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Victorian Naval Forces Muster

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


Last Name:Clarke
First Name:Henry R.
Rank:Leading Stoker
Birth Date: 00-00-1832
Branch:Victorian Navy

Henry R. Clarke


"A man named Clark, who has for some time past been employed on board the turret ship Cerberus as stoker, died somewhat suddenly on Tuesday night. Early in the day Clark was seized with an epileptic fit, & as his case was considered an extrordinary one, he was promptly removed to the Melbourne hospital where he died soon after being admitted. His body was taken back to Williamstown yesterday morning, & the funeral, which will be conducted with military honours, will take place today.

It is stated that the man's death was accelerated by the very bad ventilation below on board the Cerberus, but this is mere rumour. It is a fact, however that there are at present 2 persons residing in Williamstown whose health has been injured through the ill-ventilation of the furnace room of the ship & who have had to leave the service on that account. It is hoped that the matter will be inquired into, & the evil rectified, if it should be found to exist."

The Argus, 8 January 1874


by Shirley Joy

Henry Clarke was born in Clapham, England, circa 1832, the son of William Henry Clarke, Linen Draper, and his wife Ann Cardine Clarke, Formerly Crow.

He came to Victoria, Australia in 1871 and worked as a stoker on board HMVS Cerberus. At the age of 41 years (1873), he married Ellen Hourigan at Williamstown. Later in the year 1873, he became ill suffering from "Sanguineous Apoplexy" and died in the City of Melbourne Hospital, (Gipps Ward), on the 6th of January, 1874.

Sanguineous - (Med.) of blood, blood red.

Apoplexy - Inability to feel and move, caused by blockage or rupture of the brain artery.

Grave reference - Church of England, Area F, Row 12, Grave 6, Williamstown Cemetery, Victoria, Australia.

Source: The Argus, 8 January 1874


"Henry R. Clark, seaman, aged 42, native of London; arrived in 1871 by the Cerberus; died January 6 (1874), of sanguineous apoplexy."

The Argus Summary for Europe, 28 January 1874.


On 8 January 1874 the Cerberus logbook described H. Clarke as a Leading Stoker.

* 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.