Cerberus Crew in 1883

We are confident that the photo below is the one referred to in the three Williamstown Chronicle articles below. The iron mast indicates that the photo was taken after 1879 and the howitzers on the flying deck indicate that it was taken before the Nordenfelt Machine Guns were fitted in late 1883. The steam crane on the left indicates that Cerberus is moored alongside the crane on the Yarra River. Cerberus was having new boilers fitted between the 30th of January and the 10th of September 1883. Lastly there are 60 men in the crew photo and 59 names in the Williamstown Chronicle of the 23rd of September 1926.



Cerberus with Steam Crane to the left of the Ship on the Yarra river in 1883 (possibly August 231).
Photo originally provided by Shirley Joy. Better quality photo courtesy of Cyril Curtain (descendant of Tom Seabridge).
Click photo to enlarge. We are keen to obtain an even better copy of this photo.

List of Men

[possibly top row] — A. J. Sims, W. May, E. Morgan, H. Claringbold, T. Garlick, G. Bond, J. Bulley, J. Purliss, J. Allen, P. Martin,

[possibly last three on right in top row] W.O's. Richardson; Harron and Sampson,

Listu, A. Ferguson, T. Woolridge, T. Cowley, W. Jones, W. Fyfe, A. Doran, S. Buse, J. McGowan, F. Smith, H. Stafford, T. Meatchem, J. Gren, J. Kennedy, J. Jamieson, T. Young, C. Anderson, A. Drosen, J. Davies, J. Johnson, J. Mewes, H. Nicholson, P. McIntyre 1, L. McKean, W. Palmer, J. Miles, O. Jansen, J. Prideau, I. Dunlop, J. Eicksen, D. Mangan, N. Ginane, T. Ward, J. Hobson,, A. Jamieson, J. Holden, B. Clapp, P. Maas, M. McKenzie, Jim Hobson, L. Bowen, E. Rutherford, E. McDonald, E. Wiltshire, A. Anderson, J. Hawkins, A. Young.


Tom Seabridge, whose name is not in the above list and was the source of the photo, may be the name missing from the list.

1 Identified by Peter's Great Grand-daughter, Andree Wright, as 6th from left 1st row from bottom standing with hands clasped.


Most likely the first ten names in the Williamstown Chronicle article of the 23rd of October 1926 relate to the men in the top row. In this case the three warrant officers (Richardon, Harron & Sampson) would be the three men to the right of the first ten men. How to relate the rest of the names to the men in the photo is anyone's guess. The rest of the names could start from left to right starting with the second top row. The list of names includes the term Listu which may be an abbreviation indicating the order of names. Please let us know should you know what this term means.


In the window of Mr. R. Hook's grocery shop, in Douglas-parade, there is displayed an enlarged photograph of the crew of H.M.V.S. Cerberus taken in 1883. The picture is the property of Mr. Andy Anderson, of Macquarie-street, who was a member of the crew at that time. Later on, Mr. Anderson joined the water police at Williamstown, and rose to the rank of sergeant prior to his retirement. The old photograph has been scanned with great interest by the public.

Williamstown Chronicle, 2 October 1926

EARLY WILLIAMSTOWN.

Mr. A. Anderson, Macquarie Street, who was a member of the crew of the ironclad Cerberus in 1883, has presented a photograph of the crew, taken on board that year. A large number of the men had their homes in Williamstown, but the only ones now alive of the crew are Messrs. C. Wilcher, A. Anderson, M. McKenzie, R. Garlick, H. Stafford, H. Nicholson, S. Buse, W. Palmer, W. Seabridge, J. Peerless and J. McGowan. The photo was taken when the vessel was alongside the large crane in the Yarra near the Queen's Wharf, Melbourne getting new boilers. It took two pilots with four tug boats to take the warship up the tortuous river channel, as the Coode Canal had not been completed then. The pity is that Williamstown allowed such a link with the past to be taken to the other side of the bay at Brighton.

Williamstown Chronicle, 16 October 1926

EARLY WILLIAMSTOWN.

The annual meeting of the Old Williamstown Association, to elect, all officers and receive the annual report, will be held at the Town Hall next Monday night. Mr. W. A. Hall is expected to give a short lecturette on "Early Relics."

Our reference to the old ironclad, Cerberus, has been read with interest by old residents. We have obtained a full list of the names of those shown in the picture:-

— A. J. Sims, W. May, E. Morgan, H. Claringbold, T. Garlick, G. Bond, J. Bulley, J. Purliss, J. Allen, P. Martin, [possibly top row]

W.O's. Richardson; Harron and Sampson, [possibly last three on right in top row]

— Listu, A. Ferguson, T. Woolridge, T. Cowley, W. Jones, W. Fyfe, A. Doran, S. Buse, J. McGowan, F. Smith, H. Stafford, T. Meatchem, J. Gren, J. Kennedy, J. Jamieson, T. Young, C. Anderson, A. Drosen, J. Davies, J. Johnson, J. Mewes, H. Nicholson, P. McIntyre, L. McKean, W. Palmer, J. Miles, O. Jansen, J. Prideau, I. Dunlop, J. Eicksen, D. Mangan, N. Ginane, T. Ward, J. Hobson,, A. Jamieson, J. Holden, B. Clapp, P. Maas, M. McKenzie, Jim Hobson, L. Bowen, E. Rutherford, E. McDonald, E. Wiltshire, A. Anderson, J. Hawkins, A. Young.

Original List of Names

Williamstown Chronicle, 23 October 1926


OLD WILLIAMSTOWN. Fifth Annual Meeting

The secretary handed in a framed photo, of the old "Cerberus" crew in 1883 presented by Mr. Andy Anderson. The photo was accepted with thanks.

Williamstown Chronicle, 30 October 1926

Boiler Replacement SlideShow




The 50 ton Steam Crane that can be seen to the left of Cerberus in the above photo.
Engraving (reversed for comparison purposes) from the Australasian Sketcher, 20 March 1875

1 On the 23rd of August 1883 the Cerberus log book recorded that "45 hands got portraits taken". Presumably 19 men did not get their portraits taken but were still included in the group photograph.

[Webmaster's notes are in square brackets]