This, the second edition of the Companion to New Zealand Shipwrecks builds on the original 1936 book, New Zealand Shipwrecks by Ingram & Wheatley and seven further editions, the 8th edition being published in 2007.
Shipwrecks of New Zealand is lavishly illustrated with colour, plus many previously unpublished images of wrecks. It also lists the whereabouts of bells from our shipwrecks including many images, the first such list.
The first edition of the Companion, Shipwrecks of New Zealand, published in 2009 corrected errors in the 8th edition and added more unrecorded wrecks. This second edition adds another 30 pages and again adds previously unrecorded wrecks as letters and diaries surfaced with more details and more information discovered in our National Archives. However mysteries still remain such as the story of an ancient wreck in Aotea Harbour and identification of the wreckage recently excavated at Carters Beach in Westport.
While this book is essentially maritime history it also gives many insights into our early social history, such as the entry for the Volunteer wrecked at the Fox River, where ‘A sailor, dead for seven summer days was placed on the bar room floor of Kelly’s hotel awaiting the coroner. The patrons kept drinking, one even astride the body …’
Ingram & Wheatley’s original book included cutters, small fishing vessels, yachts and launches. Subsequent editions continued this practice. While not strictly ships, their inclusion adds so much to our maritime history and rightfully deserves their place.
Again with a very limited print run, this book must become a collectors’ piece and will interest the lay reader, maritime enthusiasts and genealogists alike. Together with the 8th edition of New Zealand Shipwrecks this Companion provides the most complete records of our shipwrecks to date.
Available online at Comm Media Ltd