Terence, I may have had a breakthrough for you. I asked around in Indonesian for you and came up with a hotelier from Wetar. He answered in very good English!
hello Miss, I have received your email about Thomas Winship. I'm pretty sure your friend was telling the truth.
in 1825 the accident occurred the sinking of a British warship named Lady Nelson, the ship's name is taken from the name of the King of England daughter. Head sculpture on display aboard the Lady Nelson Princess made of pure gold as a symbol of the greatness of the British Empire. But the ship sank and all the treasures that it carries. Everythings drowned in Tutuwawang village (sea), only soldiers and crew survived. But until now there is still one relic is still preserved in the village Tutuwawang ie a cannon. On the body of written cannon "K.Q 65 '.
I'm pretty sure that Thomas Winship is the one of the crew of the Lady Nelson Warship.
I hope you friend coming soon to the island to see all about Lady Nelson warship history.. people in the vilage also keep and save every history include Europan and past war.
I'm sorry for bad language.
best regards :)
Viqjelen Kusaly from Moluccas - Indonesia"
There are a couple of difficulties:
1) The ship is recorded as going down off Babar Is, which is a fair way from Wetar. HOWEVER, there is a small island off Babar called WETAN. There may have been a confusion of names so close in spelling.
2) Is it possible that the birthdate you have for your ancestor is wrong, and that he was young enough to be a seaman on the Lady Nelson? He may have been stuck there for a long time, awaiting rescue, or simply opted to stay.
It is interesting to note that the wikipedia article has the European press reporting that the ship was taken by pirates and all crew massacred. Perhaps not all died, though. especially if your ancestor was on board.
I forgot to tell you, too, that I have Winship ancestry, but mine is from Goxhill, Lincolnshire.