Historical information

This is a booklet containing an epic-style poem by Alice Goldstraw on the subject of the wreck of the ‘Loch Ard’. Alice Goldstraw (died 1967) was the daughter of George and Robina Goldstraw who were pioneer farmers in the Cudgee area. The Goldstraw families were prominent in the early history of Warrnambool and district, especially as timber millers. The ‘Loch Ard’ wreck (1878, Mutton Bird Island near Port Campbell) is Victoria’s most famous wreck – 51 lives lost with only two survivors. The story of the survivors, Eva Carmichael and Tom Pearce has legendary status in the stories of shipwrecks in Victoria and has been the subject of articles, songs, poems, plays, novels and films.

Significance

This booklet is of great significance because it is a well-written poem by Alice Goldstraw, a member of a pioneer family in the Cudgee area. It is a notable early poem about the wreck of the ‘Loch Ard’ which has attracted much interest in the Warrnambool area and beyond. Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum in Warrnambool specializes in promoting stories of this wreck and features many relics of the wreck in its collection – the Loch Ard Peacock, the Carmichael watch, the Tom Peace binoculars etc. The laser night show at this Museum currently features the story of the wreck. Original copies of this poem are now rare.

Physical description

This is a soft cover booklet of 20 pages containing a poem about the wreck of the ‘Loch Ard’. The cover is cream-coloured with the front cover having blue print and a sepia-coloured photograph of the Loch Ard Gorge. The booklet has a page of photographs connected to the ‘Loch Ard’ and an ornamental black border around each page of the stanzas. The front cover is somewhat blotched and stained. The booklet has been stapled but the staples have been removed.