Fremantle Stuff > People > Albert Edward 'Scottie' Gilmore, 1857-?

Scottie Gilmore

Captain A.E. 'Scottie' Gilmore was a pilot at Rottnest and Fremantle for 25 years (and also harbour master at Geraldton for seven years). He was born in Perth, Scotland in 1857.


By 1905 and for seven years, Scottie and Mary Ann Gilmore were living in Geraldton with some of their younger children.  The older boys stayed behind in Fremantle and the single ones stayed living in Lilly Street.  Scottie was back in Geraldton but this time he was not part of the bedraggled crew of the Hadda.  This time he was the harbour master of Geraldton. Western Australia certainly was the land of opportunity and Scottie had taken advantage of it.
Scottie’s daughters showed prowess behind an oar and Edie and Hilda became excellent rowers, even winning the ladies rowing race in Geraldton in February 1907.  Scottie’s coaching tips may have helped.

Scottie Gilmore was Harbour Master of Geraldton for seven years.

Windsor, an iron steamer was wrecked with a crew of 37 on February 2, 1908 on Half Moon Reef near Pelsaert Island with the loss of three lives.  She was on a voyage from Fremantle to Hong Kong with a cargo of 2,600 tons of sandalwood.  She struck a reef and broke her back.  About twenty of the crew, including fifteen Chinese reached the shore in her boats, but others remained on board while high seas and strong winds battered her.  Later the chief engineer drowned while trying to swim ashore with a rope while the master and the mate were lost when the ship broke in two.  Finally, three apprentices and twelve Chinese who had been clinging to the wreck for four days leaped into the sea and were rescued.

Captain Albert Gilmore received an official letter of appreciation and a medal from John G. Smith, the Mayor of Geraldton on June 28th, 1908.

Dear Sir,  On behalf of the citizens of Geraldton we have much pleasure in handing you the accompanying medal as a small token of appreciation of the bravery shown by you on the occasion of the wreck of the S.S. Windsor on the Abrolhos Islands, in the early part of 1908, when, by your assistance, many valuable lives were saved.
Assuring you of our appreciation of your conduct on that occasion, and hoping you may long be spared to keep this souvenir of a time when you, at the risk of your own life, did good work in rescuing others.

Moving back to Fremantle to resume his life in Lilly Street, Scottie carried out the role of Harbour Master of Fremantle for a total of 25 years.

Ex Pilot Gilmore - Extensive Seafaring Career
A sturdy son of Caledonia is ex Pilot Gilmore now living at Fremantle.  He was born in the fair city of Perth, Scotland in 1857 and at the age of 14 decided to go “aroving”.  The opportunity was not long deferred and he signed on a barque bound for the antipodes as a seaman.  Many adventures he crowded into his years of travelling the seven seas, and Yokohama, St. Johns (Newfoundland), Sydney, Bangkok and Singapore were almost as familiar to him as his nature Perth.  He received his introduction to Western Australia in 1877, when his barque the Hadda, was wrecked on the Abrolhos Islands.  No lives were lost but it was 10 days before the Crew could set out for the mainland, 40 miles distant.  Opportunity presented itself again in the form of a berth in the pilot service at Rottnest and he accepted.  He served alternately at Rottnest and Fremantle, but some years prior to his retirement was pilot at Geraldton.  Mr. Gilmore is a strong advocate for future harbour expansion to Owen’s Anchorage, where, he asserts, there are several square miles of deep water which afford splendid holding ground for ships.  He recalls 12 ships having anchored in this locality at a time and, to his knowledge, there was only one vessel being the schooner Diana which dragged ashore and that was for the reason that the anchor fouled.  Though now retired for some years, Mr. Gilmore still takes a keen interest in shipping activities of the Port.
Moving back to Fremantle to resume his life in Lilly Street, Scottie carried out the role of Pilot of Fremantle for a total of 25 years. Unnamed newspaper, 24 April 1932.

References and Links

The photo shows Albert Edward Gilmore, known as 'Scottie', holding the Pilot’s flag on Rottnest Island c. 1882.  He was Coxswain at the time, and later became the Pilot.

All data graciously provided by descendant Vicki Cooper.

Garry Gillard | New: 5 January, 2018 | Now: 16 November, 2019