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Edward J. Smith son of Walter Thomas Smith,lighthouse-keeper,Lowly Point,Spencer Gulf


I wonder if anyone here can help me; I am researching a ship wreck, the loss of the Garthpool in 1929 off the Cape Verde Islands.

Two of the crew were Australian; here I begin with an enquiry about an apprentice.

Edward James Smith, b.1912, Port Adelaide

He was the son of Walter Thomas Smith, second lighthouse keeper of;

Point Lowly, Spencer Gulf, South Australia (circa 1890-1903)^
& also
Assistant Keeper, Penguin Island (circa 1903/1904)*
Head Keeper, Port Adelaide (circa 1904-1906)*
Head Keeper, Cape Borda (1906-?)*

(^ From 'Public Service List by Public Service Commissioner;
found on google books//*Sourced from enquiry to
Lighthouse's of Australia)

Edward was 17 when he joined the Garthpool; he was one of 8 apprentice's.
I'd love to learn more about him and his family, & hopefully contact his descendants or relatives; I'd love to discover who he was, and what became of him.

Did he remain in a life at sea or did some other fate await him?

Any information, help and advice would be most appreciated.

Yours sincerely

Jessica Fox
Hi Jessica,
I found this if its of any interest to you. You may already have seen newspaper stories on it.

The West Australian
Wednesday 22 January 1930

Apprentice's Graphic Story.
MELBOURNE. Jan. 21:— The wreck oi the British sailing' vessel Garthpool on a reef in the Cape Verde Islands ou Kovemi ber 11 was described by a member of the
crew of the vessel, E. J. Smith, an appren tice, who reached Melbourne to-day. 'It was Armistice Day,' Smith said, 'and the crew and four passengers as sembled in the morning to observe the usual two minutes' silence. Twelve hours later, our ship, the last of the British Dwned full-rigged sailiug_ vessels, was a total wreck. It was impossible to see !and, and the sky was heavily, overcast. A half gale was blowing, and the presence of ironstone iu the rockbound coast may have deviated the compasses. About 9.3U o'clock that night,- we found the ship head ing with all ''sails set into a channel be tween an j island and ?? a reef: To veer or tack was impossible, aud before anything could be done the ship struck the reef, which eventually tore out half her bottom. Boats were launched and/ piloted by na tives, the captain, the crew and the pas sengers landed oh a beach* of the island. 'Ship's biscuits and condensed milk were the only foodstuffs available, and some whisky that had been brought off by the passengers was used sparingly. The natives travelled many miles : inland, and eventually brought a cutter to our assist ance. We were taken to San Rey, and then to St. Vincent in a Portuguese sloop. After 10 days at Si. Vincent, the company was taken to London on the Blue Line steamer Avelona.
Hello Gibbo,

Thanks for your email; yes, I have seen this, and articles like it before, but thank you for your message.

It was in an article, like this, that I found the vital clue that distinguishes this 'Smith' from other Smith's, as there was a direct reference to Edward being the son of a 'light house keeper of Point Lowly'... and luckily there are a few references to his father out there.

Hopefully someone connected somehow may see this... I've already made a variety of connections with other crew members family and such like, having left messages all over the internet, so I look forward to seeing what I might find here!

Well, thanks again,

Bye for now,