Commander John Thomas GowllandPrint Page Print this page

A monument commemorates Commander Gowlland who drowned at Dobroyd whilst carrying out a survey of Middle Harbour.

Born of a Kent naval family, an admired graduate of the Royal Naval College Greenwich and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Gowlland distinguished himself in the Crimean War. He also took part in a trail-blazing survey of the Pacific coasts of North and South America and eventually commanded a naval survey of the coastline of Her Majesty’s colonies in Australia. In 1874, while surveying near Dobroyd Head on Sydney’s Northern Beaches Peninsula, an unexpected wave across a submerged reef - or ‘bomborra’ - hit Gowlland’s small boat amidships, capsizing it. While several crew on board swam to safety, Gowlland and another sailor, Henry Petersen, drowned. In 1963, Manly Council installed a cairn and plaque at Arabanoo Lookout - overlooking the scene of the tragedy - commemorating Gowlland’s brilliant career and untimely death. Unfortunately vandals destroyed the original cairn. A new plaque was unveiled as part of a Centenary Federations Program.


Address:Dobroyd Scenic Drive, Arabanoo Lookout, Balgowlah Heights, 2093
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.807856
Long: 151.269016
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:14-August-1874
Actual Event End Date:14-August-1874
Link: http://adb.anu.edu.au/


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1963
Source: H,MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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