Archive for the ‘Abandonment’ Category

MISSING IN ACTION – HMS SIRIUS & HMS SUPPLY

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Sydney – 5 April, 1790: ‘Dismay was painted on every countenance, when the tidings were proclaimed at Sydney’. Marine Captain Watkin, Sydney’s First Four Years, ed. F.L, Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

Norfolk Island¬† – 19 March 1790: the First Fleet’s flagship, while in the process of evacuating 50% of Sydney’s starving European population to Norfolk Island, ran aground on a submerged reef and sank. Her crew, one hundred and sixty naval (160) personnel, were marooned along with the evacuees.¬† See: Abandoned and Left to Starve @ Sydney Cove, January 1788 to June 1790

China: ‘Famine was approaching with gigantic strides’. Sirius was to have sailed on to China and arrange rescue. ‘Dismay’ all hope of rescue was gone.

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JOSEPH BANK’S GARDEN & HMS GUARDIAN

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

1790 – 1 January, Sydney Cove: ‘On the shores of this vast ocean…on the summit of the hill [South Head], every morning from day-light until the sun sunk, did we sweep the horizon, in hope of seeing a sail. At every fleeting speck which arose from the bosom of the sea, the heart bounded, and the telescope was lifted to the eye. If a ship appeared here, we knew she must be bound for us’. Marine Watkin Tench, Sydney’s First Four Years, F.L Fitzhardinge, Angus and Robertson, 1961

Since January 1788 the Englishmen of ‘First Fleet’ had been marooned at Sydney; ‘entirely cut off no communication whatever having passed with our native country since the 13th May, 1787, the day of our departure from Portsmouth… the misery and horror of such a situation cannot be imparted, even by those who have suffered under it’. Tench. op. cit.

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