Burra Bra
Burra Bra

Type :
Steel screw steamer
Launched  :
Builder :
Mort's Dock
Woolwich, NSW
Gross weight :
442 tons
Dimensions :
59.00 x 9.00 x 3.25 (metres)
Passenger capacity :
Speed :
13 knots

Burra Bra was the second ferry of the so-called 'B' class of ferries built by Mort's Dock between 1905 & 1922. Her yard number was 33.

She was the most renamed ferry in the Manly fleet, being variously Burra Bra, Burra-Bra, Burrabra, Barra Brui & Burra-Bru.

Burra Bra had a relatively peaceful life on the harbour, there appear to be no incidents recorded for her.

However, in her latter years she did lead an eventful life. In 1928, she was painted white, festooned with flags & had two large crosses fixed to her sides. She was used to take crowds to the Eucharistic Congress being held at St Patrick's College in Manly. The following day, she was back in service in her usual PJ&MSS Co colours.

She has the distinction of being the only Manly ferry to become an Australian warship as HMAS Burra Bra. She was taken over by the navy on the 13th of November, 1942 & fitted out for anti-submarine duties. She was commissioned in 1943 with the fleet number 69 & bow letters BR. Laid up in 1944, she was offered back to the Manly company, but the cost of re-converting her back to a ferry was prohibitive.

She sold at auction for 900 pounds in 1947 to the Maritime Services Board & was rebuilt as a grab dredge. Her new name was Burra-Bru. She was scuttled off Sydney Heads on July 14th, 1971. Another section of the partially dismantled ship remained in navy hands & was used as a target barge. The barge was destroyed on July 12th, 1972 by gunfire.