William Edmund Sinnott

William Edmund Sinnott[1, 2, 3]

Male 1866 - 1917  (50 years)

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  • Name William Edmund Sinnott 
    Born 22 Jul 1866  Collingwood, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Address:
    27 Fitzroy St 
    Christened 23 Jul 1866  Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Address:
    St. Francis Church 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation 1902 
    crewman on the SS Claymore on its maiden voyage from Scotland to New Zealand 
    Occupation 1905–1906  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    seaman 
    Residence 1905–1906  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Address:
    College Hill 
    Residence Sep 1910  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Address:
    Birkenhead 
    Occupation 1911  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    master mariner 
    Residence 1911  Birkenhead, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Address:
    Palmerston Road 
    Education 1912  Wellington, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Certificate of Competency as Master of a Home Trade Ship 
    Interest had a life-long interest in poetry  [9
    Occupation 1897–1913  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [10, 11, 12, 13, 14
    mariner 
    Occupation 1913  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [15
    master mariner 
    Address:
    Halesowen Avenue, Mt Eden 
    Occupation 24 Sep 1913  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [16, 17
    Master of a Home Trade Ship 
    Address:
    Mt Albert 
    Misc 1915  Albany, Western Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [18
    may have had a connection with McKenzie, Mayor of Albany, Western Australia 
    Military 1916  New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [19
    embarked with the Otago Infantry Battalion, D Company 
    Military 27 Oct 1915–1 Jun 1917  France and Belgium Find all individuals with events at this location  [20
    Corporal in the 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 
    Died 1 Jun 1917  France Find all individuals with events at this location  [21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
    Military 12 Jun 1917  [32
    was reported as killed in action 
    _FSFTID M71H-JJN 
    _UID 6E3C38F1E1AD47D099DC85602D81CAE02A37 
    Buried Wulvergem, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Address:
    Plot II. G. 14, St Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery 
    Person ID I40  Treefive
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2016 

    Father William Sinnott,   b. 1815, Carne, County Wexford Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Jun 1898, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Mother Sarah Jane Richardson,   b. 31 May 1837, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Sep 1872, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 35 years) 
    Married 4 Nov 1854  Geelong, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [33
    Family ID F25  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Emily Belfield Haddock,   b. 28 Jul 1880, Ngaruawahia, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Oct 1957, Te Awamutu, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Married 27 Nov 1903  Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  [34
    Address:
    the house of Rev C. H. Garland, Karangahape Rd 
    Children 
     1. Emily Claymore Sinnott,   b. 14 Dec 1904, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Sep 1908, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 3 years)
     2. Ellie Sarah Sinnott,   b. 26 Feb 1906, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Dec 2007, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 101 years)
     3. William Ormond Sinnott,   b. 17 Dec 1907, Devonport, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 May 1995, Tauranga, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
     4. Gertrude Emily Sinnott,   b. 21 Dec 1909, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Nov 1982, Hamilton, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
     5. John Herbert Sinnott,   b. 24 Sep 1913, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jan 1997, Te Awamutu, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)
    Family ID F11  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    01045 William Edmund Sinnott
    01045 William Edmund Sinnott
    00020 William, Gert, Ellie, Bill, Emily Sinnott  abt 1915
    00020 William, Gert, Ellie, Bill, Emily Sinnott abt 1915
    00079 St Quentin Cabaret cemetery
    00079 St Quentin Cabaret cemetery
    Headstone of W.E. Sinnott
    00228 William Edmund Sinnott
    00228 William Edmund Sinnott
    00272 William Edmund Sinnott in centre
    00272 William Edmund Sinnott in centre
    00302 Ship 'Claymore'
    00302 Ship "Claymore"
    WE Sinnott in crew on maiden voyage
    00552 S.S. Claymore
    00552 S.S. Claymore
    Photo date could be 14.3.00 (i.e. 1900)
    00683 William Edmund Sinnott
    00683 William Edmund Sinnott
    See also photo 00228

  • Notes 


    • William was the ninth child of the marriage, although three of his siblings had already died before he arrived. After William there were four more children, the last one being stillborn.
       
      Nothing is known of William Edmund’s childhood and early adult life.

      He is said to have left the Roman Catholic faith after he made a confession to a priest which was then divulged to William’s father.  This caused a bitter quarrel between William and his father before William left and settled in New Zealand. 

