My ancestor George Leak Massingham, was shipwrecked on King Island in the Bass Strait between Tasmania and Victoria, on 14 July 1866 at the age of 16 while travelling to Australia aboard The Netherby.

He wrote an extremely descriptive letter home to his mother in England and I would like to share the contents of that letter, along with the many other sources of information I have since found regarding the shipwreck.

George was my great great grand-uncle and it always fascinated me that someone so young would be so brave as to travel across the world to a new country on his own. 
George went on to be a well known portrait and landscape photographer in Queensland and Victoria, with much of his work retained in the National Library of Australia.
George's letter - 6 pages of foolscap front and back.
I have been collecting information on the Netherby  shipwreck for 20 years and where possible, have listed my sources. I apologise that some sources name have been forgotten over time. 

I have also tracked down other peoples stories on the net and have included links to their sites. I hope you enjoy the reading, in particular the Surgeons Report, which while lengthy, is fascinating in its detail.
Site History & Details:
  • Site owned and constructed by Karina Taylor. 
  • Construction began 4 September 2005 
  • Best viewed in Internet Explorer V6 - have been unable to format it to look ok in Mozilla and others - sorry.
  • THANKS: I have been collecting Netherby stuff since the mid 80s. Over the years I have forgotten many helpful people who have sent or swapped info with me. I would like to thank my Massingham relatives, Sandra Soutter, Lynda Young and the Charlwoods.
  • 10/9/05: Published the following pages - Home, George's Letter, Surgeons Letter, Surgeons Report, Schoolmasters Letter, Immigration Agents Letter, Passengers Petition to Captain, Melbourne Argus Article.
  • The Genealogy, Time Line and Related Links buttons have been added to the navigation buttons but the pages are not completed. 
  • Still to come are transcripts from the Captains report, news articles, maps paintings, alphabetical passenger manifest and more. If you have something to contribute - please leave your details in the guest book and I will contact you.
  • 2/4/06: Changed the title banner and fixed the navigation bar to get rid of the blue. Changed fonts to Times New Roman as the Script font was causing major viewing problems in different browsers.
  • 8/4/06: Added Links page, Time Line page, and Netherby Gazette page. Alphabetised the passenger list for easier searching.
  • 19/1/07: Added a discussion forum for decendants of Netherby passengers to get together, share information, plan a 150th anniversary celebration, chat, and more. Clink on the link and join us there. I have also moved with the times and changed the resolution of the site from the old 800x600 to 1280x960.
  • 16/4/11: Added links to Ann's Facebook Pages and Reunion Page to assist in bringing together decendants of Netherby passengers for the big reunion on King Island in 2016!! Added a page to archive Ann's reunion newsletters.
  • 1/4/12: Due to ongoing spam issues making the current guestbook unmanageable for me, I have closed it and relocated it to the discussion forum. You do not need to register to post in the new guestbook - you can post as a guest. I have also created a "guestbook archives" there and moved all the original comments from 2005 to 2012 over there so I didnt lose all that valuable content from everyone who has visited this site. To get to the new guestbook you can still click on the navigation link on the left!!
  • 8/4/13: Have upgraded the Proboards Guestbook and Discussion Forum and it now allows you to post photos in the threads without the need for a 3rd party photo hosting site. Updated links in the navigation bar on the left for the Facebook group and Discussion Forum. Please do join us on these two sites to assist with stories and planning for the 150th commemorations. I have also resolved the website building issues I have had since moving from Windows to Mac so I can recommence the adding of a heap of info to this site and the discussion forum.