H.M.S. Encounter Memorial Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Gary Heap

The monument commemorates the 15 men of the H.M.S Encounter who lost their lives in the collision with the steamer Dunmore in 1909.   It is erected over the mass grave of the victims. 

An incident in connection with the terrible disaster in Sydney Harbour of 5th January, 1909, was the interesting and imposing ceremony of unveiling a very handsome monument which has been erected in the Church of England compartment of the Rookwood Cemtery to the memory of fifteen of the men, mostly under the age of 21 years, who lost their lives through the collision of a motor launch and the steamer Dunmore, the particulars of which are still fresh in the minds of the people of New South Wales. Captain Colomb (present officer in charge of H.M.S. Encounter), with Lieutenants Cochran, Goldsmith, Walsh, Stubbs and Clover, and about 100 men of the ship's crew of H.M.S. Encounter, arrived by special train at the mortuary station at 2.15 p.m., and a short while after friends and others to whom the deceased were well known arrived by the ordinary funeral train, when the ship's chaplain, Rev. C. H. Fargus, M.A., conducted a short service, the memorial " to the glory of God and the memory of their departed comrades."  

Mr. Alfred G. Millson, the treasurer of the Royal Naval House, said that a fund was started shortly after the sad event at the Royal Naval House, and he was asked to take the position of honorary treasurer. He did so heartily. Success soon after attended their efforts, for, with the splendid co-operation of the ship's company and those of the other ships of the fleet, supported by generous donations from the general public and by entertainments a very satisfactory result was attained.

The Union Jack, which had been wrapped around the tablet portion of a very handsome monument, standing 14ft. 6in. high, then fell, and the men of the Encounter who were present were allowed to fall out to get a close view and read the inscriptions of their late comrades. The main inscription read as follows: — "IN MEMORIAM, Fifteen men of the Royal Navy, Serving in H.M.S. Encounter, who were drowned in Sydney Harbour, "On 5th January,1909." Their names, and ratings are recorded on the other three sides of this monument, which has been erected by their officers and ship's company, assisted by the officers and men of other of H.M.S. ships on the Australian station, and many sympathising friends among the general public of this State. 

The monument occupies the centre of one large grave about 50ft. long, tiled, and enclosed with stone posts and iron cables, and the position of each sailor's grave was indicated by his name cut in a small marble tablet at the head end. The monument is a very handsome one, and is surmounted by a marble cross, represented as bound by a chain to which is a beautiful white anchor, the cross, anchor and chain being sculptured out of one solid block.
Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate
(Parramatta, NSW), 15 January 1910. 



Address:Haslam Drive, Naval Section, Rookwood Necropolis, Rookwood, 2141
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.870339
Long: 151.054907
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:05-January-1909
Actual Event End Date:05-January-1909


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 13th January, 1910
Front Inscription

In Memoriam
Fifteen Men
Of The Royal Navy,
Serving In H.M.S. Encounter
Who Were Drowned
In Sydney Harbour
On 5th January1909
Their Names And Ratings
Are Recorded On The
Other Three Sides
Of This Monument
Which Has Been Erected
By Their Officers
And Ship`s Company
Assisted By The Officers
& Men Of Others Of H. M. Ships
On The Australian Station
& Many Sympathetic Friends
Among The General Public
    Of This State.

      H. M. S.

Left Side Inscription
[ Names ]
Back Inscription
[ Names ]
Right Side Inscription
[ Names ]
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design