Cub Scouts MemorialPrint Page Print this page

22-July-2021 (Sandra Brown)
22-July-2021 (Sandra Brown)

Photographs supplied by Glen Yeomans / Roger Johnson / Sandra Brown

The memorial, erected in 1993, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the drowning of thirteen cub scouts in 1943. A plaque on the memorial also recognises the contribution of former Mayor. Alan Dahl, who was closely identified with the Cub Memorial Project and the restoration of the graves. 

On December 11, 1943, 28 cubs were on their annual Christmas picnic on Susan Island under the watchful eye of a handful of senior scouts. When a storm began to close-in, the party was loaded on a flat-bottomed punt to row across the river to reach shelter.

Unfortunately the punt became unstable in the stormy conditions, capsized and threw the entire party into the water - few could swim and 13 of the boys, mostly aged between six and nine, drowned.


Address:Prince Street, Memorial Park , Grafton, 2460
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -29.693291
Long: 152.931983
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:11-December-1943
Actual Event End Date:11-December-1993


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1993
Front Inscription

                 ACCIDENTALLY DROWNED 

This Memorial Overlooks The Scene Of Probably The Worst
River Tragedy On The Clarence Since Europeans Arrived In

Late On The Afternoon Of Saturday December 11, 1943,
Thirteen Members Of The Grafton Cub Pack Drowned When
Their Punt Was Swamped While Returning From A Break-Up
              Picnic On Susan Island.

The Thirteen Wolf Cubs - Four From Grafton & Nine From 
South Grafton Were Aged Eight To Ten Years, They Were
Among A Party Of Thirty One On The Punt.

 A Coronial Enquiry On February 1 & 2 1944, Returned A Finding
              Of Accidental Drowning.

This Memorial Was Erected By The Citizens Of Grafton &
District To Mark The 50th Anniversary Of What The State
Commissioner For Cubs Described In 1943, As The Worst
Tragedy In The History Of The Boy Scouts Association In NSW.

Left Side Inscription

[ Names ]

Right Side Inscription

1991 - 1993

Served As A Councillor Of The Council Of The City Of Grafton From June 1975 To August 1993, First Elected As Deputy Mayor In 1977 & Subsequently Served In This Capacity From 1985 Until 1991 When He Was Elected Mayor.

Alan Was Very Closely Identified With The Cub Memorial Project & The Restoration Of Their Graves In Grafton & South Grafton Commemorating The 50th Anniversary Of The Tragedy, It Is Fitting That His Commitment To This Cause Is Recognised On This Memorial.

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