IN REFERENCE TO THE “MYSTERY SHIP” query in the November 2010 issue of Sea Breezes from Martyn Webster, this is the Australasian United Steamship Company’s Wyandra.
In his letter he mentioned Australia and, in the photograph, despite the funnel livery being that of the British India Steam Navigation Company, the flag flying from the jack staff is not the house flag of that company. From these details the identity can be deduced. The flag is of the AUSN, quartered on the diagonal in white with blue to the hoist and red to the sky.
This company was formed in March 1887 as a result of the amalgamation of the Australian Steam Navigation Company and the Queensland Steam Ship Company. The latter had been formed in December 1881 to provide an Australian coastal feeder service between Melbourne and Cairns. Wyandra was built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, Ltd, Yard No 396, 4,058grt, 340ft x 46ft, 1 x triple expansion giving 14 knots and completed in September 1902. Throughout her life, she traded the route described above including during WWI.
The building of the railway up the east coast progressively took sea trade away so in December 1925 she was purchased by Japanese shipbreakers, arriving at Nagoya on 9 February 1926 to discharge her cargo of coal prior to breaking. My guess as to the photographic location would be Brisbane.
DAVID J MITCHELL
2 The Old Chapel, Roxby Road
Thornton le Dale
Pickering, YO18 7SX
For more letters, see the latest edition of Sea Breezes Magazine
Click on the links below to subscribe