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Victorian Naval Forces Muster

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


Last Name:Handfield
First Name:Frederick Oliver
Birth Date: 15-04-1830
Branch:Victorian Navy

Frederick Oliver Handfield


served 1861-70


Lieutenant Handfield, c 1868 wearing the Arctic Medal.
Australian War Memorial, image no. P01359.001

Appointed to be Sub-Lieutenant of the Naval Training Ship. Victorian Government Gazette, 16 June 1865


Sub-Lieutenant F. O. Handfield, commanding the Naval Training Ship, to be Lieutenant.
Victorian Government Gazette, 10 September 1867

Naval Training Ship for Boys, Sir Harry Smith.
F. O. Handfield. Lieut. in charge.

Listed as Lieutenant in Charge, on a drawing of the Naval Training Ship for Boys, Sir Harry Smith (held by the National Library of Australia).

Arrangements were made by the Government some months since to dispense with the need of a separate command on board the juvenile reformatory ship Sir Harry Smith. As a consequence, Lieutenant Handfield leaves the Government service at the end of the year, and the Sir Harry Smith will be placed under the control of Lieutenant F. H. B. Turner, the commander of the Nelson training-ship. Lieutenant Handfield has been nine years in the Government service. The Argus, 7 November 1870


Mr. A.T. Clarke moved that a select committee be appointed to investigate and report to the House the circumstances connected with the removal of Lieutenant Handfield from the public service; such committee to consist of Mr Harker, Mr Mackay, Mr Mason, Colonel Champ, Mr Philipps, Mr Woods, Mr Bent and the mover: three to form a quorum, with power to call for persons and papers, and to sit on days on which the House did not meet. Mr Wittman seconded the motion. Mr Francis having questioned the advisability of appointing such a committee, Mr Mason entered into a long explanation of the circumstances attending the removal of Lieutenant Handfield, a proceeding which he said, adopted in order to make room for Captain Panter. On the motion of Mr Wrixon, the debate was adjourned in order that the house should obtain additional information.

The Herald, 7 October 1871




Lieutenant Handfield's sword and scabbard is held by the Australian War Memorial

Lieutenant Frederick Oliver Handfield, who originally enlisted as a cadet in the Royal Navy at the age of 14 years in 1844; after service on various vessels and rising to the rank of lieutenant, he joined the Victorian Navy in August 1861, finally retiring in December 1870.

* 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.