Pyjamas led sailor to final sleep

1898 – W Satterley died for the sake of a pair of pyjamas.

He was a carpenter on the cargo ship Cornwall, which was moored at the Albany wharf. It was on its way to London with frozen goods including beef.

As he shook a quilt over the side of the boat in the early hours of the evening a pair of pyjamas  fell on to a beam between the wharf and the ship.

He tried to retrieved them from the boat, but couldn’t. So he went ashore, stepped down from the whart and lowered himself around a post towards the beam where the wanted nightwear lay.

But before he got low enough he slipped, fell on his back onto the beam, and then into the water.

He was alive though, as he cried out to the Cornwall’s boatswain, who answered and fetched a rope.

But by the time he got there, Satterley had sunk. His body was found the next morning.

The inquest which followed heard that he was ‘perfectly sober, but could not swim’.

Medical evidence proved Satterley had drowned.

An advertisement for Satterley’s job, two days after he died.
Iimage from the National Library of Australia’s Newspaper Digitisation Program
The SS Cornwall, published a few days after Satterley’s death. Image from the National Library of Australia’s Newspaper Digitisation Program
Albany, WA


For more stores from Albany’s Memorial cemetery, click here.

The Albany Advertiser, Tuesday 12 July 1898 – p2

The West Australian, Monday 11 July 1898 – p5

Western Mail, Friday 15 July 1898 – p 34, 37

Published by Sharyn Moodie

Travelling around Australia for work, I've found so many amazing headstones. But what is more amazing is the stories behind some of these deaths, and the way newspapers of the day reported them.

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