Remembering James Coppell Lee

I was in Brighton Cemetery on Saturday (long story) and noticed this statue from a distance, so thought I’d have a look.

Someone famous? Not really.

Brighton cemetery

A young man, tragically drowned off Mornington. The statue was made by his workmates.

Thanks to Trove, I found quite a detailed report of the accident.

Forced by a blinding rainstorm to abandon a proposed fishing expedition off Mornington early on Saturday morning, a party of youths attempted to turn their boat shorewards when the light craft was over whelmed by a big sea, and one of its occupants was drowned. Two other members of the party were rescued in an exhausted condition after a stern struggle in the surf.

The Argus, 29th December 1919

Trove also shows that in the following years, his parents placed notices in his memory.

And it all happened 100 years ago this December. With the weather turning, this might be a good reminder of the importance of taking care in the water this summer.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

One reply on “Remembering James Coppell Lee”

A similar tragedy happened when a yacht carrying many members of the Mornington Football Club returning from a match at Mordialloc in May 1892. 14 young men lost their lives. There is memorial on the Mornington foreshore.
Dangerous waters.

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