The Defending Victoria website was first created in 1997. It is frequently updated.
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Lieutenant George Austin Woods
Midshipman William Horn
Gunner's Mate Moses Luther
Captain Fore Top James Ovenden
Captain Main Top Ambrose Kensington
Quartermaster Samuel Long
Quartermaster Robert Linton
Leading Seaman John Taylor
Able Seaman Rees Edmonds
A B  William Jones No. 1
A B David Smith
A B James Hawkins
A B Andrew Dunn
A B Thomas Dudley
A B John Schrader
A B Joseph Collingwood
A B Edward John Locke
A B Peter Hood
A B James Steward
A B George Brett
A B John White
A B Alexander Lawson
A B John Hay
A B Harry Ford
A B Benjamin Rees
A B George Morey
Trimmer Robert Parkes
Trimmer Edward Ashwell
Trimmer Thomas McIntyre
Trimmer Mark Davis
Trimmer John McMinn
Ordinary Seaman William Gibbond
O S Arthur Stroud
O S James Cromarty
O S Patrick Bonfield
Drummer Cuthbert Graham
Cook.s Mate William Jones No. 2
Boy 1st Class William Horseley
In early July 1860 at Auckland, the Commander of the Victoria was asked to land as many men as could be spared for service in the First Taranaki War. This news was received on the Victoria just after six in the evening. The ship's company was assembled and asked to volunteer for shore service. Lieutenent Woods worked on their feelings a little, saying that this would be a great credit to the crew and a great honour for the Colony. He said the volunteers would be distinct from the Imperial Naval Brigade, but would work with it.
About seven o'clock, the volunteers got into the launch as the Victoria was about to leave for Sydney. The volunteers spent the night in the British Flagship HMS Iris. Leading seaman Andrew Dunn later recalled what happened the following day:

The next morning we landed in Auckland and Commodore Loring gave us to understand
that if any of us did not like to go we could have the privilege of stopping. At the same
time he said that if we went we would be under the Articles of War and subject to
the same discipline and punishment as his men. None of us had agreed to that but
there we were in a way obliged to go.

The volunteers arrived at New Plymouth in HMS Cordelia on July 8. The Taranaki Herald reported that 30 of the Victoria's men were landed and marched up to the camp of the naval brigade [probably Fort Niger in New Plymouth], preceded by the Volunteer Band. "The Victoria's men are armed with the breech-loading rifle, and have besides a revolver and cutlass".

These men were probably the first Australian force to serve in a foreign war. Before operations, the Victoria's Naval Brigade moved to the Waitara Camp. They took part in several actions, particularly at Kairau and Matarikoriko [see operations map in `Victorian Navy page'], where the officers were mentioned in despatches. Eventually ten received the New Zealand medal -- although others may have been enttitled.

View information about the recent book 'Victoria and Australia's First War' by visiting this site's Virtual Bookshop.



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