      William Edmund is first recorded in New Zealand in 1896 when we was on the Waitemata electoral roll as a contractor living in North Albertland in Northland.

      William - seafarer 

      His seafaring career was underway by 1898.  He was employed on the S.S. MCasey in early 1898 as a Mate, then spent a period as A.B. (Able Bodied Seaman) on various ships, mostly on the coastal trade around New Zealand. 

      S.S. Claymore

      The Claymore was built by Messrs Murdoch and Murray of Port Glasgow, to the order of the McGregor Steamship Company, and was launched on 3 Jun 1901, being christened by Miss Jenny Campbell, daughter of William Campbell of Port Glasgow, one of the owners of the steamer.

      W. E. Edmund Sinnott was working as the mate on the S.S. Rob Roy in Auckland coastal waters when, in Feb 1902, he was sent to Scotland on the S.S. Papanui, in order to become one of the officers on the S.S. Claymore on its maiden voyage to New Zealand. He kept a diary of some 50+ pages. It has not yet been transcribed, but copies of the first 4 pages are included on the penultimate page below.

      The Claymore left Glasgow at 6am on 24th Jul 1902 and reached St Vincent on 7 August, where it took on coal and left the same day for Capetown. It arrived there on 3 September after experiencing “strong south-east trades” (winds). William wrote a poem about the ship’s approach to Capetown, and describes the weather in rather more graphic terms - see below. The steamer left Capetown on 9 September and the crew enjoyed fine weather while crossing the Southern Ocean, arriving at Hobart, Tasmania on 16 October. After taking on coal and provisions, it left for Auckland on the 19th, was met by the ship Orewa off Kawau Island on Sunday 26th Oct 1902, and docked in Auckland at 9pm that evening.

      Poem by W. E. Sinnott –in his son Bill Sinnott’s notebook
       
      In 2015, Delwyn Sinnott found 2 old notebooks while clearing out her house at Karapiro, prior to moving to Cambridge.  The notebooks were handwritten, one with poetry [1] the other with notes on electricity and magnetism [2]. Some entries are dated 1928, and some are signed by W.O. Sinnott.  Also with the notebooks were 2 smaller pages with a poem dated 1902, and including a reference to the ship “Claymore” on which William Edmund Sinnott served.  It seems that the notebooks and pages were handed down by W. O. (Bill) Sinnott to his son Bryan who left them for Delwyn to find.
       
      Below is a transcription of the poem by W.E. Sinnott.  The first page of each of Bill Sinnott’s notebooks, plus transcriptions of the poems, are included in Bill’s biography.   As always, I have taken care in the transcribing, but any errors are my fault. 
       
      Transcription by Rex Sinnott   1 July 2015
       
      Sept 2nd 02
       
      The Claymore’s running into “Cape Town”
       
      The second of September
      With me will never die
      Through life I will remember
      For to Cape Town we were nigh
       
      Through that black and awful night
      We were running from the gale
      Our ship was flying light
      And we dare not carry sail
       
      The seas they rolled and thundered
      And the wind howled through the shrouds
      Thank God that no one blundered
      Neath those black and lowry clouds
       
      With increasing speed we raced the storm
      At his post was every man
      Death following in an awful form
      Our cold shroud beneath us ran
       
      In the danger all were fearless
      They stood by one another
      With a courage that was pearless [3]
      For then man to man was brother
       
      Here Neptune wields his rod of power
      His anger here we feel
      Our lives depend from hour to hour
      On her three eights plates of steel
       
      Will the night for ever last
      How fierce the wild wind blows
      But soon the wind is falling fast
      And the sea in dying throes
       
      And day is drawing nyhe [4]
      As a gleam of comfort from on high
      As she paints a long red line of fire
      Where the waters touch the sky
       
      And we can see around us
      Take a sounding of the well
      And thank God that morning found us
      That we could say “All Well”
       
      Oh mighty tempest master
      Our thoughts ascend to thee
      Who has kept us from disaster
      and the perils of the sea.
                                   W. E. Sinnott

      [1] Also a recipe for apple shortcake
      [2] Including “Some chemical actions produced by mixing acids and metals” and“Practical voltaic cells”.
      [3] sic
      [4] Possibly “nigh”
       
      William kept a diary of sorts in an exercise book which has survived. It contains some navigational study notes in ink, and a diary of the Claymore's trip plus a narrative in pencil. There is also some verse, also in pencil, which mostly relates to his maritime experiences. It is difficult to read, mainly because of the poor handwriting – a family trait of Sinnott males.
       
