Thursday, October 23, 2014
Text Size

Emily MGufficke - Sinking of the "Dunbar"

Photo of The DunbarThe "Dunbar" was an immigrant ship that sank in Port Jackson Harbour in 1857. There was one survivor out of  59 crew and 63 passengers.

The following memory is by Emily McGufficke, recorded in an interview by Rosemary Curry.

Photo: Wikipedia entry on The Dunbar Wreck.

(Grandfather) told me about the night the Dunbar sank. He walked up there with another boy. They used to work there--South Head it was, at a nail factory. As they were going up they heard about this.  They used to go up in a horse-drawn big long lorry thng. They sat on the floor I think. They were going up and they heard about this ship. A man came down and said "You boys mustn't look up there, the waves are all over the place. You better go home." They stood there a while and then they said, "we'll go up and have a look." They went up South Head, and they couldn't get up very far because the spray was coming all over them. So they waited there a while ---men were running about. These boys said to grandfather, "Is there a ship in trouble? There's something going on up there ". Someone said "don't you boys go up there, you'll get washed away, the waves are coming all over the hill." But they went up and they saw them rescue this man. Grandfather showed me the rock where they pulled him up. He'd been washed right up the cliff, between two rocks. Grandfather often told me about it.

More information can be found at the Migration Heritage Centre (opens in new window).