"W. B. Godfrey" Print Page Print this page

Godfrey Grave/Peter F Williams
Godfrey Grave/Peter F Williams

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders/ Peter F Williams

A grave commemorates five men from the barquentine "Chittoor"  who were drowned in three separate accidents during salvage operations on the barque "W. B. Godfrey" which was wrecked here on 8 March 1891. Those who died were R. Pleace and J.McIntyre on 18 April 1891.  C. Boutler on 18 June 1891 and Captain T. Gortley and Seaman V. Godfrey on 8 October 1891. 

When the Country Roads Board unearthed a wooden peg with a vague reference to the tragedy in 1930, they decided to erect a more permanent headstone whose plaque was ambiguous. Dobel is not known, Pleace is misspelled and McIntyre is forgotten. Godfrey is also mentioned as having drowned. A plaque was placed at the site in 1988 by the Australian Bicentennial Authority and the Royal & Lorne Historical Societies to correct any discrepancies. 

Some remains of the wreck of the W.B. Godfrey are still visible today scattered on the rocks below the cliff.


Address:Great Ocean Road, 5 kilometres North , Wye River, 3234
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.60795
Long: 143.9184
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event STart Date:18-April-1891
Actual Event End Date:8-October-1891


Actual Monument Dedication Date:April, 1930
Front Inscription

Erected by the C.R.B. Wye River Camp  May 1930 

In memory of  Captain Dobel Palice and Godfrey 

Drowned off ship W. B. Godfrey March 1891

Inscription in Proximity



Built Greenock, Scotland 1861. 

Length 174.3 ft. Breadth 30.2ft. Depth 19.25ft

618.7 tons Cargo - 396,455ft of timber

Sailed from San Fransisco 14-1-1891 comanded by Captain C Davis bound for Melbourne and was wrecked here 8-3-1891 with no loss of life. In three separate boating accidents five men were drowned during salvage operations from the barquentine "Chittoor". 

                        R Pleace and J McIntyre 18-4-1891

                        C Boulter 18-6-1891

                        Captain T Gortley and Seaman V.Godfrey 8-10-1891

Captain Gortley and Seaman Godfrey were buried ashore on high ground. 

In the 1920s, workmen discov

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