      There is reference in the notebook to Lottie – this was Emily Haddock who was to become his wife. William must have met Lottie before his voyage to the UK.   An undated poem refers to Scotland and contains the lines:

      'My Lottie in her Pratt St home
      Mother working and
      Bertie back from the plow
      I hear the tune that Evie plays
      It's "Willie we have missed you"'
       
      The names are of various Haddocks who lived at the family home at Pratt Street, Auckland.
       
      Working and living in Auckland
       
      Once back in Auckland, William continued to work on the coastal ships.  On 27 Nov 1903 he married Emily Haddock at the home of Rev C.H. Garland in Karangahape Rd, Auckland.  Emily was 23, William gave his age as 34 (actually 37), not the first or last time he underestimated it.  Emily was the daughter of John Haddock, a farmer and former Police constable, and Sarah Qualtrough.
       
      William continued in the coastal trade, and also had 3 stints on the Auckland-Devonport Ferries between December 1904 and November 1911. He was usually a deckhand, but occasionally a Ferry Master, and spent 3 weeks as Master of the tug "Durham". After this he went back to the coastal ships, mostly as First or Second Mate. His last recorded trip is on the "Atua" from 1 Dec to 31 Dec 1913, from Auckland to Sydney.
       
      He had obtained a Certificate of Competency as Master of a Home Trade Ship, issued by the NZ Marine Dept on 18 Jun 1912.
       
      In the meantime, William and Emily continued to live in Auckland, and they had a total of 5 children, the eldest Emily, known as Millie, dying young. The birth places of their children indicate they moved around the Auckland area:
       
      Emily Claymore born 14 Dec 1904 (Ponsonby) (Millie died in 1908)
      Ellie Sarah born 26 Feb 1906 (Auckland)
      William Ormond born 17 Dec 1907 (Devonport)
      Gertrude Emily born 21 Dec 1909
      John Herbert born 24 Sep 1913 (Mt Albert)
       
      In 1910, the family was at Birkenhead - this is the address given in the "In Memoriam" notice for Millie, 2 years after her death on 12 Sep 1908.

      According to his son Jack, William had an interest in weather predicting.  William knew Mr Wragg of Bayswater, Auckland, who was a well-known weather prophet.
       
      Unemployed
       
      William was unemployed, and the subject of an article in the Stratford Evening Post of 27 May 1914.  Two men tramped over most of the southern portion of the North Island in search of work– the search was not successful until they reached Stratford the previous day. They had set out 2 months previously from Napier, and went to Wellington, Wanganui and the Wanganui hinterland before reaching Stratford.  One of the men, unnamed in the article, was William Sinnott (according to his son Jack), the other had the same name as the then Premier (Massey).

      Last contact - and religious uncertainty

      It is believed that William Edmund never went back to Catholicism after the rift with his father in Australia. However, his daughter Ellie recorded in her autobiographical notes in 1997 that one day while at Karamu school, she and her brother Bill were called out, and were told by the teacher that there was someone wanting to see them, but that Ellie and Bill were not to leave the school grounds. William Edmund was at the door but, following the teacher's instruction, they did not leave the grounds. Ellie thought that their father had the idea of putting them in the convent because he was born a Catholic. But their mother Emily was a Presbyterian Methodist. It was not clear how he intended to carry out any such plan, as he had no horse and no vehicle. At that time, William Edmund was off to war. That was the last time Ellie saw him.

      William Edmund's war record history sheet records his religion as R.C. (Roman Catholic). It is unclear why he said this, or if he had in fact reconciled with the Roman Catholic faith. None of his children are known to have become Roman Catholics.

      Off to war
       
      William enlisted in the armed forces in spite of being aged 49 and having a wife and four young children. His reasons are not known – but may have been related to his employment difficulties.  He attested in Auckland on 27 Oct 1915, with the rank of private in the 2nd Battalion of the Otago Regiment.  This is rather odd, as he was a seafarer and his occupation was stated as Master Mariner.  He gave his date of birth as 22 Jul 1875, cutting 9 years off his true age.  His personal record gives his height as 5 feet 9 inches, weight as 11 stone, complexion dark, eyes blue and hair dark.
      William wrote to his wife Emily from the Tauherenikau Military Camp in October 1915, complaining about the crowded conditions there.
       
