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Graves

A Memorial - September 17, 1937

The Yorke Peninsula coastal trading enterprise continued well into the early 1900's but with railway expansion, a revamp of coastal trading cost efficiency was inevitable. The Keepers on Althorpe Island would have noted the slow decline of passing vessels due to the introduction with the motor vehicle after World War 1 and by the time W.W. 2 had begun, the coastal trade was largely diminished being replaced by fishing boats, which had grown in numbers around population centres.

Communities such as Marion Bay, Warooka, Yorketown, Edithburgh all had there fishing fleet. Some as far away from Pt. Adelaide or Port Lincoln would venture around Althorpe Island in search of viable fishing grounds. One of these was the fishing vessel, the Rapid, a 38ft (11 m) wooden cutter, from Port Adelaide. The fishing cutter, snapped its moorings in the bay of Althorpe Island in the dark night of September 17th, 1937 and ended up onto the rocks but on the opposite side of the same rock formation that claimed 11 lives of the SS Pareora in 1919.

The fourth grave/memorial on Althorpe Island is that of fisherman, A 'Dick' Johnson, who was lost in the sinking of the 'Rapid' after breaking up. Despite vigilant efforts by the Keepers and their families, Arthur Johnson's body was never recovered. The unfortunate crew member was partly paralysed in the left arm and this handicap most likely cost him his life. His paralysis was the aftermath of a broken neck, caused after diving into shallow water at Semaphore several years before he became a crew member.

The Celtic cross erected on Althorpe Island is a memorial to Arthur 'Dick' Johnson and his name is also listed on a Memorial to all Fishermen who have perished in the line of duty, located south west of the Port Adelaide Birkenhead Bridge.

Keepers, care-takers and members of the Friends of Althorpe Island Conservation Park have maintained this memorial since September 1937.