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HMVS Cerberus

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  1. Launched in 1868 Cerberus is the only remaining breastwork monitor class warship left in the world. Cerberus not only has its hull but also its gun turrets and its guns.
  2. Cerberus was the first of the modern battleships.
  3. Preceding HMS Devastation by almost three years, Cerberus was the first British warship to dispense completely with sail power and to incorporate the shallow draft.
  4. Cerberus was the first, and is the only remaining example, of a Monitor having a central superstructure.
  5. The design for the Cerberus was the first in the world to incorporate the combination of a central superstructure with fore and aft gun turrets.
  6. Cerberus is the only substantially intact surviving warship of any of Australia's pre-Federation colonial navies.
  7. Cerberus is the oldest as well as the only surviving inaugural warship, to have served in the Royal Australian Navy.
  8. Cerberus represented Cutting Edge Technology from the 1860's.
  9. Cerberus was the flagship and most powerful warship of the Victorian Navy. In addition it was the most powerful warship of any of the Australian Colonial Navies.
  10. Cerberus incorporated the latest developments in metallurgy, steam power, gun turrets and the use of low freeboard.
  11. Cerberus was the first armoured warship built for Australia.
Read detailed accounts of the importance of Cerberus at any of the following websites:

National Trust   Aust. Heritage Commission   Heritage Vic.   National Heritage List


Cerberus has rested in three metres of water at Half Moon Bay since being scuttled to form a breakwater in 1926. To the casual observer there appeared to be no deterioration until a major collapse took place in 1993. Since then Cerberus has continued to collapse at a rate of approximately 16 mm per year.

The aim of Friends of the Cerberus is to use the $500,000 grant received from the Federal Government to brace the gun turrets so as to prevent Cerberus from collapsing.

how to assist

At this stage of the campaign we are not launching a public appeal. Our approach is to raise a substantial amount of funds via Funding Bodies and Organisation contributions first. Until this has been achieved, some of the ways in which assistance can be given are:

1:   Making suggestions regarding sources of further funding.
2:   Making suggestions regarding possible Corporate Sponsorship.
3:   Supplying information or anecdotes regarding the ship or crew.
4:   Loaning photos for copying. (Originals will naturally be returned)
5:   Supplying information regarding Cerberus relics.
6:   Keeping up to date by joining the Victorian Navy.
7:   Suggest other ways to help save Cerberus.
8:   Publicise the website (& hence the cause) by sending a sample newsletter, sending a Cerberus Greeting Card, pinning up a Website Advertisement, or downloading a Cerberus Screensaver or Desktop Wallpaper.
9:   Posting a message on the Cerberus Guestmap.
10: Purchase from our on-line store.
 towards the campaign to save the Cerberus.

We can be contacted either via the contact form or via our postal address below:

Friends of the Cerberus Inc.,
PO Box 1231,
Blackburn North,
Victoria 3130

unique visits

NOTE: Entry onto HMVS Cerberus or being in the water immediately surrounding Cerberus is prohibited. Apart from a fine of $10,000 there is considerable danger of personal injury from jagged metal. There have been many injuries caused to people visiting Cerberus. A visit to Cerberus requires a permit from Heritage Victoria.