Joseph Hudson Wilson

Joseph Hudson Wilson

Male 1849 - 1930  (80 years)

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  • Name Joseph Hudson Wilson 
    Born 18 Aug 1849  Stepney, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Possible Birth Registration, 1849, Stepney, London, England
      (England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008)

      Parents William and Jane (from his death registration)

      WRECK OF THE WALTER HOOD
      STORY BY ONE OF THE CREW.
      Some little time ago correspondence was published in the Sydney press, relating to the wreck of the Walter Hood, one of a number of ships which were lost at various parts of Wreck Bay, on the South Coast. The Walter Hood was a vessel of 937 tons, and was built by Walter Hood, of Aberdeen, for Mr. Gerald Thompson, M.P., of that city. She was designed for the China and Australian trade, and was classed A1 at Lloyd's for ten years. She did the trip from Aberdeen
      to Sydney in eighty days. On April 27, 1870 (almost exactly 100 years after Captain Cook first passed the spot) she was totally destroyed on some of the rocks in Wreck Bay, and eleven lives were lost. The story of the wreck has been revived in connection with a movement on the part of the Milton, Yattiyattath and Conjola districts for the purpose of erecting a monument on the Wreck Bay rocks, to replace the old wooden memorial which, by direction of the vessel?s owner, was put up on the shore of the bay, about a mile from Red Head.
      One narrative of the wreck states that amongst her cargo the vessel carried several boxes full of theatrical dresses and properties. Some of these burst on the rocks and scattered their contents ashore. A tribe of blacks who had assembled to watch the wreck, gathered them up and dressed themselves fantastically in theatrical array.

      In view of what has been published in the Sydney press on this subject, the description of the wreck given below will be read with interest. It was written by Mr. Joseph Hudson Wilson, who is now a resident of South Grafton. Mr. Wilson, who was then 20 years of age, was one of
      the crew.

      He is now 75 years old. His narrative reads:-
      I,. Joseph Hudson Wilson, now residing at South Grafton, signed on as an ordinary seaman at the Shipping Office, in the East India Road, London, and, fortunately or unfortunately, was one of the crew of the Walter Hood. I was 20 years old when I signed on. We sailed from the East India dock on January 20, 1870, and the crew consisted of Captain Latter, first, second and third mates, boatswain, carpenter and sailmaker, and a coloured man named Harvey as cook. Half of our sailors were American blacks and the others white-three ordinary seamen and two apprentices. There were also three passengers, Messrs. Smith (2) and Haynes.

      We had a good passage until we came, to the ?line,? where we were becalmed for three weeks or a month; When the wind freshened up we made another move, and we fell in with the trade wind and made a good passage, until we sighted the Australian coast. Then we fell in with unfavourable winds. We had fair winds going through Bass Strait, continuing our journey until one Sunday night, when a severe gale or cyclone sprang up, and before we could take in sail the principal yards were carried away.

      On Monday morning the sailmaker went below for a main topsail, but when hoisting it the gantry rope broke and part of it went overboard. The sailmaker went below for another sail, and in meantime the mate told another seamen (Hickey) to go to the boat hanging on the davits and bring the hitcher. While in the boat a sea came and tilted the little craft, and he went overboard. We threw a lifebuoy after him but one of the sailors who ran up the rigging, said he could see him but he was so long way from the buoy. The mate and more of the sailors were up aloft, trying to furl the sail, and the mate called out to the captain, ?I cannot furl the sail till you put the helm hard down.? The captain replied, ?If I put the helm hard down the sail will go to pieces.?
      The man at the wheel put the helm hard down, and as soon as he did so the sail went to pieces. That was our only hope of saving the ship.

      It was a terrible time. The seas were mountains high, and the seamen, with the consent of the captain, tried to ?bout ship. They succeeded in doing this, and she headed for the bay where she was wrecked. It was pitch dark and raining. The captain ordered the carpenter to let go the anchor, and while the chains were running over the windlass fire was flying off it. One account of the wreck said that the captain?s leg was broken. He was giving orders to the men, and I think that the cable flew up and caught him in the ribs. We carried him to his cabin, but we never saw any more, of him until we saw him washed up, among the wreckage.

      The order was, ?All hands for the rigging,? and I ran up the foremast. When the ship caught the anchor she turned round, with her stern to the shore. The two men at the wheel were lashed there, and when the rudder caught the ground the wheel went to pieces in their hands. I left the rigging and made my way aft. I stopped at the deck-house, occupied, by the carpenter-sailmaker, boat-
      swain, cook, and myself. I went to the door, and was in the act of lifting the lid of my clothes box when a sea struck the other side of the house. I ran to the side and laid hold of the ropes, and scrambled along to the roof. There I met the carpenter, but the rest of the crew were down in the cabin, deciding what they should do in the morning.

      When daylight appeared the first thing we saw on the land was a pig we had had in the sty on board ship, and also a dog belonging to Mr. Smith, the passenger. In the forenoon we sighted a man and a dog walking along the shore, and as soon as he saw us he ran in a northerly direction. In about an hour or more he returned, and went in the opposite direction. I could not say how long he was away, but he must have seen somebody, and spread the news, and before very
      long a lot of men and women arrived, some on horseback, with axes which they used to fall the timber on the Tenuce for the purpose of making a raft. They found, however, that the timber would not float, and they had to abandon the task.

