Horsley Memorial Sundial Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Gundagai Visitor Centre

The Horsley Memorial Sundial was presented to Gundagai by the descendants of Richard Horsley in memory of those who lost their lives in the 1852 flood. Richard Horsley was rescued by the aboriginal Yarri during the floods. The sundial was originally unveiled in the grounds of the Court House. 

In June 1852, a massive flood demolished the original township of Gundagai which was then built on the Murrumbidgee floodplain. Eighty-nine people are known to have lost their lives. The Wiradjuri people, with their knowledge of the land , saved the lives of many Europeans.  Yarri, was one of the first on the river, in the deadliest conditions at the height of the flood, in only a bark canoe. Yarri was joined the next day by another aborigine, Jacky Jacky. The epic rescue took three days and two nights of exhausting effort.

Yarri had rescued 49 people and Jacky Jacky another 20. The European settlers were very grateful to Yarri and Jackey and presented them with inscribed bronze breastplates in recognition of their bravery.

Descendants of a man who was rescued from the disastrous flood of 1852, when the old Gundagai township was destroyed, have intimated that they will present a memorial to the township of Gundagai to perpetuate the occasion. When the floodwaters swept down on the early Gundagai settlement on June 24, 1852, devastation and havoc followed in its wake and 71 lives were lost by drowning. Among those who were rescued from the flood waters was Mr. Richard Frederick Horsley, grandfather of Messrs. F.L. and W.W. Horsley of Tumblong. 

The Horsley family desire to honour the memory of those who lost their lives in the flood and present a memorial to the town of Gundagai. It has been suggested that a suitable memorial would be a sundial, and the Gundagai Shire Council has gratefully accepted the offer made by the Horsley family. 
Cootamundra Herald, 18 March 1952. 


Address:Homer Street, Gundagai Historical Museum, Gundagai, 2722
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.066168
Long: 148.107341
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:24-June-1852
Actual Event End Date:25-June-1852


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 24th June, 1952
Front Inscription

This Sundial Was Presented To
Gundagai By The Horsley Family
Of Yabtree In Memory Of Those Inhabitants
Who Lost Their Lives In The
Disastrous Flood On The 25th Of June
1852.  On That Date, Gundagai, Then Situated
On The Flat, Was Washed Away And
Seventy-Two Residents Were Drowned.

       Richard Frederick Horsley Saved
His Life By Climbing From A Floating Roof Top
Into A Tree From Which He Was Rescued Thirty-Six
Hours Later By An Aborigine Name Yarry
           In A Bark Canoe.
Accepted By The Shire President Cr. C. B. Stribley On
Behalf Of The People Of Gundagai On 25th Of June 1952.


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