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27-November-2014
27-November-2014

Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

The 14.4 hectare historic site is the site of a memorial to the convict ship George III which was wrecked on nearby rocks on its way to Port Arthur in 1835 with the loss of 133 lives. The memorial was erected on this site in 1839.

On the 14th December 1834 , the convict ship “George III” left Woolwich with 308 people on board, 220 of whom were confined to the hold. Only one day from their destination the captain decided to take the shorter route through the D’Entrecasteaux Channel instead of through Storm Bay.

The ship struck a rock which was not marked on the charts but was known to local whalers. This rock is now called the ‘George III’ rock. Soldiers prevented the convicts from leaving the hold and over 100, including 40 boys perished. In all a total of 134 lives were lost. When news reached Hobart of the accident an enquiry was held as accusations of cowardice and self-interest had been made against the Captain for keeping the convicts below deck.

The enquiry was greeted as a whitewash. It apparently implied that had the prisoners not been kept below no-one would have been saved as the convicts would have rendered the longboat’ useless’. Further investigations suggested that some of the convicts had been shot and that the vessel was not entirely seaworthy.

Note : As at 15-January-2015, the site is quarantined and no access is allowed to the monument.

Location

Address:Southport Bluff, Southport, 7109
State:TAS
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -43.47952
Long: 147.00117
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Sub-Theme:Maritime
Actual Event STart Date:12-April-1835
Actual Event End Date:12-April-1835

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1839
Front Inscription

‘Near this place are interred the remains of many of the sufferers who perished in the wreck of George the III, convict ship, which vessel struck on a sunken rock near the Actaeon Reef on the night of the 12th April, 1835: upon which melancholy occasion 134 human beings were drowned.

This tomb is erected by the desire of His Excellency Colonel George Arthur, Lieut. Governor, to mark that sad event, and is placed on this spot by Major Thomas Ryan, 50th Regiment, one of the survivors of the occasion’.

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