Dunbar AnchorPrint Page Print this page

29-April-2016 (Peter Williams)
29-April-2016 (Peter Williams)

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Peter Williams

An anchor commemoratse the wreck of the Dunbar and those who lost their lives in the tragedy. 

The Dunbar was built as a first class passenger and cargo carrier. Ship rigged and well fitted out throughout, the vessel was, at the time of launching, the largest timber vessel constructed in Sunderland. This was partly in response to the demand for ships to carry passengers to the Australian goldfields. The Dunbar however was initially deployed as a troop ship in the Crimean War and did not become involved in the Australian trade until 1856.

During the night of the 20th August 1857, the ship was approaching the entrance to Port Jackson on its second trip. There were 59 crew and 63 passengers on board under command of Captain Green. Approaching the Heads in a violent storm, the crew burnt a blue light to attract a pilot. The ship was driven against the cliffs of South Head and rapidly broke apart. Only one out of 122 survived, Able Seaman James Johnson, who managed to cling to the cliff face until rescued some 1-2 days later. Bodies and wreckage filled the harbour.

The ceremony of unveilng the anchor of the Dunbar, together with a commemorative tablet, is to take place on Saturday, at 3 p.m., under the auspices of the Royal Australian Historical Society. The anchor was recovered some years ago and placed at the Gap.  The anchor has been placed near the spot where the ship went down in 1857, when all hands but one were lost.
Evening News (Sydney), 19 August 1930.


Address:Gap Road, Gap Park, Watsons Bay, 2030
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.843819
Long: 151.284994
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:20-August-1857
Actual Event End Date:20-August-1857


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 23rd August, 1930
Front Inscription

The Dunbar was wrecked about 500 yarde south of this spot in a heavy north east gale at night Aug. 20th 1857.

From a totla of 122 there was only one survivor.

This her anchor was recovered by local residents 50 years later and is now set up in memory of the tragic event.

Erected By Ald. C. B.Combes 1930

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