Victorian Naval Forces Muster
|for the Colony of Victoria. (muster range 1853-1910)*
|First Name:||W. H.|
| Birth Date: |
W. H. Davis
The Portsmouth Evening News of April 16 says:--" Returning to his native town after 35 years continuous sojourn in Australia, Mr. W. H. Davis, of the Australian Navy, is filled with astonishment and pride at the vast and expensive improvements and at the extraordinary increase in the size of the town and its population. Mr. Davis speaks enthusiastically of his adopted country, where he has children and grand children. As a young man he worked as a blacksmith in Portsmouth Dockyard, and with two of like mind decided to emigrate. In Australia Mr Davis worked at his trade. He also joined the volunteers the premature explosion of a cannon making him permanently deaf and 23 years ago he entered the Victorian Naval forces as a blacksmith. There were six ships then, the three decker Nelson, the turret ship Cerberus, and four small torpedo boats, and a force of 350 men. Mr. Davis now belongs to the Federal Navy, and is working in the Williamatown Dockyard. His length of naval service has entitled him to six months' leave of absence on full pay, and so he finds himself back in his native land after 35 years' absence. He went out to the colony in a sailing barque, which, though it stopped nowhere, took 100 days. He returned in 41 days with several pleasant spells ashore. Mr. Davis was one of the Australian Naval contingent which helped to quell the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 and performed police duty around Tientsin. He returns to his beloved Australia in two months' time, and there in Williamstown he will see the shop plate of Mr Prince, watchmaker. It is the identical shop plate that Mr. Prince displayed when a watchmaker in Portsmouth." The paper devoted a column to the interview.
Williamstown Chronicle, 25 June 1910
* 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.
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