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Victorian Naval Forces Muster

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


Last Name:Dann
First Name:Augustus Cardigan Frederick
Rank:Chief Torpedo Gunner
Birth Date: 00-00-1839
Branch:Victorian Navy

Augustus Cardigan Frederick Dann

Chief Torpedo Gunner

Cardigan Dann

from the photo below.

Men of the Victorian Naval Forces at the Wedding of Commander Heath and Elizabeth Catherine Simson in January 1891.

Gunner John Blair is standing on the far left with Cardigan Dann standing second from the left & Lieut. Herbert Heath seated third from left.
In the centre of the middle row, marked with an X is Chief Engine Room Artificer Charles Allard.
On the far right of the middle row, marked with an X, is George Prideaux.

Photo courtesy of John Perryman, Senior Naval Historical Officer at the Sea Power Centre - Australia.
Click image for hi-res version.

Cardigan Dann’s medals with 2nd China War Medal at left &
Long Service & Good Conduct (LSGC) Medal on the right.

Photo courtesy of Jon Cray

Edge detail from Cardigan Dann’s LSGC Medal.
(Cardigan Dann. Engine Room Artificer HMS ...)

"Mr. Dann, who came out with the Childers" (1884) The Argus, 3 July 1888



On 13 November 1891 The Argus reported that the 5 year old son of Mr. Dann (Petty Officer) was blown into the Alfred Graving Dry Dock by a gust of wind. It was feared that he had fractured his skull and was reported to be lying at home in a dangerous condition.


On Wednesday afternoon, during the height of the South westerly gale, a serious accident happened at the Alfred Graving Dock to a little fellow, son of Mr Dann, torpedo instructor. The boy was standing near the side of the dock when his hat was blown off his head, and in running to catch it a gust of wind caught him and threw him down the dock. He was promptly conveyed to the surgery of Dr Maclean, where it was found that he had sustained a severe injury to the head together with serious bruises.

Williamstown Chronicle, 14 November 1891 

Ruby Dann Romano, (Great Grand-daughter of Cargigan Dann) has advised us that the boy (Harold Edward Dann) was her Grandfather. He received a fractured skull but recovered.


On 8 December 1892 The Argus reported that Mr. Dann, Chief Torpedo Gunner of the Victorian Naval Forces, was awarded £500 by Naval Authorities in the U.K. for his "torpedo dropping gear" invention.



The Armament Court at the Exhibition Melbourne
Illustrated Australian News, 22 December 1888.

"Among the junior Oficers who came out in the early 80’s was Mr. Cardigan Dann, Chief Torpedo Gunner. He was originally an Engine Room Artificer, I believe, and specialised in Torpedo work. He was the inventor of the Dann dropping gear, and many other inventions. He was an engineering genius and undoubtably the value of his service to the Navy could not be measured. He lived inside the Williamstown Depot with his wife and family in the building that afterwards became the wardroom. He worked from early morning until all hours of the night in the workshop as far as humanly possible his branch was 100 per cent. efficient. Whilst at Whale Island in 1913 I called on Mr. Dann, in Portsmouth, then an old man of 80, and I found him the same alert man, working on an invention having to do with motor engines." Lieutenant G. Prideaux, Spindrift, October 1930.


Details of Dann’s Torpedo Dropping Gear


1881 Census return for "H M S Vesuvius" at Portsmouth, Hampshire, England

Cardigan DANN M 42 M Wimbleton, Surrey, England Engine Room Artificer

Source - 


"Amongst those who left in the vessel (Liguria) was Chief Gunner Cardigan Dann, late of the Victorian Navy, who arrived here some years ago under engagement, and who now proceeded home to England, his term of service having expired. A number of his confreres here assembled on the pier to wish him bon voyage."

Listed as passengers:-  "Mr. and Mrs. Dann, Miss Dann, Mr. Dann jun., and three children."

The Argus, 13 May 1895


  Torpedo Efficiency.

The torpedo section of the Virtorian Navy was always very efficient. At an early date there transferred from the Royal Navy a remarkable torpedo officer, Mr. Cardigan Dann. Originally an engineroom artificer, he specialised in torpedo and eventually became chief torpedo gunner. He was an inventive genius and Victoria was indeed fortunate in securing the services of this outstanding officer. He was the inventor of the torpedo-dropping gear which bears his name. The torpedo depot at Williamstown had the heater torpedo before any vessel of the Australian squadron of the Royal Navy had it as part of its armament.

The West Australian, 7 August 1937

* 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.