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William Dampier Memorial
William Dampier Memorial

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Peter F Williams

The Memorial commemorates William Dampier, who made the first landing by an English explorer in Australia.  

Dampier made two visits to Australia, and first landed on 15 January 1688 and again in 1699, when he landed in Roebuck Bay (named after his ship), at the location where Broome now stands.

In 1688 he sailed to Australia in the pirate ship Cygnet and the place where he came ashore is is named Dampier`s Landing, in his honour. It is likely that on this voyage he collected two plant specimens, an Acacia and Synaphea. 

In 1699, sailing in HMS Roebuck, Dampier landed on Dirk Hartog Island and made a collection of specimens of flora, as well as drawings of birds, fish and other animals of the `New World`. The Roebuck was shipwrecked on the voyage back to England but miraculously Dampier`s specimens survived. An account of this voyage is found in his book A Voyage to New Holland. The well-known story Gulliver`s Travels, by Jonathan Swift, was based partly on Dampier`s travels.

Monument Characteristics :

The monument is built in the form of a sea chest in granite with Dampier`s name and coat of arms on it. It was funded by the Commonwealth and the Western Australian Historical Society and the dedicatory oration for its unveiling was written by John Masefield.

The unveiling of the Dampier memorial in Bedford-park, Broome, took place on Sunday afternoon. The ceremony was carried out with naval honours before a large gathering of residents, girl guides and boy scouts. A guard of 21 men from H.M.A.S. Swan under Lieut.-Commander Harrington was formed up before the memorial, which was erected by the Commonwealth Government in conjunction with the Historical Society. The memorial is a granite representation of a sea chest with a reproduction of the Dampier coat-of arms and a couplet specially compiled by the Poet Laureate (John Masefield).  Commander Dowling unveiled the monument. A salute was fired by the Swan anchored in Roebuck Bay and the guard fired a salute.
The West Australian (Perth ), 4th November 1938.





Address:Weld & Hamersley Street, Bedford Memorial Park , Broome, 6725
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -17.963315
Long: 122.238622
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:1688
Approx. Event End Date:1689
Monument Designer:Marshall Clifton


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 30th October, 1938
Front Inscription

`We Little Guess Which Deed
          A Future Year
May Mark To Mortals From
Our Passing Here.`
John Masefield.

1652  1715

Plaque :

This Memorial Chest
Was Presented To
The Towns People Of Broome
By The Commonwealth Government
And The W. A. Historical Society
And Unveiled By 
Commander R. R. Dowling  R.A.N., H.M.A.S. Swan
On The 30th October 1938.


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