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The monument commemorates William Clayton, the first assistant of Allenstown school who drowned in 1890 after being caught in a sudden gale.

Fatal Accident. [BY TELEGRAPH FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.] Rockhampton January 3. A boat containing W. F. N. Clayton, F. W. Smith, teachers at the Allenstown school, and a boy named Patrick Rooney, aged 13 years, upset about 200 yards from Peak Island, Keppel Bay, at about 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The boy reached Emu Park last night, and gives the following account of the accident:—" The boat turned bottom up, and Clayton cut the gear of the mast. It fell out of her, and she righted again. Clayton held on to one side and Smith on to the other. I sat in the boat up to my neck in water. Everything fell out of the boat when she turned over except the anchor. Presently they bade good-bye and said they would try and swim ashore, and told me if I got ashore to send somebody to help them." Captain Sykes, who happened to be at Emu Park, telegraphed to town for steam to be got up on the Fitzroy, and he leaves at noon in search of Clayton and Smith. He also sent a wire to Sea Hill for a party to leave immediately if practicable. The weather yesterday was exceedingly rough in Keppel Bay, and considerable fears are entertained as to the safety of the missing men. 

Later The Bulletin reporter who went out with the harbour-master in search of the missing men, telegraphs from Emu Park at 6.15 this evening that Smith reached Peak Island, but Clayton, after swimming to within 800 yards of the shore, sank and was drowned. Smith states that Clayton and himself abandoned the boat because it would not bear their combined weight, and they made for the shore at Peak Island. The sea was running high, and constantly breaking over them, but they swam side by side until within about 800 or 400 yards from the beach when Clayton disappeared. Just when he (Smith) became exhausted a large shark swam past, and he made a frantic effort and got ashore. He was in the water four or five hours, and was thoroughly exhausted. He was landed at Emu Park tonight from the steamer Fitzroy. General regret is expressed at the death of Mr. Clayton whose relatives reside in Brisbane.
The Queenslander (Brisbane,), 11 January 1890.


Address:Upper Dawson Road, Allenstown State School, Rockhampton, 4700
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -23.391422
Long: 150.502529
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:2-January-1890
Actual Event End Date:2-January-1890
Designer:G.H. Jenkins


Front Inscription

To the memory of William Francis Nassan Clayton who was drowned off Peak Island Keppel Bay

2nd January 1890

Aged 28 years

This stone is erected by the Teachers of Rockhampton and the scholars of Allenstown State School.

G. H. Jenkins Stanley St

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