Shipwreck Databases Western Australian Museum

The Carronade Island Guns and Southeast Asian gun founding

Author/s J.N. Green

Year of publication 2006

Report Number: 215

In July 1916, during a visit by HMAS Encounter to Napier Broome Bay (Fig. 1). Map showing the location of the sites discussed;{ TC "Figure 1. Map showing the location of the sites discussed" \l 1 }, two small bronze guns were discovered by Commander C.W. Stevens RAN and Surgeon Lieutenant W. Roberts RAN on a small unnamed island. The two guns were found upright “approximately 25 paces from the water’s edge, we saw the two carronades protruding, through the sand 2/3rds of each being exposed so that they were easily lifted out. They were ... 6 feet apart and certainly had the appearance of leading marks ... a large number of the ship’s company landed and next day, shifted sand over practically the whole area for a considerable depth. The only other object found was a small portion of a brass bound chest. You can imagine the disappointment of the matelots who had visions of buried treasure” (letter from Surgeon Commander Roberts, 18 August 1933). The guns were subsequently presented to HMA Naval Dockyard, Garden Island, Sydney, by the finders. Since, at the time, these guns were erroneously thought to be carronades, the island on which they had been found was named Carronade Island. One of these guns (No.1) is at present on loan from the Royal Australian Navy to the Western Australian Museum and is on display at the Fremantle Maritime Museum, Fremantle, Western Australia. The other (No.2) is on display outside the Administrative Building, Office Square, HMA Naval Dockyard, Garden Island, Sydney, New South Wales.