Tasmanian Seafarers' Memorial

Charles, David and Thomas Harley 1885

The plaque reads ... Harley plaque

Charles, David and Thomas
Three brothers aboard cutter 'Gem'
were lost at sea 26.04.1885 between
East Kangaroo and Chappell Islands
Furneaux Group, Bass Strait.
Lovingly remembered by descendants.


On Monday, 11 May 1885 the Examiner newspaper reported:

"SUPPOSED LOSS OF LIFE.ŚNews has just been received in town of the supposed drowning of Messrs. Charles, David, and Thomas Harley, who left Kangaroo Island on the 26th April 1885 in the cutter Gem for Chapel Island. From the master of the Straits boat Pearl we learn that on the 26th April. the Messrs. Harley left Kangaroo Island in the Gem for Chapel Island, the wind at the time blowing hard from the west, with heavy rain squalls. Mrs. Charles Harley saw the boat go half-way across the passage to Chapel Island, and then steer straight across the Straits. When watching the little craft she saw it suddenly disappear, and the missing men had not been heard of up to the time the Pearl left the islands, which was on the 1st May. Upon the receipt of the information at Chapel Island, six boats were launched, and vigorous search made for the missing boat and crew, but nothing was found, although the weather proved fine, and a fair wind was blowing from the direction in which the boat was last seen, towards Chapel Island. Messrs. Charlie and David Harley are married men, and have large families, and great sympathy is felt for them and for the friends of the missing men in this time of suspense. "

The Daily Telegraph (Launceston)  ran a similar story on Monday 11 May 1885