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Victorian Naval Forces Muster

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


Last Name:Browning
First Name:James
Rank:Leading Seaman
Birth Date:
Branch:Victorian Navy

James (Jimmy) Browning

Leading Seaman

 Source : The Argus, 29 August 1889


On 15 April 1890 the Cerberus logbook recorded that J. Browning was transferred to Cerberus in the place of Blyth who was transferred to Nelson.


Another well-known seaman was James Browning. Although a splendid seaman, Jimmy was always in trouble. No sooner would he receive promotion than he would be hailed before the captain and lose his anchor. Eventually he retired and became a cab driver in Ballarat. On one occasion a fellow cabman dared Jimmy to stand on his head on top of the truck on the flag pole on the tower of the post office. He accepted, and, locking the door behind him, climbed the pole, and in half a gale of wind vainly tried to balance himself on the truck while hundreds of people looked on with bated breath. Browning appeared before the court for his offence, but a lenient chairman gave him a severe caution. Afterwards he told me he would have succeeded but for the wind.

Recollections by G. Prideaux from The West Australian, 7 August 1937

Obituary of James Waler Browning in The West Australian, 3 September 1913


* 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.