George McKayPrint Page Print this page

The headstone over the grave of George McKay commemorates his efforts in trying to save a fellow worker from drowning in the Wimmera River.

MELBOURNE, Friday. A tragedy occurred this morning on the bridge construction works over the Wimmera River, on the Jeparit-Lorquon railway route, resulting in the death of George McKay and James Dowling. They were told to cross the river in a barge to tighten a guy rope. They neglected to fasten the barge to the bank, and while putting a twitch in the rope they fell into the river. Dowling could not swim, and McKay made a heroic attempt to save him. He was clutched by Dowling, and freed himself, but returned to the rescue. In his drowning struggles Dowling again seized McKay, and both disappeared. The bodies were recovered in 20ft of water, about an hour after. Both were about 30 years of age and unmarried. McKay was a recent arrival from Scotland. He only joined the work on the previous day. He was a powerfill swimmer. 
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 16 March 1912.

On Wednesday the unveiling of a monument erected over the grave of George McKay, who gave his life in an attempt to rescue a drowning comrade in the Winnmmera River, took place. There was a large attendance at the ceremony, which was of a most impressive character.
The Horsham Times (Vic) 10 September 1912.


Address:Jeparit East Road , Jeparit Cemetery, Jeparit, 3423
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.131106
Long: 141.995665
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:15-March-1912
Actual Event End Date:15-March-1912


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 4th September, 1912
Front Inscription

In memory of George McKay

Drowned 15th March 1912
Aged 28 years.

Erected by his fellow workmen and the people of Jeparit and district  to commemorate his heroic action of trying to save a fellow workman (J. Dowling) from drowning in the Wimmera River, Jeparit.

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