Chief Petty Officer
Joined HMVS Nelson on 14 February 1868
Had served on the Naval Training Ship Sir Harry Smith.
Listed as 1st Class Chief Petty Officer with previous rank of Captain F.C.
Victorian Naval Training Ship for Boys, Register 1865-1876 VPRS 11976/P0001 00001
ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY'S MEDALS.
"On three different occasions durng this year a young boy named Joseph Blacker, who is on board the training ship Nelson, has in the most intrepid manner saved the lives of other boys who had fallen into the Bay, and who, would but for Blacker's courage have perished by drowning. His Excellency the Governor, having read of the boy's praiseworthy conduct, wrote to the Royal Humane Society of England bringing his claims under their notice, as well as those of two drill instructors of the Nelson named Kennedy and Collins, who had assisted Blacker when he had succeeded in keeping the boys he had rescued above water. His Excellency lately received, through the Secretary of State, a silver medal of the society for Blacker, as also their thanks to the boy, which were inscribed on vellam, and a bronze medal for Kennedy, together with the thanks of the society inscribed on vellum to Collins. These testimonials he decided to present on board the vessel in presence of the other boys on the training ship, and last December, that purpose was carried out."
John Kennedy, chief petty officer of the Cerberus.- Groves kept some dynamite at the hulk Deborah, lying at Edom. Saw some in the laboratory there. It was made up in small paper parcels, and kept in a small tin on a shelf. It was not loose. It was labelled "Dynamite." There is some dynamite now in the laboratory. On the 2nd of February Groves made up a mine with dynamite in it. The torpedo was exploded a few days afterwards I believe. Some of the dynamite has since been removed, but I cannot say when or by whom. Only Mr. Groves and myself had access to the laboratory. He kept the key, and when he was absent it was in my charge. I did not touch the dynamite. The dynamite came to the hulk about April last. Saw the stores intended for the Cerberus for the late trip removed from the hulk. Did not assist Groves to make up the combustibles on this occasion.
The Argus, 11 March 1881
On the Enrolment Sheet of the Victorian Naval Forces 1884