Victorian Volunteers part 4: Navy
The first Victorian man-of-war screw-sloop, have being ordered in 1854, sailed out of England in 1856. She would later serve in 1860-61 in the Maori Wars, the first Australian unit to serve overseas. She was “paid off” in 1864 (came to the end of her service). The navy did not receive another vessel until 1868 when the old battleship, The Nelson, was gifted to the colony as a training vessel. The the S.S. Ceberus, commissioned in 1866, arrived in Melbourne in March 1871.
The Victorian Naval Forces were made up of permanent forces (the Victorian Navy) and part time forces. From 1859 until 1871 the ‘Naval Brigade of Volunteers’ existed with a Williamstown and a Sandridge (Port Melbourne) division. In 1871 this was reformed as the Naval Reserve (militia) then reformed again in 1885 as the Victorian Naval Brigade.
The Victorian Navy became part of the Australian Navy/Commonwealth Naval Forces with Federation but there was an overlap period until 1910 when new ships arrived.