Thursday, 8 August 2013

Monday 12th September 1898 Court of Enquiry 38 New Plates 2500 pound Repair

8am Starboard Watch returned off leave
Court of Enquiry assemble on board to enquir einto
the case of us Grounding at Tucopia, no blame
attached to anyone as correct bearing taken, during the
time we laid there our Navigating Officer proper
ly surveyed the place and took true bearing
Gave long leave to Port Watch found out that we had
sustained severe damage to our bottom which
would take at least eight weeks to repair, had to
have 38 plates taken out and new ones replaced
both bilge Heels replaced,on the 16th floated
ship out of the Sutherland Dock into the ????yray
Dock Masts' Ship Building Contractor started the
repairs for 2500 pounds.

This is the last entry in the diary.

Sunday 11th September 1898 HMS Mohawk Parson from Balmain

Usual Sunday Routine, A parson from
Balmain came on board and held divine service on
Quarter Deck Starboard watch on leave

Saturday 10th September 1898 HMS Mohawk Starboard Watch on Leave

Usual routine Starboard Watch on

Friday 9th September 1898 HMS Mohawk Jack the Wallaby makes his last jump

Scraping and cleaning Ships Bottom gave
long leave to starboard Watch, Jack the Wallaby
jumped off the poop to the bottom of the dock
broke one of his hind legs had to destroy him, did
not miss him much, as it was one of the silliest
animals breathing he would jump and never
know or look where he was going too he would
jump over the combsing of the Hatchways and
would look rather surprised when he found
himself on the next deck.

Thursday 8th September 1898 HMS Mohawk Proceeded to Sutherland Dock

Proceeded to Sutherland Dock

Wednesday 7th September 1898 HMS Mohawk Admiral H Pearson Major Cottar

Admiral H. Pearson inspected the
ship marines inspected by Major Cottar in afternoon

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Tuesday 6th September HMS Mohawk Number 5 Buoy Sydney heads

Weighed Anchor in Broken Bay at 6am and carried out
Quarterly Torpedo practice then proceeded out
and carried out remainder of heavy gun practice
for the quarter 1,o clock shaped course for Sydney
Heads 2.30 secured to No 5 buoy

Monday 5th September 1898 HMS Mohawk Anchored Broken Bay

Altered course for Broken Bay dropped target in
afternoon and carried  out 1/2 quarters heavy gun practice
from 6 in B L being as we was so near Sydney Captain
thought he would chance it, did not fire the midship guns
anchored in Broken Bay at 6:15 pm

Sunday 4th September 1898 HMS Mohawk

Weather had cleared up during the night
but we began to fel the change of climate very cold
left off wearing whites, got into Blue Clothing went to
Divisions had Divine Service on the Poop we set Fore & Aft
sail 240 miles from Sydney running the coast down

Saturday 3rd September 1898 HMS Mohawk Fresh coat of paint throughout

Usual routine ship beginning to look
like her former self after the knockings about she
had had, cleaned and painted all Boats and had given
her a fresh coat of paint throughout, weather be-
ginning to get dirty again

Friday 2nd Sptember 1898 HMS Mohawk smooth sea man and arm sloop

Sea very smooth hands man and arm sloop.

Thursday 1st September 1898 HMS Mohawk Dick the Tabby Cat lost at sea

Usual Sea Routine Dick the
Tabby Cat fell overboard in the morning watch sky-
larking with Minnie on the poop and was drowned.

Wednesday 31st August 1898 HMS Mohawk Wether settled Routine as Tuesday

Weather much settled carried out the
same routine & Practice as on Tuesday

Monday 29th August 1898 HMS Mohawk No drills

Weather very rough, could not carry out no Drills on
evolution ordinary Sea Routine

Saturday 27th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Practice with.45 Machine Gun

5 am landed marines for bush skirminishing
also .45 machine gun fired torpedoe at stationery target
ship at anchor. Prepared ship for sea 11am got up anchor
and proceedd to Sydney every one in good spirits. A lot of
the Men Officers as well breaking out with Boils through
the climate and living on Salt Meat and tinned provisions
5 pm dropped target and fired .45 machine guns
fringe firing picked up target and continued on our
course a very heavy sea running causing the ship to
pitch considerable

