Stories Organisations Projects About Login


From the Collection of Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village 89 Merri Street Warrnambool Victoria

Photograph of Mr Tom Pearce dressed in a uniform with a medal pinned on it. Standing with his arm resting on a masonry pillar.
Object Registration
flagstaff hill, warrnambool, shipwrecked coast, flagstaff hill maritime museum, maritime museum, shipwreck coast, flagstaff hill maritime village, loch ard shipwreck, tom pearce, thomas r pearce, eva carmichael, mutton bird island, loch ard survivor, loch ard hero, coleman jacobs, the young hero schottische, photograph of tom pearce
Historical information
This photograph is of Tom Pearce, one of only 2 survivors from the shipwreck LOCH ARD.

Loch Ard was bound for Melbourne in 1878 loaded with passengers and cargo when it ran into a rocky reef at the base of Mutton Bird Island, near Port Campbell. Of the 54 crew members and passengers on board, only two survived: an apprentice, Tom Pearce and a young woman passenger, Eva Carmichael, who lost all of her family in the tragedy.

Coleman Jacobs composed the music “The Young Hero Schottische” and dedicated it, by permission, to Mr. Thomas R. (Tom) Pearce. The sheet music was published in 1878 by the Messieurs Roberts, professors of dancing etc. Melbourne. It was on sale for 3/- (3 shillings) and in aid of the “LOCH ARD” fund. [This is Coleman Jacobs’ only surviving musical work Coleman Jacobs, accomplished pianist, musical performer, singer, composer, professor of music and music teacher, was born in 1827 and died on 4 July 1885, aged 58 years. Coleman Jacobs was buried in the Melbourne Cemetery (grave 461, Church of England section).]

The wreck of Loch Ard still lies at the base of Mutton Bird Island and much of the cargo has been salvaged. Some was washed up into what is now known as Loch Ard Gorge following the shipwreck. Cargo and artefacts have also been illegally salvaged over many years before protective legislation was introduced.
When Made
late 19th century
The photograph is significant for its association with the wreck of the Loch Ard. This wreck has been protected as a Historic Shipwreck since 11 March 1982, under the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act (1976)
Flagstaff Hill’s collection of artefacts from Loch Ard is significant for being one of the largest
collections of artefacts from this shipwreck in Victoria. It is significant for its association with the shipwreck, which is on the Victorian Heritage Register.
The collection is significant because of the relationship between the objects, as together they have a high potential to interpret the story of the Loch Ard.
The Loch Ard collection is archaeologically significant as the remains of a large international
passenger and cargo ship.
The Loch Ard collection is historically significant for representing aspects of Victoria’s shipping history and its potential to interpret sub-theme 1.5 of Victoria’s Framework of Historical Themes (living with natural processes).
The collection is also historically significant for its association with the Loch Ard, which was one of the worst and best known shipwrecks in Victoria’s history.
The Loch Ard collection meets the following criteria for assessment:
Criterion A: Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria’s cultural history.
Criterion B: Possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Victoria’s cultural
Criterion C: Potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of
Victoria’s cultural history.
Last updated
13 Aug 2018 at 3:58PM