Olsen, O. (or G. or A.?)
[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
O. Olsen, fireman 26 Sweden
["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:--
O. Olsen, 26, Sweden, fireman;
[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.
Downie, Offord and Olson participated in the Koombana firemen's strike of November 1911,
while Clarke, Fitzpatrick, McDermott and Norlin were part of the (union-sponsored) strike-breaking team.
[Barker, Malcolm, 2001, The Truth Is So Precious, Success Print, Perth, Western Australia, page 48]
The more poignant are surely those of the following "poor lost souls" for whom nobody would lay claims to their wages for their final voyage:
Name Age Place of Birth
C Norlin 32 Sweden
W Fitzpatrick 25 Cork, Ireland
O Olson 26 Goteborg, Sweden
T McDermott 30 Liverpool, England
G A Gee 25 Sydney, Australia
F W Cant 54 Cardiff, Wales
J Jones 27 Liverpool, England"
Wages never claimed, according to MB.