Tuesday 30th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Independant fired at 1500 yards target

Weather moderating usual sea routine
after evening quarters went to general quarters fired
cannon tube out of 3 pr L H Gunns? Marines Volley &
independant firing with rifle at 1500 yards at target

Sunday 28th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Miserable Night

Very miserable night ship pitching & toss-
ing all over the shop taking very heavy seas night over the
forecastle washing thedecks fore and Aft went to Divisions
read prayers same sort of weather all day day had to ease down
to 6 knots

Friday 26th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Machine Gun Practice Fish for all

Cast off collier Torpedo men away mining and
blowing them up, Man & armed boats fired 500 rounds
from machine gun in Cutter, Torpedo men returned
boats full of fish served enough out for one meal
for each mess throughout the ship.

Thursday 25th August 1898 HMS Mohawk

Carried on coaling Mc Haphy and
party of officers went ashore on a shooting
expedition Torpedo men preparing and firing mines
Marines landed and shot four men for murder 7 oclock fin
ished coaling Mr Woodford Royal Commisiioner dined on board
with Captain Mission ship Southern Cross arrived.

Wednesday 24th August 1898 McHaphy meal on board

Off Gavatu went in and dropped anchor
in 19 fathoms"Mount Afembla?" Steam Collier
there unoading coal which we had demanded at Cairns
11 oclock collier came alongside started to take in 250
tons in a afternoon Bache Ldg Seaman had a basket
of coaling weighing 3 cwt fall out on him which dislo-
cated his knee cap 6 pm stopped coaling for
night Mc Haphy dined on board with Ward Room

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Tuesday 23rd August 1898 HMS Mohawk

Weather duty isghted the southern
Islands of the Solomons 12 o clock passing between St Chris
? &  Guadalcanal 5 o clock sighted the Florida
Group, 6pm had to ease down to dead slow as we
found it was hanging all over the land rain had been falling
all day.

Monday 22nd August 1898 HMS Mohawk Usual Sea Routine

Usual Sea Routine put ship on to try and
get in on Tuesday

Sunday 21st August 1898 HMS Mohawk Splendid weather Church on the Poop

7 am sighted land 10 oclock passed the
island of Vanikara usual Sunday Routine splendid we-
ther held church on the poop

Saturday 20th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Diver Jack Morris gets bends?

Divers went away about cable 12 oclock came back
with a 1/2 shackle having weighe d it with cutter went back
and brought the other half shacklehad dinner, afternoon divers
went away topick up remaining cable about 1 1/2 shackles
remainder of hands preparing ship for sea 6.00 divers
came back couldnot get the remaining cable as it
was very fould of the rocks below and impossible
to get it clear, hoisted all boats and securedthem
for Sea, got up anchor and proceed to Gavatu, one
of the Divers Jack Morris chief Carpenters Mate came
over very bad allof a sudden, he had severly strained him
self when down 24 fathoms he was in dreadful
agony had him screened off on the Aft Deck
had a sentry watching him all night.

Friday 19th August 1898 HMS Mohawk cable ready but waits till morning

Proceeded in shore and picked up anchorage
sent divers away to pick up cable, as that was a
al that was required now, the other gear was given up
for good, raining heavily all day 6 pm divers returned
like drowned rats reported everything satisfactory for
getting up the cable, but the captain made up his mind
that h would not try for the cable till the morning.

Thursday 18th August 1898 HMS Mohawk

Diving party went away to examine the an-
chor they reported by signal, thatthe 4 1/2 inch hawser
had been parted by the explosion, but there was a lot of coral
rock over the anchor 1 pm divers came on board and
rported everything ready 2pm weighed anchor and
got everything ready for picking up th elost anchor again
but owing to the wind suddenly shifting to the Westward
the Captain belayed everything. 4.3-0 Captain decided to
chance it and if there was much trouble to give it up
altogether, and proceed back to Gavatu, we steamed
slowly over to the anchor, had a little trouble at
first at the wind would keep blowing her head round
as we was shackling on the chain at last we managed
to get everything ready and we started pulling haul
ley gain and after a decent spell of this we had the
gratification of seeing the anchor show itself above
water again, but the way the 3 1/2 in hawser
was coiled round about it was something marvel
ous, it would simply had been impossible for anyone
to have done it by hand, it looked as if the anchor had
been placed in a Wire Spud? net, we hoisted it right
up to the Cat Davit, then proceeded out to sea and re-
mained outside all night as it was too risky to at-
tempt to get our anchorage in the dark as there
was no land marks to go by, it was passed 10pm

before we had got the anchor properly secured, we left
everything as it was stood by hammocks then served out
optional cocoa.

