Further to the letter by Robert Campbell on New Zealand’s maritime disaster in the February 2012 issue of Sea Breezes, my great-great uncle, Charles Gough, was one of the 131 drowned on the ss Tararua at Waipapa Point, South Island in 1881.
Because of the large number of casualties, the wild and isolated terrain and the difficulties in transporting the dead, the New Zealand Government purchased a plot of land there, where they were all buried.
The grave is marked by a plaque known as the ‘Tararua Acre’. It was ironic that Charles, who emigrated from Shropshire in 1864, wrote home to his mother that he would not make the trip again for £100. The ship in which he emigrated on was the Captain Cook, later described by New Zealand authorities as one of the worst emigrant ships ever, with many deaths and shortage of food. Charles was on his way back to England to visit his mother who was seriously ill.
4 Silverdale Road