Samuel IsaacsPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Harry Frochter

The plaque at the gravesite commemorates Samuel Isaacs.

Samuel Isaacs was born in Augusta in 1845 and was given the tribal name Yebble by his Aboriginal mother. His father was a Native American mariner who came to Western Australia in the early 1830's on a whaling ship. Samuel grew up to be an expert horse and bullock handler.

Sam Isaacs became a hero in 1876, when he helped rescue the passengers and crew of the stricken vessel, S.S. Georgette. Sam saw the stricken ship ( S.S.Georgette ) from the cliffs of Calgarup Bay near Redgate . Though on foot, he rushed to the Bussell's property, Wallcliffe, some 20kms away to raise the alarm. Only the women of the household were home and  Grace, the Bussells 16 year old daughter, volunteered to help him try to rescue who they could. From the cliffs they could see the ship breaking up on the rocks as people scrambled into lifeboats. The two galloped along the cliffs and then rode their horses down the rocky slopes into the pounding surf. Being both excellent horse handlers, Sam and Grace, encouraged their horses to swim through the surf to the frightened passengers.

On reaching the ship they both shouted for the people to grab hold of the horses. The two continued to ferry the passengers to safety until there was no one left to be rescued and the survivors were taken to the Bussell's homestead. The incident was reported in both local and international newspapers, making Sam Isaacs and Grace Bussell more than just local heroes. They both received medals from the Royal Humane Society of England but Grace was to receive a silver medal whilst Sam only a Bronze . Though it seemed unfair that Grace was to receive a higher award, Sam was awarded by the State government, a Crown Grant of a 100 acres of land. Sadly, Sam Isaacs died in 1920 following a fall from his sulky. He was returning home after dropping his son off at the Busselton Train Station. His son was heading to Perth to join the 10th Light Horse Brigade.


Address:Adelaide & Stanley Streets, Pioneer Cemetery, Busselton, 6280
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.647028
Long: 115.346518
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:01-December-1876
Actual Event End Date:01-December-1876


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 1st December, 1976
Front Inscription

Samuel Isaacs
C 1845 - 14th July 1920

Near this spot lies Sam Isaacs, a loved and respected citizen of the lower south-west. While a stockman at "Wallcliffe", he achieved fame when he rode, with Grace Bussell, into the surf at Calgardup to rescue survivors from the stranded steamer Georgette, 1st. December 1876

A tribute from the Augusta and Busselton Historical Societies in association with John Alferink,
1 - 12 - 1976

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