Wednesday 17th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Divers, Torpedo Men & Curious Fish

Divers & Torpedo men getting things ready
to blow up the wire with 16 1/4 lbs charge of gun cotton 1pm left the
ship with Electric battery & Gun Cotton charge, divers went
down and palced the charge, whent he divers came to the
surface and everything ready they cleared away from the
spot and the charge was exploded, by pressing the Button
of the Firing key, there was a  good many fish brought to the
top by the concussion, some of them was very curious indeed,
but was rather soft and watery when cooked, divers and party return
ed to ship.

Tuesday 16th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Divers report on lost anchor

Divers went away diving in 23 1/2 fathoms clearing
the anchor of steel hawsers, ready for another try, divers
returned and reported everything clear excepting the
hawser which was round the fluke which they would
have to blow up

Monday 15th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Lost anchor gives slip again with breaking link

Divers went away and got anchor ready
for coming up 1pm weighed anchor and proceeded
to the spot were lost anchor was, got over the anchor
and proceeded to take in Wire Hawser from steam
Cutter just as we picked up the hawsers there was
a puff of wind came which blew our stern round
very near to the reef on which we grounded the

Captain had to move the ship astern which caused a strain
to come on the hawsers which up set the the stern cutter
throwoing all the men that was in her in t he water
Barton Able Seaman very nearly lost the number of his mess
by being struck on the head with something half dozen men
jumped over from the forecastle when he was up the
point of sinking he was quite insensible when when brought on
board, steam cutter was all right as her air boxes kept her afloat
they only had to bale her out, as her engines and boiler had been
taken out, so as to make her more useful, we then carried
on getting up the anchor, we had shackled the ground & flat?
chains together and the end of them was shackled to the
ring of the anchor by the divers, we then manned the cat fathll?
and proceeded to hoist the 4 1/2 inch steel  hawser which we had
lost was foul of the fluke of the anchor and that besides
it was foul of the coral below, which made it very heavy
work, we continued to haul on the Cat Hall till we had got
the anchor with the crown just above water, was just on the
point of shackling on the last pendant to the balance when
a link in the chain that was shackled on the tothe anchor parted
and down went the anchor & all hopes tothe bottom again
this time in 23 1/2 fathoms of water taking wit it a 3 1/2 inch

steel hawser, we the dropped a mrk buoy overboard, and went
back to our anchorage, everyone thoroughly disheartened,
as it meant all that work thrown away for nothing and was
I had a great deal of pulley Hauley that day,
I turned in my hammock thoroughly tired out, but luckier than
a good many as I had a stiff glass of grog for a night cap

Sunday 14th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Sunday Routine weather now calm

Wind completely gone the sea as smooth as
glass, exactly opposite to the day  before, carried out Sun-
day routine held Church on Quarter Deck

Saturday 13th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Very rough no diving

Weather very rough & squally too dan
gerous to carry on diving went to fire quarters usual
Saturday routine.

Friday 12th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Divers clear lost anchor

6.30am Divers and boats went diving raining
very heavily 6pm divers returned having been clearing
the lost anchor of cable, had unshackled the cable from
the anchor, ship was getting fairly smothered with arge
bunches of bananas & Baskets of ma//y apples which
they had got  hung along the rig ropes and up and down the
foremast rigging.

