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15 April 2014

Sailors Grave ?

On this day, 15th April 1892

Why is it called Sailors?
I have talked to people that have lived in the local area for more than 20 years, that don’t know why the wave and the point is known as Sailors or that the grave exists.

In memory of Robert Johnson.
If you take a walk along the new boardwalk that winds it’s way around the headland of Tapalla Point Huskisson, next to the path you will come across a single grave site of the Seaman Robert Johnson who Drowned on the 15th April 1892 aged 19 years.
Robert Johnson was serving on the First class cruiser, HMS Orlando, built in England in 1886.

Circumstances surrounding the accident.
The flagship yesterday returned to her moorings in FarmCove. She has been away several days at Jervis Bay for  target practice, and while there a fatal accident occurred.  On Friday last, between 3 and 4 p.m., while one of the ship's boats was proceeding from the shore to the ship, a  heavy sea running at the time swamped her. All the occupants, with one exception, were picked up. An ordinary seaman, named C. Johnson, a native of Yorkshire, sank,and was not seen again. An attempt was made with grappling-irons to find the body, but without success,owing to the heavy range in the bay.

tapalla-point At the time of the accident, the Orlando was involved in training operations in the bay and was at anchor near Tapalla Point.

Johnson was initially buried near the beach but upon the matter being brought before the notice of Flag Captain
Dicken, of the Royal Arthur, that officer raised by subscription amongst the naval people a sufficient sum
to have the body of young Johnson removed to a point which overlooks the anchorage of the men-of war.

hmsorlando The Orlando and the Boxer Rebellion.
In the whole record of the operations in China there is nothing more stirring than the splendid effort made by Admiral Sir E H Seymour to relieve the Peking Legations at an early stage of their beleaguerment. In the mixed force under the Admiral's command there was a strong detachment of ordinary seamen from HMS Orlando. When within 23 miles of Peking, the force had to retire, as it was utterly impossible to cut a way through the masses of well-armed Chinese troops between it and the capital. In the retirement, leading seaman George of the Orlando specially distinguished himself by his gallantry in towing junks full of wounded out of the enemy's fire For this splendid action George was given the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, and was also presented with a gold medal by the United States Government.

hmsorlando PET BILLY THE GOAT orlando2

HMS Orlando was sold for scrapping on 11 July 1905 to Ward of Morecambe for £10,000.


On this day 1943
HMAS STUART, (destroyer), rescued the crew of an Anson aircraft which crashed into the sea off Port Perpendicular.



The first two B/W images are from Movietone News footage shot by Eric Bieve.

p1 plaque  
Outside the Museum you will find a display dedicated to the Air Crews and Ground Staff that gave their lives during training in World War 2 in the Shoalhaven Area including the propeller from a Beaufort Bomber

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