Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Peter Kemp (1815–1898)

One of the Hawkesbury's old identities, Mr Peter Kemp, senr.—a man who had lived by the water's edge the greater part of his life, an expert swimmer and a good oarsman—was drowned last week through the foundering of the tug Little Nell, ten miles from Newcastle. The tug was proceeding to Newcastle from Sydney, having on board a crew of four, Mr Kemp being the only passenger; of the former, Captain Bastian was also drowned. The Little Nell left Sydney at 6 o'clock on Friday morning, and got into a rough sea about a mile from Redhead. A dense volume of water came over her lee rail, and she heeled over and sank in a few minutes, Mr Kemp, who was in the cabin, going down with her. Although 83 years of age, he was a hale and hearty man, and it is believed that had he been able to strike out he would have saved himself, as he was still a vigorous swimmer. He leaves a widow and a grown up family of eleven. Mr Peter Kemp, the celebrated oarsman, and Messrs W. and T. Kemp, are sons, as also Water Police Constable Kemp, of Newcastle. The engineer on the ill-fated tug, Mr V. Laing, who acted heroically in the water, and was picked up by the Dawn, bearing the dead body of the captain in his arms, was a son-in-law of deceased. Mr Kemp was proceeding to Newcastle to spend Christmas with his daughter, Mrs Laing. Much sympathy was expressed in Windsor and along the river when intelligence of the sad occurrence arrived. The Kemp family are well-known throughout the Hawkesbury District, where they are held in high esteem.

Original publication

Citation details

'Kemp, Peter (1815–1898)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


12 August, 1815
Ticehurst, Sussex, England


16 December, 1898 (aged 83)
at sea

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Passenger Ship
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 14 years