Wassell, Albert

[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]



A. Wassell, second engineer 33 Brisbane


["Six Days Out", The West Australian, March 27, 1912]


Gunn, the second engineer until recently, made an exchange with A. Wassell of the Echunga, the latter going on to the Koombana.


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


A. Wassell, second engineer.


["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 Missing Koombana", The Brisbane Courier (Qld.), Friday 29 March 1912, page 6]


Mr. E. B. Wareham (Queensland inspector and attorney for the Adelaide Steamship Co.) stated yesterday that the second engineer of the missing steamer Koombana is Mr. Albert Wassell, son of Mr. J. W. Wassell, of Brisbane.


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


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:--


A. Wassell, 33, Brisbane, second engineer;


["The Steamer Koombana", The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), Friday 12 April 1912, page 8]




Mr. Gunn, until recently second engineer of the Koombana, may congratulate himself on a lucky escape. Desiring a temporary change, he arranged a transfer with Mr. A. Wassel of the Echunga, a cargo steamer trading between Fremantle and the eastern States. The transfer was made before the Koombana's, and Mr. Wassell's name is in the list of 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]

[img 468]

Letter from the Fremantle office of the ASS Coy, 19th April, 1912.

Capt. T. W. Smith,

Shipping Master,

Representative of the Board of Trade,


Dear Sir,

Referring to our letter of 17th. inst.,

under cover of which we sent you a cheque for £461-4-0 for

ss "KOOMBANA" (missing) wages to 31st. March 1912, please note

that we wish to page wages of the following officers, viz;-

T. M. Allen, Master £29-12 -0

N. C. Jamieson, Chief Officer 15 -4 -0

W. R. A. Kinley Second Officer 12 -16 -0

P. S. Peacock Third Officer 10 -8 -0

A. Wassell Second Engineer 12 -13 -4

J. G. Arrow Fifth Engineer 9 -12 -0

Please refund this amount to us out of the moneys held in trust

by you on our account in this matter.

Yours faithfully,

[signature illegible, but probably Moxon]

Manager for W. A.

["Koombana Relief Fund", The West Australian, Monday 03 June 1912, page 8]


The hon. secretary of the Mayor of Fremantle's Koombana relief fund has received the following additional subscriptions:- White Rose Lodge, Free Gardeners, £1 1s.; W. J. Hutch, Mundaring, £1 14s. 6d.; Union Stores and employees, £1 17s. 6d.; Fremantle Lumpers' Umnon, £15; relatives of Albert Wassall, late second engineer on Koombana, £5; H. W. Rischbieth, £2 2s.; W. J. Sweetman, 10s. 6d.


["Obituary", The Cairns Post (Qld.), Monday 03 September 1945, page 6]


BABINDA, August 30.--One of Babinda's well-known and prominent citizens in the person of Mr. John Malcolm Wassell, passed away in the Babinda hospital after a short illness, at the age of 63 years.


His father was Inspector of Water Police in the early days of Brisbane. His four brothers all predeceased him, viz. Doctors Joseph and Charles, James who was a barrister-at-law, and Albert (marine engineer) who was lost on the S.S. Koombana. He is survived by his wife and two sisters, Misses Edith and Bertha Wassell (residing at Wynnum) to whom much sympathy is extended.



Gunn Newsletter


Marjory Drysdale was given information from a friend, Graeme Dunlop - retired marine engineer, on the ship "Koombana" and Malcolm’s grandpa’s (Murdoch Gunn) fortunate escape from the disaster. This information and Murdoch’s signature was in the text book, "The Marine Steam Turbine" for engineers published in 1906 and costing six shillings!!


AB notes:

Albert Wassell's mate on the Echunga was Murdoch Gunn.