William Charles MusgravePrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

A marble tablet commemorates William Charles Musgrave who drowned during the sinking of the "Gothenburg" on the Barrier Reef in Queensland in February 1875.

The SS Gothenburg was a steamship that operated along the British and then later the Australian and New Zealand coastlines. In February 1875, she left Darwin , Australia en route to Adelaide when she encountered a cyclone-strength storm off the north Queensland coast. The ship was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef north-west of Holbourne Island on 24 February 1875. Survivors in one of the lifeboats were rescued two days later by Leichhardt, while the occupants of two other lifeboats that managed to reach Holbourne Island were rescued several days later. Twenty-two men survived, while between 98 and 112 others died, including a number of high-profile civil servants and dignitaries.

The late Charles Musgrave was, we believe, a native of Ballan, in Victoria, and spent his youth in that colony following pastoral pursuits. When the construction of the Overland Telegraph to Port Darwin was begun he joined the constructors, and held the position of an officer of the party till the conclusion of the work, when he came to Adelaide. After a short visit to Victoria he again went to the Northern Territory, and was returning home in the ill-fated ship Gothenburg. Comrades of his youth, as well as those who knew him and had to do with him in connection with the telegraph construction, speak of him in the warmest terms as a genial, warm-hearted friend, and one of the best companions that could have been met with in the bush. He could not have been more than 25 years of age, and was unmarried.
South Australian Register (Adelaide), 
 8 March 1875.




Address:Simpson Street, St John`s Anglican Church, Ballan, 3342
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.598648
Long: 144.227541
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:25-February-1875
Actual Event End Date:25-February-1875


Front Inscription

               In Memory Of 
     William Charles Musgrave

Who Was Drowned At Sea At The Wreck
Of The "Gothenburg" On The Barrier Reef
On The North East Coast Of Australia.

          Born 16th July 1849.
         Died 25th Feb. 1875.

Sorrow not even as others which have no hope, for if we believe
that Jesus died and rose again, even so them which sleep in
Jesus will God bring with him.  I.  Thess. IV. 13. 14.


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