      But, I am a little ahead of my story. On Wednesday, morning a Mexican put on a lifebelt, and we lowered him into the sea. He started off and swam well, but he had the heavy rollers to contend with, having to dive underneath when he saw them coming. We could see him just about to land, but he must have sank then, for we saw no more of him.

      Mr. Haynes, one of the passengers, was the next to try for the land, and he suffered the same fate. A sailor named Branson volunteered to take a line ashore, and he swam away from the ship, but
      did not go far. The current brought him back to the ship, and he was drowned before our eyes. We were powerless to help the poor fellow.

      Another sailor-I do not know his name-said he would go with a line, and left the ship. He had a terrible struggle, but he managed to reach the shore. He lay there for a long time, and we thought
      he was done, but by and bye he came to, and was the means of assisting the others when they were nearly exhausted. I cannot say if there was anybody on the land who went to the rescue of those who later swam ashore.

      There were thirteen of us left on the wreck. I for one could not swim, and there were others beside me similarly helpless. We were getting exhausted, so they decided to kill a little Scotch terrier belonging to the captain. One of the apprentices killed the dog, and the food was put in the top of a sou-wester and divided amongst us. They skinned the dog, and I had a piece of the flank, which was very tough, as you may imagine.

      We had pipes, but no tobacco and no matches, so we tore the rope to pieces and used it in place of tobacco. We tried to light it with the captain?s telescope, but it would not act.

      The boatswain said that he would try to reach the shore, and we lowered him down with a lifebuoy. I think he must have hit his head on the side of the ship as he went down with his head under the water, The poor, old cook, an American, died from exhaustion. He was lying alongside of us, and we decided to throw him overboard.

      I may mention that a gentleman named Harrison swam off to the ship, and rested on some plank that the carpenter intended for a raft, but he found out that it would not carry him. It was tied to the end of the ship, and Mr. Harrison rested there for a while. He wanted to know if the ship would last till the morning, and we said we thought it would, although we believed we were going to have a dirty night. He left and sent a message to the Clyde, where the Illalong was sheltering on account of rough weather. About 12 o?clock that night she hove in sight, but stood off till the morning. She then steamed into the bay, lowered her lifeboat, and came to our rescue, taking us off one by one, on account of the swell.

      We were taken on board and provided with a nice cup of coffee, which we all were thankful for. The Illalong brought us all to Sydney. I may state that of the thirteen of us only one had a pair of
      boots. I was 20 years old when this took place, and I am now 75 years old.
      April 3, 1925.
      Daily Examiner, Grafton, NSW., Tuesday, 9 June 1925-Page 2
    Gender Male 
    Died 2 Jun 1930  Grafton, , New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Death Notice 3 Jun 1930  Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW Find all individuals with events at this location 
    The death occurred at the Grafton District Hospital last night of Mr. Joseph Hudson Wilson, aged 80 years. Deceased for many years was a well-known blacksmith and farmer in the Glenreagh district. He is survived by five sons and three daughters. The funeral will leave
    his late residence, George street, South Grafton, at 11 am to-morrow for the Daily Examiner, Grafton, NSW,Tuesday,3 June 1930 
    Buried 4 Jun 1930  South Grafton Cemetery, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Funeral Notice 22 Nov 1950  Daily Examiner, Grafton, NSW Find all individuals with events at this location 
    The friends of the late JOSEPH HUDSON WILSON are respectfully invited to attend his funeral, to move from his late residence, George street, South Grafton, at 11 o?clock this day (Wednesday), for the South Grafton Cemetery.
    ANDREW ENGLERT,
    Funeral Director.
    Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW, Wednesday, Wednesday, 4 June 1930 
    Person ID I17315  Hickey, List, Bundesen, Thomsen, Jensen, Jessen
    Last Modified 3 Apr 2021 

    Family Sarah Reynolds,   b. 29 Jan 1854,   d. 5 Aug 1923, Grafton, , New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Children 
    +1. Walter Joseph Wilson,   b. 1894, Grafton, New South Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Nov 1950, Grafton, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years)
     2. Thomas John Horace Wilson,   b. 7 Feb 1900, New South Wales, Australia? Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Mar 1963, Grafton, , New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years)
     3. George Henry Wilson,   d. 17 Nov 1941, Grafton District Hospital , Grafton, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 3 Apr 2021 
    Family ID F6190  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Sarah and Joseph H. Wilson
    Sarah and Joseph H. Wilson
    Joseph Hudson Wilson
    Birth 18 Aug 1849
    England
    Death 2 Jun 1930 (aged 80)
    Burial
    South Grafton General Cemetery
    South Grafton, Clarence Valley Council, New South Wales, Australia
    Plot Meth.
    Memorial ID 49484992
    Maintained by: Gravewizard
    Originally Created by: T.V.F.T.H.
    Added: 10 Mar 2010
    Find a Grave Memorial 49484992

    Gravesite Details 83y; h/Sarah; father

    Sarah Reynolds Wilson
    Birth 29 Jan 1854
    England
    Death 5 Aug 1923 (aged 69)
    Burial
    South Grafton General Cemetery
    South Grafton, Clarence Valley Council, New South Wales, Australia
    Plot Meth.
    Memorial ID 49484994
    Maintained by: Gravewizard
    Originally Created by: T.V.F.T.H.
    Added: 10 Mar 2010
    Find a Grave Memorial 49484994

    Gravesite Details 68y; nee Reynolds; w/Joseph Hudson; mother


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