Aboard the SS Wimmera on her final voyage departing Auckland on 25 June 1918 were 75 members of crew. They comprised 72 men and three women, natives of 12 countries, with over half (39) born in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Deck Department

Third Officer Archie Howard Brookes
Third Officer
Archie Howard Brookes

Chief Officer Alexander John Nichol

Second Officer Charles Frederick Wilson

Third Officer Archie Howard Brookes

Ship’s Carpenter: Gerhard Koeck

17 Able Seamen:

  • Percy Bennett
  • Bernt Benson
  • Joseph Donaghy
  • Alexander Geary
  • Leslie Henningson
  • Johan Johannesson
  • Owen Jones
  • John McFarlane
  • Charles McLean
  • John Mulvenna
  • William John Murdoch
  • Charles Riddle
  • (Thomas Robinson)
  • William Arthur Roper
  • Thomas Thomasson
  • (Joseph Fanning), and
  • (A. Bennett)
Cecil Rawhiti 'Rah' Smith (in later years)
Cecil Rawhiti ‘Rah’ Smith (in later years)
Use of image courtesy of Graham Smith

Ordinary Seamen:

  • Henry G. Bennett
  • Edward Martin, and
  • Cecil Rawhiti ‘Rah’ Smith

Engine Department

Fourth Engineer Douglas Lodder Mowatt
Fourth Engineer
Douglas Lodder Mowatt

Chief Engineer Alfred Richard Paxton

Second Engineer Stanley Raymond Collier

Third Engineer Robert MacDonald

Fourth Engineer Douglas Lodder Mowatt

Seven Firemen:

  • William Alexander Brewis
  • James Campion
  • John de Beuze
  • (Nathanial Frankham)
  • Charles Hawes
  • Charles Neal
  • William Thomas

Engineroom storekeeper: Thomas E. Williams

Four Trimmers:

  • (William Henry Frankham)
  • (John McCartney)
  • Frederick McCreeve
  • Alfred Thompson

Greaser: Thomas G. Graham

Greaser/Donkeyman: David Backstedt

Stewards Department

Chief Steward Henry Verge
Chief Steward
Henry Verge

Purser Kenneth Gorrie

Assistant Purser Norman Stanley Hawkeswood

Chief Steward Henry Verge

Nine First Grade Stewards:

  • James Blackborough
  • Henry E. Butler
  • Frederick Edward Leslie Corner
  • Henry William John Gallagher
  • William Henry Gallagher
  • Edgar Greaves
  • Clarence William Richard Stapleton
  • James Ralph Wensley
  • Charles Thomas Woodard

Four Second Grade Stewards:

  • John Cummings
  • James R. Forsyth
  • William Wood
  • Ernest Curtis

Cadet Steward: Keith (Kenneth) McKenzie

Forecabin Steward: Walter Sidney Smeed

Saloon Waiter: Richard Herbert (Bert) Saville

Forecabin Stewardess: Jean Black Robertson

Saloon Stewardess: Clara Louisa McMillan

Stewardess: Edith Keightley Newton

Chief Cook: Henry John Pointer

Second Cook: Thomas George Grimshaw

Third Cook/Scullion: Ernest Edwards

Butcher: Richard Arthur Frankland

Baker: Sydney Victor Yates

Pantryman: Edward (Jack) Gamble

Sculleryman/Scullion: Francis William Woods


Arthur Bomont. Wireless Operator.
Arthur Bomont
Wireless Operator

The ship’s wireless operator for the voyage was: Arthur Bomont.

Feature image: Gallant men of the mercantile marine: most of the surviving members of the crew of the Wimmera, photographed on arrival at Auckland.
Supplement to the Auckland Weekly News 4 July 1918 p038
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19180704-38-3

© Ralph L. Sanderson 2004-2021