For the Aboriginal people and Warden in Ulladulla to see the Walter Hood in a wild storm and driving rain, she must have been very close to the coast. And this is curious too, as not one of those on board later tells of seeing Warden Head that afternoon.
Exactly what did happen after the Walter Hood struck the reef in Wreck Bay on the night of 26 April 1870?
According to third mate William Tickler’s account, those aboard the Walter Hood first see other men on the beach on the morning of Friday 29 April. Who they are, and how they came to be there is a matter of dispute among locals who were living in the area at the time.
After the Illalong‘s rescue of the men aboard the Walter Hood, on 30 April 1870 the local coroner JV Wareham quickly convened a jury of five to hear depositions about the wrecking and the fate of the five men whose bodies had been washed ashore.
When news of the Walter Hood shipwrecked finally reached Milton in the early hours of Friday 29 April the reaction was immediate. Several men quickly gathered provisions to help the survivors and rode through the floodwaters to reach Wreck Bay. But many others followed, with other things on their mind…