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Victorian Naval Forces Muster

for the Colony of Victoria. (muster range 1853-1910)*


Last Name:Silke
First Name:John Hurley
Birth Date: 00-00-1831
Branch:Victorian Navy

John Hurley Silke

From Crew List of HMCS Victoria as at January 1857.




This city's oldest resident, Capt. John Hurley Silke, died suddenly on Saturday morning, 13th inst., at his residence, 29 Hannan-street, at the advanced age of 98 years. Deceased, who was born at Somerset, England, came to this city 78 years ago, and has resided here since. He served his apprenticeship in a timber ship, trading to British ports, and later was a seaman I on the famous clipper, "Champion of the Seas." In 1859 he joined the "Victoria," the first unit of the old Victorian Navy, and was present at the capture of the convicts who murdered Capt. Price. In 1861 he entered the service of the Public Works Department, and became master of the dredge, "John Nimmo." He had a wonderfully retentive memory, and always took a delight in relating his exIeriences. He remembered the railway that ran along Nelson-place from the piers to Gem pier. His wife predeceased him 10 years ago. The funeral, very largely attended, took place on Monday afternoon, leaving his late residence for interment in the local cemetery. Many beautiful floral tributes were received. Ernest W. Jackson had charge of the funeral arrangements, and the Revs Fenwick Brown (Anglican) held a house service and officiated at the cemetery. The pall-bearers were Messrs. J. H. Colvin, A. J. Clark, W. V. Harkess, J. J. Robinson, D. Mur ray, WV. Jones, T. Craig, J. Grieve, Cr. H. J. Harvey and W. Hunter.

Williamstown Chronicle, 20 April 1929


 Article in Journal of Police History, vol. 3 no. 1, March - May 1995 by Ian MacFarlane.


Letter to the Editor re the murder of Mr. Price.

Williamstown Advertiser, 16 January 1915


Click photo to enlarge.


* 1853 is given as the commencement date for the Victorian Navy as this is the year that Commander Lockyer (RN) went to Britain to superintend the building of HMCS Victoria.
Although the Victorian Navy ended in 1901 the career of Cerbeus etc continued. In 1910 the new ships started arriving & manning levels increased.

Information & photographs of men who served in the Victorian Naval Forces is eagerly sought. Please contact the webmaster.