Saturday, August 29, 2020

Captain Stanley Robinson and the Waratah

Captain Stanley Robinson

Today we mourn the passing of Captain Stanley Robinson whose dedicated research into the Waratah has lasted a lifetime. To him we owe his excellent, detailed blog at

He says:

'I have included some photographs as a reminder to the followers of the Waratah, most I have dealt with in past blogs apart from the ss Strathspey. Many events never reached the court of inquiry and were kept under wraps but were forthcoming  coming after the inquiry closed including the latest stability figures which were too late to be included at the hearing. Once the great storm in which the Waratah was lost between Durban and Cape town started to filter through there were a great many nervous insurance brokers in London looking at late ships they had insured and had no word of them to date. The Strathspey was one such ship, owned by by Burrel and Sons of Glasgow she was built in 1906 being of 4432tons 111.8m x15.9 m, with a speed of 9 knots. Under the command of Captain Osbourne she was bound for Hamburg with a load of phosphates and had left Durban some 5 hours before the Waratah on the 26th of July 1909. Late in the afternoon of  the 27th of July Waratah overhauled the Strathspey which had taken the offshore shore course in the hope of picking up some more speed with the prevailing current. There is no record of signals exchanged but if in daylight it would have been by signal flags and therefore merely a short one with regards to identity of each other.'

See more on Captain Stan's Blog.