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Victorian Naval Forces Muster

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


Last Name:Bassett
First Name:Walter Thomas
Rank:Yeoman of Signals
Birth Date: 21-04-1866
Branch:Victorian Navy

Walter Thomas Bassett

Yeoman of Signals
Born April-1866 Died July-1952

By Peter Baxter (Grandson)

Walter Bassett with medals for active service in China
and for long service and good conduct.
Walter Thomas Bassett was born in Rotheriield a sub district of Sussex, England on the 21-04-1866, the son of Thomas Bassett and his wife Isabella Bassett formerly Gorringe.

In September 1883 he left Sussex to go to sea. He joined the sailing ship Cape Vincent as an apprentice for four years.

In 1884 he was selected to act in place of the 3rd officer who was one of seven crew members lost due to a cholera epidemic. He remained acting 3rd officer till the completion of his apprenticeship.

In November 1888 he arrived in Melbourne with a cargo of timber where he left the Cape Vincent in December.

In January 1889 he enlisted in the Victorian Navy. He served in HMVS Nelson HMVS Cerberus and HMVS Victoria as a signalman.

In April 1891 at Leichardt NSW he married Annie Crittal who sailed out from London on the P&O steamer Brittania in March 1891.

On July 31st 1900 he left in S.S. Salamis with the naval contingent for active service in China due to the Boxer uprising.

In June 1901 he arrived back at the Naval Barracks in Williamstown and was later made Yeoman of Signals. Walter Bassett served on until 1911 , then transferred to the Navy Office in Melbourne until he retired on April 20th 1932. 
Walter Bassett, Toz Dadswell and Rear Admiral J. A. (later Sir John) Collins in 1949.
(photo supplied by Harley Dadswell)











 Prot  5' 6½"  35"  Prop  Fair Blue  "W" on left arm  

From Volunteer Listing kept by CPO Goding & held by grandson Lawrence Dilks, Williamstown. Prepared by Ada Ackerly, Directory Williamstown Museum, c 1987.



Profile in The Australian Illustrated Enclclopaedia of The Boxer Uprising 1899-1901, Justin Corfield, Slouch Hat Publications, McCrae Australia, 2001.
More Information

More details on this person can be found in the Victorian Navy Certificates of Service This is a very large pdf file of 119 mb and takes 13 minutes to download with a 1.5 mbps internet connection.



* 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.