H.M.S. SiriusPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The monument commemorates the Sirius which was wrecked on Norfolk Island in 1790. Through the efforts of Mr Geoff Cottee the bricks of the monument have been transported from Captain Arthur Phillip's house in Hampshire. Governor-General Sir William Deane, unveiled the enigmatic seat-monument on the anniversary day of the island’s British settlement in 1788, during the Centenary of Federation celebrations in 2001.

In October 1788, the Sirius was dispatched by Captain Phillip, by then Governor of New South Wales, to the Cape of Good Hope to obtain food and supplies for the then starving colony. That mission completed, she was on 5 March 1790 sent to China to obtain further supplies. In the course of that journey, on 13 March 1790, she arrived at Norfolk Island, with the Supply, to transfer a group of Marines and convicts. Here, on 19 March 1790, her life came to an end when the wind forced her on to the reef, as her Captain, John Hunter, tried to tack out to sea.

The Marines and convicts had been landed before the wreck. After the wreck, the ship`s crew was saved and, in the days and months which followed, the stores and equipment were retrieved. The wreck of the Sirius remained visible on the reef for nearly 12 months before a storm forced her from view. The loss of the Sirius was a terrible setback for the settlements at Sydney Cove and on Norfolk.


Address:Bay & Pier Streets, Foreshore, Maritime Museum, Kingston, Norfolk Island, 2899
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -29.058083
Long: 167.956658
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:19-March-1790
Actual Event End Date:19-March-1790


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 6th March, 2001
Front Inscription

This memorial is constructed of bricks salvaged from the ruin of Captain arthur Phillip`s house in England

After 1763 Philip, on half pay from the Navy, settled at Vernall`s Farm, Lyndhurst, between Southhampton and Lymington.  In the next two decades Philip served in the Portuguese and English Navies and farmed at Lyndhurst.  In 1786 he accepted the offer of Lord Sydney of the position of Governor of New South Wales and sailed for Australia  in 1787.

The buildings of Vernall`s Farm survived until substantially demolished in the 1950s for roadworks.  The surviving corner of the house is pictured showing the English bond brickwork, which is duplicated in this memorial.  The bricks were brought to Australia in 1988 from the upper part of the ruin leaving the original wall 14 courses high.

This memorial was unveiled by His Excellency the Honourable Sir William Deane, AC, KBE  Governor-General of the Commonweath of Australia, on 6 March 2001, Foundation Day, the anniversary of the foundation of the colony in 1788. 

It commemorates the HMS Sirius, flagship of the First Fleet, which arrived in Sydney Cove, Port Jackson on 26 January 1788, and was wrecked on the outer reef at Norfolk Island on 19 March 1790.

The bricks were donated to Norfolk Island by Mr Geoffrey Cottee.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design