      On 8 Jan 1916, William embarked with the NZ Expeditionary Force 1914-18, Otago Battalion D Company on the troopship Warrimoo and sailed for Europe via Australia. On the Nominal Rolls which recorded his embarkation, he gave his occupation as Master Mariner and his next-of-kin as Mrs E. B. Sinnott of 5 Pratt St, Ponsonby.   The ship's magazine, 'The Warrimoo Memoirs' mentions Albany (Western Australia) where some crew members had experiences worth remembering, and there is also a brief mention that "Sergt. Sinnott shaped well as a reporter for the Memoirs".
       
      A Letter Card from William to Emily, dated 6 Feb 1916 from the Red Sea, indicated that they had almost arrived at their final port. The final line reads "Look out for me coming back in about 6 months after I have been introduced to some of those kind and humane Germans."
       
      William disembarked on 14 Feb 1916. He was promoted to lance corporal on 1 Apr 1916 and to corporal on 4 May 1916.
       
      On 3 July 1916 he wrote a letter from France, which was published in the Colonist newspaper on 31 Aug 1916. It gave some examples of the high level of casualties and the conditions that the soldiers endured.

      There were Field Service Postcards from William to Emily during 1916, they contain only standard phrases about state of health and whether letters were received. The last postcard was from Egypt and was date-stamped 12 Nov 1916.
       
      There were more letters from William to Emily between November 1916 and May 1917.
       
      William was killed in action on 1 June 1917. His death was reported on a Casualty List on 12 Jun 1917.  The final chapter in his life is covered in a letter to Emily from W. G Braithwaite, Brigadier General in charge of the Second NZ Brigade. He offered his condolences on William's death, and wrote in glowing terms of his loyalty and devotion to duty. He wrote "Before the Messines battle he went forward with his small detachment in the same duty & while at the forward depot he was killed by a stray shell instantaneously".

