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Victorian Naval Forces Muster

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


Last Name:Blacker
First Name:Joseph
Birth Date: 00-00-1856
Branch:Nelson Boy

Joseph Blacker

One of the Nelson boys.

The Boy Blacker - from a photograph by A. Rider.
The Illustrated Australian News, 1 January 1869
(Click image for hi-res version)

Joseph was not a member of the Victorian Navy but rather he was one of the boys on the Training Ship Nelson.


Joined Sir Harry Smith as a 1st Class Boy on 25 February 1867.

Victorian Naval Training Ship for Boys, Register 1865-1876 VPRS 11976/P0001 00001 V3


"The silver medal presented to Blacker is the ordinary, medal of the society, and on its side it bears the inscription 'Joseph Blacker, aged 12, 1st January and 18th February,. 1868.' Blacker is a native of this colony. He is described by Captain Payne as a boy of the most quiet, unassuming demeanor, and acts as cabin boy to the captain."

The Illustrated Australian News, 1 January 1869


"There was to have been an interesting addition to the day's ceremonial, which, to the general regret, did not come off. This was the presentation to Joseph Blacker, late one of the trained boys of H.M.V.S. Nelson of the Royal Humane Society's gold clasp. It will be remembered that on a previous public occasion His Excellency presented the society's medal to the same lad, to whom their gold clasp has now been awarded, for further services in the cause of humanity. Joseph Blacker is a native of Forest Creek, and was early left an orphan, his mother dying when he was two and his father when he was six years of age. He was sent to the Emerald hill Orphanage, and from thence taken on board the Nelson, where he commenced his career by saving two boys from drowning. For these brave actions, done on January 1, and February 18, 1868, he received the medal, and for having in July, 1868, jumped off the Sandridge pier, and saved the life of another boy named William Follett, who was drowning, the second honour has been conferred upon him. Unfortunately, he did not appear in time to receive it. He left the Nelson three months ago to become one of the family of his adopted parents (i.e., that of Mr. Bishop, a letter-carrier, living on Emerald-hill), but accident detained him yesterday just when he was wanted. Mr. Whiteman, M.L.A., who was to have introduced him to His Excellency, was present, but his charge could not be found. The clasp will probably be presented on some future public occasion."

The Argus, 25 May 1870


"PRESENTATION.-The presentation of the Royal Humane Society's clasp to the boy Joseph Blacker, late of the Nelson, as an acknowledgment of his services in saving the life of a boy named Jellett from drowning at Sandridge pier, took place last week at the Executive Council Chamber, Melbourne, in the presence of the Governor, Major-General Sir Trevor Chute, K.C.B., and the members of the Ministry. Some year or more back Blacker received the society's medal for saving two other lives, and the clasp is the reward of his third act of gallantry. In the absence of Mr. Whiteman, M.L.A., who was to have introduced the boy to the Governor, but who was misled by the ceremonial taking place earlier than was expected, Captain Payne, R.N., officiated. His Excellency, in presenting the clasp and complimenting the boy on his gallantry, told him that if he chose he would be instructed in mechanical engineering at one of the Govornment workshops. Blacker simply thanked his Excellency, and the proceedings were at an end."

Australian Town and Country Journal, 25 June 1870


Nearly the first individual I stumbled across here [Williamstown Railway Workshops] was the boy Joseph Blacker, who, I am happy to say, is turning out well, according to all accounts. His foreman represents him as being attentive, sharp, intelligent and diligent, and one "who shapes well for a good workman."

Illustrated Australian News, 13 August 1870

Susannah Blacker, wife of Joseph Blackerengineer, living in Williamstown...

Williamstown Chronicle, 13 July 1878


* 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.