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"S.S. Georgette" Print Page Print this page

Memorial commemorates the wreck of the S.S. Georgette, the lives lost, and acknowledgement by the Royal Humane Society for those involved in the rescue of survivors. 

On 29 November 1876, SS Georgette left Fremantle on what would be her last voyage. She was carrying fifty passengers and a cargo of jarrah, and was bound for Adelaide via Bunbury, Busselton and Albany. Shortly after midnight on 1 December, when Georgette was about midway between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Hamelin, a leak developed, and the ship's pumps would not work.  At 6 p.m. the rising water extinguished the engine's fires, leaving Georgette drifting still some kilometres from shore. Godfrey then gave the orders to man the lifeboats, but the first lifeboat to be lowered was thrown against the ship's side by a big wave, and snapped in half. Some of the occupants were rescued by a second lifeboat, but twelve lives were lost.  The Georgette slowly drifted into Calgardup Bay where it began to break up.

Grace Bussell and an aboriginal stockman, Sam Isaacs, rode into the sea and rescued survivors. Known widely as `Grace Darling of the West`, she was awarded the medal of the Royal Humane Society and a gold watch by the British government. Sam also received a medal from the Royal Humane Society of England but Grace was to receive a silver medal whilst Sam only a Bronze . Though it seemed unfair that Grace was to receive a higher award, Sam was awarded by the State government, a Crown Grant of a 100 acres of land.

Location

Address:Wallcliffe Road & Bussell Highway, Willmott Park, Margaret River, 6285
State:WA
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.95377
Long: 115.073499
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Sub-Theme:Maritime
Actual Event STart Date:01-December-1876
Actual Event End Date:01-December-1876

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 1st December, 1960
Front Inscription

This memorial was erected by the Augusta Margaret River Road Board to Commemorate the wreck of S.S. Georgette 
On 1st December 1876.
Eight lives were lost commendable bravery was shown on both sea and land.

The Royal Humane Society suitably rewarded those worthy of the honour.
Records of the disaster are preserved in the S Battye Library Perth
Erected 1st December 1960

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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