      The activities of the 2nd Battalion of the Otago Infantry Regiment, including No. 8 Company where William was stationed, are set out by Lieut. A. E. Byrne, M.C. in his Official History of the Otago Regiment, N.Z.E.F. in the Great War 1914-1918, 2nd ed. (J. Wilkie & Co. Ltd., Dunedin, New Zealand, 1921).
      The period when William lost his life are in:
      Part II. — France — and Flanders
      Chapter V Messines
      page 165:
      ...
      On the morning of April 16th the Regiment temporarily turned its back on the line and the strenuous work of trench construction tor a period of intensive training, and set out for the Quelmes area, approximately 50 miles distant. During a three days' march there were occasional falls of snow and sleet. The 1st Battalion, after successive nightly halts at Sec Bois and Sercus, finally settled in the area of Esquerdes, while the 2nd Battalion, after halts en route at Strazelle and Eblinghem, entered the area of Leuline, Etrehem, and Hudethun. Here, under the direction of Brigade, a systematic course of training was commenced, and in ten days a great deal of strenuous and valuable work was accomplished. Attack practice figured largely in the syllabus, and it was in these exercises, aided by an exact model of the German defences over the Messines Ridge, that the real lessons were learned for the important operation to which the Regiment was shortly to be committed. During the course of manoeuvres visits or inspection were made by General Plumer, Commanding the Second Army, and by General Russell, Commanding the New Zealand Division, and there were frequent lectures and conferences for officers on matters of training and in relation to the concerted attack itself. On May 1st the Regiment commenced its return journey. The 1st Battalion was back at Kortepyp Camp on the evening of the 3rd, and the 2nd Battalion reached De Seule on the same day.
      PAGE 166
      The storm clouds were now gathering on the horizon; the rumble of gun fire was growing louder and more insistent day by day; trench mortars had commenced the cutting of the enemy's wire, and all the preparations for impending attack were advancing under the eyes of an enemy from whom, by reason of his dominating position, they could not well be concealed. At 9.30 p.m. on May 5th the enemy opened a heavy bombardment of our back areas. This was continued for an hour, repeated at midnight, and again at 4 a.m. The 1st Battalion was compelled to beat a hasty retreat from Kortepyp Camp to the adjoining fields, and later it was deemed advisable to dig in there as a means of shelter. As it was eight men were killed and eleven wounded, and the huts were badly damaged. On the occasion of this unexpected bombardment the Division sustained a total of 106 casualties, and in addition lost over 80 horses. Our artillery fired 2,500 rounds on the enemy billets and back areas by way of retaliation, and on the following night when the enemy repeated his performance, though with nothing like the same disastrous results owing to the precautions taken, again replied vigorously. The real punishment, however, was meted out on the night of the 7th, when our artillery, in conjunction with the whole of the formidable forces of the Second Army, opened out on selected targets in the enemy's rear areas with five minutes' intense fire, and at 11 o'clock repeated this very salutary lesson.
      With the return of the Regiment no time had been lost in resuming the front line labours on which it had been engaged previously. A vast amount of preliminary work, such as the construction of assembly trenches and approaches, still required to be carried out, demanding the constant employment of units not actually engaged in garrisoning the line. The control and direction of the whole comprehensive programme of work for which the 2nd Infantry Brigade was responsible was entrusted to Major J. Hargest, of the 1st Battalion of Otago. The construction of the Otira Assembly Trench, 600 yards in length and traversed, was commenced on the 9th, and a few days later the travel trench was opened out and completed. On May 10th command of the Wulverghem sector, the left portion of the New Zealand Divisional sector, had passed to the 25th Division. On the 22nd the 1st Battalion moved to Hill 63, and the 2nd Battalion relieved the
      PAGE 167
      1st Battalion of the 3rd (Rifle) Brigade in the front line between Currie Avenue and Medicine Hat Trail, with headquarters at McBride's Mansions. With the 1st Battalion fatigues continued to be the order of the day and night, cutting new trenches and improving others. The assembly trenches, although their construction involved a vast amount of labour, were only intended for disposing troops for a few hours prior to the commencement of attack.
      Hill 63, where the 1st Battalion was now quartered, was like most other areas, not immune from enemy shelling, and on the 26th a direct hit on one of the huts killed two men and wounded another of 14th Company. As a result of the increasing intensity of enemy artillery retaliation, the casualties of the 2nd Battalion during its tenure of the line totalled three killed and 23 wounded. Patrols were out constantly over night in order to determine the attitude of the enemy. A patrol from the 1st Battalion, comprising ten other ranks under 2nd-Lieut. A. R. Cockerell, succeeded in penetrating to the enemy support line, and established the important fact that the enemy was holding the immediate front mainly by means of two great strongholds, the Moulin de I'Hospice on the right and Birthday Farm on the left. On the same night four artillery officers were taken out by this patrol for a distance of about 300 yards in order to determine the state of the Wulverghem-Messines Road for the passage of artillery.
      The 2nd Battalion was relieved by the 1st Battalion of the Regiment during the afternoon of May 30th, and moved back to the slopes of Hill 63, to return daily or nightly to trench labours. On the early morning of June 1st Major W. G. Wray, M.C., was wounded by a shell which burst outside his quarters, and in consequence he was evacuated. During the afternoon and early on the following morning the enemy heavily bombarded our front line system, but all this was as nothing compared to the manner in which our own artillery was pounding the enemy and his defences. The Battalion's front line was being garrisoned at this stage by 4th and 8th Companies, with 10th Company at Petawawa Farm, and 14th Company at Red Lodge. The maintenance of nightly patrols with a view to announcing immediately any change in the enemy's dispositions and attitude towards
      PAGE 168
      our ever-increasing artillery hostility and other indications of impending attack, was essential to the accumulation of an accurate intelligence in relation to the enemy, and in this important preparatory phase a large share of the work devolved upon 2nd-Lieut. C. F. Wilkie.
      On the night of June 1st Major J. Hargest, accompanied by Sergt. T. Sounness, 8th (Southland) Company, penetrated a considerable distance through the enemy's lines. When within 50 yards of Uhlan Support, a party of 20 Germans emerged from a partially demolished structure in rear, and moving quickly in single file worked their way from shell-hole to shell-hole towards their front line. It was assumed that they were moving out to establish a series of listening posts, and in order not to be cut off, it was deemed expedient by our patrol to withdraw. The enemy's trenches were found to be battered almost beyond recognition, and no evidence of occupation was encountered over the front system. Scarcely a root of ground remained that was not pitted or churned, some of the shell-holes being from ten to fifteen feet deep. It was in this inferno of unceasing shell fire and upheavals of the earth's surface that the enemy garrison of the Messines Ridge lived for several days before the final blow overwhelmed them.
      On June 2nd the 2nd Battalion took over the remaining portion of the Brigade sector, 10th and 14th Companies relieving troops of the 1st Battalion of Canterbury. The sector held now extended to Donnington Hall on the right. During the same afternoon the Corps artillery opened a violent bombardment over the Messines Ridge, with a practice barrage on No Man's Land, the enemy replying vigorously over our several communication trenches. Our casualties were one killed and six wounded; the precaution having been taken previously of withdrawing most of the garrison from the front line. On the morning of June 3rd Otago was relieved by Auckland troops, and marched back to the area of concentration at Canteen Corner. Here over the succeeding three days the Regiment was finally organised and equipped and rested before going into battle; an important side of this preparation being represented by lengthy conferences and discussions on the various phases of the Magnum opus.

