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Photographs supplied by Russell Byers / John Huth

A plaque commemorates James Green, Commander of the ship Dunbar who perished with all his passengers and crew save one survivor on the 20th August 1857.

The Dunbar was a full-rigged ship that was wrecked near the entrance to Sydney Harbour, Australia in 1857 with the loss of 121 lives. On the night of 20 August 1857, the ship approached the entrance to Sydney Harbour from the south, but heavy rain and a strong gale made navigating difficult. The ship's captain, James Green, either erroneously believing he had already passed the harbour's southern headland or mistaking a smaller break in the coastline known as The Gap for the port's entrance, drove the ship onto rocks. The force of the gale caused the Dunbar to break up.

Crew member James Johnson was thrown against the cliffs from the impetus of the collision and managed to scramble to safety, however he remained undiscovered for two days. The remainder of the passengers and crew were drowned. A day of public mourning was declared.

A preliminary meeting of the passengers and other friends of the late Captain Green was held yesterday afternoon, at Lyons-buildings, George-street, for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of erecting a tablet to the memory of the late Captain Green. Shortly after four o'clock, about twenty gentlemen were present. On the motion of Mr. Arthur Hodgson, the chair was taken by Sir Daniel Cooper. The advertisement convening the meeting having been read, the Chairman rose and said, that the notification in accordance with which they had assembled explained their object, which was to express their approbation of the acts and conduct which marked the lifetime of the late Captain Green. That gentleman was a credit to his profession, and it was with the deepest regret that all who knew him heard of his death and the loss of his ship. Although at the present time they could do but little to increase the honour of Captain Green, they could do something to console his widow, by showing that at a distance of sixteen thousand miles they could appreciate what was good and noble in the deceased. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Arthur Hodgson moved the first resolution, which was to the following effect : That a subscription list be opened for the purpose of raising funds with which to erect a suitable tablet to the memory of the late Captain Green, and that the friends and passengers of the lamented deceased be invited to subscribe.
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 3 October 1857.


Address:173 King Street, St. James Anglican Church West Wall 104, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.869486
Long: 151.211172
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:20-August-1857
Actual Event End Date:20-August-1857


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:Circa 1857
Front Inscription

              In Memory Of
           JAMES GREEN,
        Commander Of The Ship
            Who Perished
With All His Passengers And Crew Save One
By The Wreck Of That Vessel
At The Sydney Heads
In A Fearful Gale On The Night Of
The 20th August 1857.

      This Tablet Is Erected
By His Former Passengers And Friends
      As A Token Of
Their Respect And Esteem.

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