant ship) Orega at Montevideo, Uruguay.

...