      The Auckland Star of 15 Jun 1917 had a short article in the Roll of Honour:
      "Sergeant W. Edward Sinnott, of Auckland, reported in today's cable as having been killed in action in France on the 1st inst., left on the Otago Infantry Company with the Ninth Reinforcements. He was well and popularly known in shipping circles, having been on the staffs of the Devonport Ferry Company and Northern Steamship Company. He leaves a widow and family in Auckland."

      William was buried in St Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery, Wulverghem, 1 3/4 miles west of Messines.

      There are some interesting matters relating to William that remain unresolved:
      ·        there was a photo sighted by W.O. (Bill) Sinnott which showed William in front of business premises, he was said to have been in business with a brother.  It is not known which brother, or where;
      ·        there is also an intriguing story relating to Albany in Western Australia. According to W.O. Sinnott, William stopped off in Albany on his way to war to see the mayor on a business matter.The mayor basically brushed him off, knowing that William would be off to war in a few days. And so the matter has rested ever since.
       
      There is an interesting poem among William's papers - some words are indecipherable, which unfortunately affects the understanding of the poem as a whole.  It seems to refer to an inheritance lost (or something similar) and appeals to someone or a group for help. No other poems written by William have this theme.  Names and places seem to relate to his seafaring career and possibly interests in Australia.
       
      "[Durnings] Appeal"
       
      1.
      Tis now the fourth years meeting
      Does it not appeal to you
      That the time has arrived for a reckoning
      And to pay the Manager his screw.
      2.
      You must come down handsome
      It is all for the districts good
      To keep up our reputation
      And to show our Brotherhood.
      3.
      You must support us strongly
      If you wish to keep us running
      Or we will have to call on you
      And find/send our collector Durning
      4.
      I trust to my appeal you'll listen
      And all respond as one
      To strengthen our finances
      Ere sets tomorrows sun
      5.
      It entirely depends on you
      Whether this battles won or lost
      For we live in financial sunshine
      But we die in financial frost
      6.
      When this long fought fight is over
      You'll have an enforced rest
      For the issue of this struggle
      There are many could have guest (sic)
      7.
      You evidently were sleeping
      When Fighting Mac ...... our baby (feared?)
      And robbed us of our nutriment
      From the factory out at Waby
      8.
      I thought you would have nursed this kid
      With its gentle laugh and cooee
      And brought it up as it should go
      On the S.S. Kapanui
      9.
      And end to our schemes (most?) .....
      We cannot conquer fate
      We will have to make a tram conductor
      Of our commodore Southgate
      10.
      I must now close this last appeal
      My heart is too full to say more
      Either plank/plonk the dollars down
      Or travel/haul by the Claymore

      This curious poem raises many questions:
      Who is it written to? And who was sleeping?
      Who is Fighting Mac - one of his ship captains, MacGregor of the Shipping Co (Claymore), or Mayor Alex McKenzie of Albany, Western.Australia?
      What did Mac do, and what (and where) is the factory at Waby?
      What is the "kid"?
      What is the significance of the S.S. Kapanui? – it is not listed as one of the ships William served on.
      What is the significance of Southgate (captain of the Altair 1908).

