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The HEREWARD wreck

Date: 1898
Overall: 134 x 85 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Maisie Bissett
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: ANMS1307[034]
Related Place:Australia,

User Terms

    This photographic postcard features a black and white photographic image of a vessel heeled to port and aground on a beach with several people and a dog silhouetted in the foreground. Text in white along the bottom edge reads: 'HEREWARD ON MAROUBRA BEACH'. The stamp 'Kodak Austral' appears on the reverse.
    SignificanceThe 1898 grounding of the HEREWARD produced a small windfall for photographers who had their works turned into postcards for sale to a curious public. This postcard was collected by William Leeder, whose work as a merchant seaman saw him develop a lifelong love of ships and the sea.
    HistoryThe HEREWARD was a full rigged iron clipper ship built in Glasgow in 1877 and traded frequently between London and Sydney with general cargo. However, it is best known for being wrecked on Maroubra Beach in May 1898.

    The HEREWARD left the Dutch East Indies port of Surabaya bound for Newcastle where it was to load with coal for South America. On 5 May 1898 it encountered fierce storms off the New South Wales coast and was forced ashore by the heavy winds - with the sails reportedly ripped to shreds in the gale force conditions. The ship ended up on soft sand at the northern end of Maroubra Beach and was lucky to have avoided two rocky reefs. The crew of 25 made it safely ashore and alerted the authorities of the accident.

    The wreck was stranded on the beach and the owners decided to sell it as salvage. Insured for 6,000 pounds, it was sold for 550. The new owner tried to refloat the ship and almost succeeded but each time it ended up back on the beach and by December 1898 wave action had broken it in two.

    The following decades saw all viable pieces removed - by salvagers, treasure hunters and the sea and sand - until in 1937 only a small bit remained above the waterline. In 1950, 1965 and again in 1966 the remnants were blasted away.

    In March 2013, heavy seas uncovered remains of the HEREWARD wreck on the seafloor at Maroubra. During subsequent salvage operations, maritime archaeologists from the Office of Environment and Heritage recovered a 1.17m long rare bronze cannon from the site.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: The HEREWARD wreck

    Collection title: William Palmer Leeder collection

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