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Victorian Naval Forces Muster

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


Last Name:Creswell
First Name:William Rooke
Birth Date: 01-01-1852
Branch:Victorian Navy

William Rooke Creswell


By Geoffrey Frogley

Captain William Rooke Creswell was born in Gibraltar July 20th. 1852, the son of Edmund Creswell of Hampshire, England. His father was the Deputy Post Master General of Gibraltar. James served in South Australia aboard HMS Protector (appointed Jan. 1886), and in 1900 was appointed Commandant of the Queensland Naval Forces. During the Boxer rebellion South Australia offered HMCS Protector to the British government, who would only take up the offer if a British Officer was placed in charge. Creswell was recalled from Queensland to take the position, with Chapman James Clare the commander demoted to second in command. In 1904 Creswell was appointed a Naval Officer in command of the newly created Commonwealth Naval Forces, and the following year became a member of the Council of Defense and the Australian Naval Board. As a strong advocate for the establishment of the Australian Naval Force, in 1911 his ideal became reality with the formation of the Royal Australian Navy. The same year he was appointed to Rear Admiral, and awarded Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG), and 1919 Knight of the Order of the British Empire (KBE). In 1922 Creswell was promoted to Vice Admiral, but retired to his property at Silvan near Melbourne. He died at Armadale in 1933, and was buried at Brighton Cemetery, Melbourne.


Lieut. W. R. Creswell
from Close to the Wind
edited by Paul Thompson.

* 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.