  • Sources 
    1. [S355] BIO011 Biography Sinnott, William Edmund.

    2. [S372] BOK001 Book - A Century in Hot Water, page 15 - photo of S.S. Kapanui, on which WE Sinnott was a crew member.

    3. [S373] BOK004 Book - Warkworth Roundabout, page 19 - references to the ship Rose Casey, the s.s. Kapanui and the s.s. Claymore.

    4. [S151] BIR021 Birth Sinnott, William Edmund.

    5. [S3128] BAP Baptisms St Francis Church, Melbourne, William Edmund Sinnott, 23 Jul 1866.

    6. [S1671] New Zealand, Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981 Waikato, Waitomo, 1905-1906, Auckland West.

    7. [S1671] New Zealand, Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981 Waikato, Waitomo, 1911, Waitemata.

    8. [S675] Education Sinnott, William Edmund - Certificate of Competency as Master of a Home Trade Ship.

    9. [S500] Interest Poetry (abt 1900) - Sinnott, William Edmund, William Edmund Sinnott; about 1900; William's poem may be autobiographical.

    10. [S524] Occupation Sinnott, William and William Edmund - shipping, Wellington Maritime Museum; 10 July 1995; Information on shiiping relating to William and William Edmund Sinnott.

    11. [S692] BOK055 Book "Log of logs" (1990) and "Log of logs volume 2" (1993), Extracted references include: Claymore.

    12. [S695] Occupation Sinnott, William Edmund - mariner, William Edmund Sinnott, mariner; prepared by Rex Sinnott 2 January 2010.

    13. [S727] Diary Sinnott, William Edmund, on board the "Claymore" (1902), 52 pages.

    14. [S189] BIR066 Birth Sinnott, Emily Claymore.

    15. [S4552] Ancestry.com New Zealand, City and Area Directories, 1866-1954, Auckland 1913.

    16. [S633] Occupation Sinnott, William Edward - Master of a Home Trade Ship, William Edward Sinnott - Qualification as Master of a Home Trade Ship; 18 June 1912.

    17. [S136] BIR006 Birth Sinnott, John Herbert - birth entry.

    18. [S528] Letter Albany Public Library to Rex Sinnott re Alex McKenzie.

    19. [S4558] Ancestry.com New Zealand Army WWI Nominal Rolls, 1914-1918.

    20. [S504] Military Personal record (1915-1917) - Sinnott, William Edmund, Information compiled from personal record of Corporal William Edmund Sinnott; 20 February 1984; Information provided to Rex Sinnott in response to his letter of 11 Feb 1984.

    21. [S226] DTH064 Death Sinnott, William Edmund.

    22. [S462] DTH105 Death report Sinnott, Sergeant W. E., newspaper report of death; June 1917–July 1917.

    23. [S849] DTH141 Death notice Sinnott, William Edmund, Death notice for William Sinnott - died on service; 19 June 1917; page 1.

    24. [S2825] DTH213 Death Sinnott, Corporal W. E., Corporal W. E. Sinnott; 14 June 1917; page 5; Killed in Action.

    25. [S2826] DTH214 Roll of Honour Sinnott, Sergeant W. E., Sergeant W. E. Sinnott; 15 June 1917; page 7; Roll of Honour.

    26. [S2827] DTH215 Roll of Honour Sinnott, Corporal W. E., Corporal W. E. Sinnott; 15 August 1917; page 5; Roll of Honour photo.

    27. [S2924] DTH374 In Memoriam Sinnott, William Edmund, William Edmund Sinnott.

    28. [S2926] DTH376 Death Sinnott, Corporal William Edmund.

    29. [S3151] BUR021 Headstone Sinnott, Cpl W. E.

    30. [S3152] BUR022 Headstone Sinnott, William Edmund.

    31. [S4556] Ancestry.com New Zealand Army WWI Roll of Honour, 1914-1919.

    32. [S4557] Ancestry.com New Zealand Army WWI Casualty Lists, 1914-1919.

    33. [S293] MAR014 Marriage Sinnott, William and Richardson, Sarah Jane.

    34. [S331] MAR066 Marriage Sinnott, William Edmund and Haddock, Emily Belfield - transcript.