More about the Orient shipwreck (July 1907) ……

A recent newspaper article (Daily Dispatch 26th August 2016 – see below) referred to the visible remains of a shipwreck at the Orient Beach, East London. Pictures taken recently showed embedded steel protrusions at the site where the Orient was wrecked in 1907 carrying 2 600 tons of wheat.


orient3 001-001.jpg

A number of East London folk responded to the article commenting that they remember their parents pointing out the wreck when they were children. The museum has also received input from Major Anthony Step who showed us a copy of a painting depicting the Orient under sail. See below.

A copy of a painting of the Orient

A copy of a painting of the Orient

The original painting is a watercolour done by a ship’s artist, A. V. Gregory in 1902. It shows the vessel under full sail off Port Phillip heads, Melbourne (Australia). The original painting hung in the saloon of the Orient and was presented by the Captain to the late G. E. Thewlis. He brought it ashore when he and the Captain left the ship for the last time. Mr Thewlis was a member of staff of  Dreyfus & Co. Ltd. – the ship’s agents (reference East London Museum).


Notes on the back of the painting

Major Step’s visit to the museum encouraged us to reveal the original water colour painting in our collection and the associated notes pasted to the back of the frame. See illustrations below:


Original Orient painting by A.V Gregory in 1902. Photo: Kevin Cole ELM


Typed notes on the back of the original painting Photo: Kevin Cole


About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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