Tragedy at Scarborough Beach


Although Geoff Downes grew up in Doubleview, his family never liked him swimming at Scarborough Beach. He was taught to swim by his Grandfather, Jocelyn Downes, at the far away but much calmer Kwinana Beach. Geoff never questioned this, but discovered much later in life that his Grandfather was first on the scene at a tragic sequence of events at Scarborough Beach in 1916 which led to much discussion about the formation of a Surf Lifesaving Club.

Click the following link to listen to Geoff’s story: 1916 Tragedy, Story Contributor: Geoff Downes

3 thoughts on “Tragedy at Scarborough Beach

  1. My great grandfather was Edward Damon, one of the men who drowned that day. I have grown up with the story but only started researching it online in the last few years. Edward left behind a wife and 8 children including my grandmother who was 18 years old. It was interesting to hear the story from the point of view of Jocelyn Downes. This added some details I was not aware of. Thankyou for publishing the story. I believe there is to be a memorial service on 30 Dec 2016, 100 years after the tragedy took place. I hope to be there.

    Felicity Woodward on said:
  2. Very interested to hear your story – I was named after my grandfather, Edward Damon. I am not surprised to hear that your grandfather did not tell you about it – my mother, who was 18 at the time, never mentioned the tragedy. You are no doubt aware of the plan to have a meeting of the descendants of Edward Damon gather at Scarborough beach for a 30th Dec commemoration service.
    My wife and I live in NSW, and we may or may not come over to WA for this event.
    Thanks for making this side of the story available to us. Regards. John E

    John Edward Crawford on said:
  3. Thankyou to Geoff Downes for telling this story. On the eve of the hundred year anniversary of this event it was good to hear an account of how my great grandfather, Edward Damon, lost his life trying to save a person in peril.

    Felicity Woodward on said:

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