The Mornington Tragedy

Australians love their sport and without wanting to cause too much debate, Australian Rules football or Aussie Rules draws the largest crowds. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it was the glue that held communities together and even today small towns across the country only survive through the camaraderie of the local footy club.

In the part of Melbourne that I call home, the Mornington Peninsula, there is a monument on the Mornington cliff top that I can never pass without feeling a pang of sorrow.

On the 21st of May 1892, the Mornington Football Club played a match against Mordialloc 37kms to the north. The match was a draw. With Mordialloc also being a bayside town some team members chose to return home by boat while others caught the train. It is believed that the sailing boat was hit by a sudden squall and all crew and passengers were lost. Only four bodies were ever found. Money was raised by public subscription to support those families who lost their breadwinners and to build the memorial.

In Memory

Fifteen young men

Lost in the bay, off Mornington

On the night of Saturday

21st of May 1892

While returning from

A football match at Mordialloc

Allchin Charles E aged 20 years

Caldwell James R 21

Caldwell William L 19

Caldwell Hugh 17

Coles William H 23

Comber John 31

Firth James 17

Grover William E 25

Grover William 17

Hooper Charles 25

Hooper Charles F 14

Kenna John 18

Lawrence Alfred H 19

Milne George C 36

Williams Charles 23

Erected by the public

Mornington Monument


5 thoughts on “The Mornington Tragedy

  1. “The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.” I’m not one for bible verse, but it did seem appropriate for this post. If this verse holds true, they will be judged as worthy people in the book of life.

    Liked by 1 person

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