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Victorian Naval Forces Muster

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


Last Name:Barnes
First Name:William
Rank:Leading Seaman
Birth Date: 00-00-1849
Branch:Victorian Navy

William Barnes

Leading Seaman

A Victim of the 1881 Torpedo Explosion

Born circa 1849 London, England

"William Barnes, a petty officer on board the Cerberus, was aged 30. He was a married man, but had no children, and entered the colonial service on the 29th December 1877, having been previously in the Royal Navy, where he was at one time chief boatswain's mate in the flying squadron engaged in the China War." The Argus Page 6, 7 March 1881

"The other poor fellows, whose bodies are missing, were William Barnes, a petty officer of the Cerberus, and Harry Timberley and James Wilkie, able bodied seamen belonging to that vessel." The Brisbane Courier, 23 March 1881



Memorial to those who died in the 1881 "Torpedo Accident".
photo by David Joy 2001.


A benefit concert given on Saturday night in aid of the victims of the late torpedo accident was well attended. The South Australian Advertiser, 5 April 1881


To the mother and tbe widow of William Barnes,who was killed by the torpedo accident off Queenscliff, £100 each.

The Argus, 23 September 1881 

To the Widow of William Barnes, who was killed by the Torpedo Accident off Queenscliff - £200

Supplement to the Victorian Government Gazette, 30 December 1881


William's widow mentioned in the Supplement to the Victorian Government Gazette, 30 December 1881 as receiving £200 compensation for her husband who was killed by the Torpedo Accident off Queenscliff.

* 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.