Captain Thomas Free
Captain Thomas Free

Having safely delivered the Wimmera from her Scottish builders to her new owners in Melbourne, Captain Thomas Free relinquished command.

Free returned to his position as Huddart Parker’s marine superintendent in the company’s Melbourne office and never again captained the Wimmera. In later years he became Huddart Parker’s representative in London.

Thomas Free also brought the following Huddart Parker steamers from their UK builders to Australia:

  • SS Zealandia (1899)
  • SS Barwon (1901)
  • SS Victoria (1902)
  • SS Riverina (1905)
  • SS Ulimaroa (1908)
  • SS Zealandia (1910)

Captain Free resigned his position in early 1911 and he departed Melbourne for London aboard the Mantua in February. He was later appointed the Company’s representative in London…

Captain Thomas Free, R.N.R., who for the past 12 years has been marine superintendent for Messrs. Huddart, Parker, and Co., has resigned his position, and leaves by the Mantua to-day for London, where he intends to engage in ‘business on his own account. Last Thursday evening the members of the Melbourne staff presented Captain Free with a clock and solid silver salver. Mr. ;W. T. Appleton, the chairman and managing director, said that, although Captain Free was going away, he was not altogether severing his connection with the company, for the directors had appointed him London agent of the company. The presentation was made by Captain Bell, the ‘Melbourne manager. Captain Free was further entertained at a dinner given by the directors.

1911 ‘ABOUT PEOPLE.’, Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954), 31 January, p. 5
Edition: DAILY,

Free relinquished his command of the Wimmera to a new, albeit temporary master in the person of Frederick Sheriff who was then master of the company’s Coogee. He was the second of what were to be ten masters of the Wimmera.

Read on: Captain Frederick Sherriff

© Ralph L. Sanderson 2009-2018