Historical information

This letter was written by a representative of the crew of the SS Siltonhall to the Mission to Seafarers in Oct 1929.
Their ship caught fire in the Indian Ocean and were rescued by the SS Anthea.
The crew was sent to Melbourne and spent some time at the Mission.

Article in the Argus, Tuesday 15 October 1929, page 6



Sir, the story of the disaster to the s.s. Siltonhall is still fresh in the public mind. The ship caught fire and she was abandoned and sank in the Indian Ocean. The crew took to the boats and were rescued and brought safely in to Melbourne. They have been with us now for nearly a week now, taking full advantage of the hospitality of the Mission to Seamen Institute.So far they have been provided with the bare necessities of one complete suit of clothing by the shipping authorities. They leave here to return home to England on Wednesday. If anyone will kindly contribute any articles of clothing or boots they will be most acceptable, especially as the men will be going to a cooler climate. Please send them to me.
Yours Sincerily,
Chaplain, Missions to Seamen, Australian Wharf, Oct. 14."


This letter and photograph indicate the valuable service that the Mission to Seafarers provides to crews of ships wrecked off the Australian coast. The smiling crew of the S.S. Siltonhall evidently appreciated that when they were in desperate need they were cared for. The picture was possibly taken in a nautical context, perhaps at the docks or on board a ship.

Physical description

B/W photograph of group of 22 men. Letter signed T. Bateman from crew of the SS Siltonhall dated Oct. 16th 1929.

Inscriptions & markings

"Oct 16th 1929. / The members of the crew of the SS Siltonhall, / which caught fire in the Indian Ocean, and / was abandoned on Sept 21st 1929, wish to / thank the 'Missions to Seamen', and all those / concerned, for their hospitality, in the way of / Concerts, Socials, etc., also for boots and clothing / gratefully received. / On behalf of the crew. T. Bateman."