About 8 20 o'clock the guns again announced a vessel in distress. A wooden trawler, name unknown but supposed to be the Wonga, was seen entering the harbour, near the North Pier. In an instant she turned bottom upwards, being struck by a sea, and went down, taking] it is supposed, seven souls with her. Nothing was seen afterwards till the wreckage came floating ashore.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 28 October 1880

The names of the two steam trawlers lost off the Tyne about nine o'clock this morning have been ascertained. Various rumours were afloat respecting them, but the nameboards have been ashore, and it appears from these that one was the Wonga, a wood vessel.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 28 October 1880/pr>

The Wrecked Trawlers

The following are the names of the crews as far as we have been able to ascertain them:—

Wonga: W. Patton, master; George Stoker, engineer; A. Wilson, fireman. This steamer belonged to Messrs James Newton and Henry Jobes, of North Shields.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 28 October 1880

Tynemouth Haven

On shore in the Haven a large quantity of wreckage, and nearly the whole of the Wonga's timbers have washed up. The iron work and bars present a frightful appearance, having been bent like whipcord. No bodies have yet come up here, but it reported that two from the sunken trawlers have washed up the other side of the river, that of Joseph Patton, master of the Wonga and Alexander Bertram, of the Flying Huntsman.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 30 October 1880

During the day one of the bodies was identified that of Adam Smith, late fireman of the steam-trawler Wonga, who lived at No. 8 Milburn Place, North Shields.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 1 November1880

The Loss of the Trawlers
Headless Body of one of the Men
Found in the Tyne

This morning, about 8.45 a.m., a man named James Cook, picked up, in the Tyne, opposite Maitland's Quay, North Shields, the body of man, minus head and hands, on it were the following articles of clothing:—Blue serge suit and oilskins, blucher boots, grey stockings, blue drawers, and blue flannel shirt and white body flannel. In the pocket of the trousers was a knife and purse containing 3s 6d. The body was at once removed to the dead house, Low Lights, to await identification. It was supposed to be that of one of the unfortunate men who lost their lives from the trawlers the late gale. Later on the morning this surmise was confirmed, the body being recognised as that of George Stoker, aged 32, engineer of the hapless trawler Wonga.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 17 December1880

The Late Storm
Inquest on the Engineer of the Wonga

An inquest was held this morning at the Half-Moon Inn, Low Lights, before Mr Coroner Cockcroft, upon the body of George Stoker (32), late engineer on board the trawler Wonga, which was found floating in the Tyne yesterday.—The body was identified by Mr Jno. Stoker, father of the deceased.—Thos. Ferguson, mariner, deposed to having seen the Wonga founder, after being struck by a heavy sea on the 28th October. A verdict that deceased was drowned through the sinking of the trawler Wonga was returned.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 18 December1880


MR  J. S. FORREST will SELL BY AUCTION, near Mr Fawcus’s  Dock, North Shields, on Monday, March 21, two good BOILERS, lately belonging the Wonga, lost on Shields Bar, together with the Fire Bars, Brass Cocks and Fittings. They are only 5 years old, and afford an opportunity rarely occurring to parties needing to reclass their boats. Sale at One to suit the tide.

Particulars of the AUCTIONEER

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 19 March 1881