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Victorian Naval Forces Muster

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


Last Name:Cockle
First Name:John William
Rank:Gunner Instructor
Birth Date: 27-05-1841
Branch:Naval Brigade - Pt. Melbourne

John William Cockle

Gunner Instructor


John with Naval Brigade cap tally, after 1884
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Douglas

It would appear that John served in the Williamstown division of the Volunteer Naval Brigade from 1867 until 1870 and then joined the Victorian Navy where he was serving as a Petty Officer in 1873. Later on John served as a Gunner Instructor in the Sandridge/Port Melbourne division of the Victorian Naval Reserve/Brigade.


Friends of the Cerberus holds John Cockle's copy of the Victorian Naval Forces - Torpedo Manual - Whitehead Torpedoes, 1889. This is the only known copy of this manual and can be downloaded via

Listed in the Victorian Defence Forces List, Naval Branch, 1 January 1890.


Listed in the Argus newspaper of 8 September 1884 as being awarded the Victoria Volunteer Long & Efficient Service Medal.



Listed in the Victorian Defence Forces List, Naval Branch, 10 May 1872 as having resigned or been discharged.


Served 1867 - 1870

Source Victorian Naval Brigade 1860 - 1871 courtesy of Tom Corfmat, Victorian Colonial Infantry Association Inc.

 In 1883 John renovated the Port Melbourne Drill Room.

A History of Port Melbourne, Nancy Uren & Noel Turnbull, 1983.

According Elizabeth Douglas, John and his wife lived in the Port Melbourne Drill Hall for many years.


Placed on retired list as of 31 July 1892, Victorian Government Gazette, 15 July 1892.

Died 17 January 1901

* 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.