Historical information

The Speke was an all steel ship of 310 feet, beam of 35 feet and weight of 2,712 tons and triple masted. She was built in 1891 at Carnarvon in Wales for a cost of 22,000 pounds. The wreck of the Speke was purchased for a mere 12 pounds after it went aground in 1906. The Speke had come from Peru to Sydney. She was then on her way to load wheat in Geelong when she ran aground on the 22 February 1906. Captain Tiltson confused a bushfire, near Cowes, for navigation lights. The ship drifted close to shore in Kitty Miller Bay and was eventually holed at 3 pm on the rocks. Life boats were immediately lowered and the ship’s crew all made it to shore except Seaman Frank Henderson, who lost his life.

Physical description

Black & White photograph of The Speke running aground on the south coast of Phillip Island.