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Victorian Naval Forces Muster

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


Last Name:Forsyth
First Name:William A.
Rank:Chief Engineer
Birth Date: 22-03-1849
Branch:Victorian Navy

 William A. Forsyth

Chief Engineer


Engineer Lieut Commander c.1905



Photo from The Weekly Times, 14 July 1900.
courtesy of "Newspaper Collection", State Library of Victoria.


The death of Mr. William Forsyth of Seaview crescent, Black Rock 27 inst., severs the last connecting link of present times with the Victorian Navy and HMS Cerberus, now a hulk and acting as breakwater at Halfmoon Bay. Mr Forsyth, who was 87 years of age at death, was born at inverness, Scotland, and was engineer-lieutenant in the Victorian Navy, appointed to the Cerberus, and retired some 35 years ago. It was during the Russian war scare that Mr Forsyth volunteered, and his services were accepted as one of the four engineer officers on the Cerberus. The latter had arrived in April 1871, and Captain Koltovskoy of the Imperial Russian warship Haydamack, which was in Hobson's Bay at the time, sent an officer on board with his compliments. Like his old ship Mr Forsyth found pleasant anchorage for a number of years at Black Rock. He leaves a wife and seven children. The internment took place at Footscray on 28th August, the Rev. Trewalla (formerly pastor of the Black Rock Congregational Church) officiating at the graveside. Messrs. Monkhouse and Sons, Bay road, directed the funeral arrangements.

Paper unknown, August 1936.
Courtesy of the Museum of HMAS Cerberus

(The Argus, 31 August 1936 also carries an obituary of William Forsyth)


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

* 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.