Thursday 11th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Divers recover 2nd Cutter

Divers and boats  away diving 1 0 clock divers returned
to the ship bringing the lost cutter with them, found a lot
of small fittings belonging to the pump & dress in the boat
owing to the depth of the water the divers found it very long
job as they could not remain long down on account of the
pressure of water, it took 1/4 of hour to get down, Captain
was very pleased witht he way the Divers was doing their
work them fell in aft and spoke to them about the dif
ficult work entrusted to them, he gave them the priviledge
of getting whatever they liked from his steward in the
way of eatable during the time they was diving, hoisted the
cutter up to the davits turned her in and then piped down
for remainder of day.

Wednesday 10th August 1898 HMS Mohawk

6:30am  1st cutter & Steam Pinnace (engines laden with boiler & ?)
with diving party went away diving 10 am divers recovered
Diving Pump and Helmet with all weights, but could not find
nothing of the Dress 6pm divers returned to ship and re
ported that they had got 2nd Cutter all ready for coming up
they had found her in 20 1/2 fathoms of water.

Tuesday 9th August 1898 HMS Mohawk

6.00 sighted the Island of Tucopia owing to
it being very high land could see in a long  way off, arrived
12 o'clock stopped engines sent boats away sounding topick
up decent anchorage 1st cutter went away with Divers toplace
where we had gone ashore, 2 00 let go starboard anchor in
14 fathoms 6pm divers returned and reported having found
the position of all the gear with the water glass, the natives
seemed very pleased to see us back so soon, but they
did not want us to stop on shore or to land any mission
aries, The Union Jack was flying when we steamed into
harbour we had left in charge of an intelligent Native
called Laurie with instructions to haul it down when we left
but to hoist it at once when any ship appeared in sight
the old Chief of the Island will have nothing to do with us
whatsoever, they are avery peaceful race indeed dont know
what it is to quarrel or steal from one another and unlike
the natives of other Islands, have no weapons of war only a very
heavy club, which they use for killing sharks, the blue jackets
get the native sin a buch forward on the forecastle and

with presents of Biscuits & tobacco , they get them to sing their
native songs and perfomr the dances, the motion and actions
of their heads & arms would make a cat laugh, but on the
whole it is rather striking and they hav e got a touch of music
with it, not so the Natives of Santa Cruz who are very

Monday 8th August 1898 MS Mohawk

At sea 9.30 went to general quarters fired
cannon tube out of Sarboard 3 pdr? ? I/2 quarters.
ammunition out of Port 3 pndr ?? Guns, thought it was not
advisable to fired heavy guns on account of damaged bottom
4 pm passed Russel Group of Islands 6pm passed close
alongside Utuputa the Island we rescued Bob from.

Sunday 7th August 1898 HMS Mohawk

Some machinery beloning to Port Engine
went wrong kept on our course with starboard engines
only 1 o'clock machinery repaired proceeded to ?

Friday, 2 August 2013

Saturday 6th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Usual Saturday Routine

Usual Saturday Routine Fire Quarters Ete

Friday 5th July 1898 HMS Mohawk 7pndr Bush Skirmishing sail for Tucopia

5.30am All Marines from both ships landed with 7 pndr
field gun for bush skirmishing returned on board 8 o'clock
10 oclock got up anchor proceed on to Tucopia leaving
H.M.S. Goldfinch in harbour.

Thursday 4th August 1898 HMS Mohawk Cricket with marines of HMS Goldfinch 180 tons of coal.

Carrie don Coaling, in afternoon went on shore &
played a friendly game of cricket with the marines of H.M.S
Goldfinch in a coca nut plantation great sport resulted in
a win to Goldfinch by nine runs 6 pm finished coaling took
in 180 tons commenced washing down and rigging stage for
entertainment 8 oclock our friends from Goldfinch came
on board to supper after which we had entertainment on
the quarter deck, everything went off well indeed
finished up 10 pm.

Wednesday 3rd August 1898 HMS Mohawk Supper on HMS Goldfinch.

Commenced coaling H.M.S. Goldfinch
came in Harbour from Elgi reported everything quiet
in the evening they gave an entertainment and invited our ships
company to supper which was greatly appreciated.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Tuesday 2nd August

General Quarters Ste?in forenoon sighted
Florida Group and came to anchor off Island of Gavatu
in 17 1/2 fathoms Royal Commissioner Mr Woodford came on
board and reported that the chief we had captured sent
on to him by the H.M.S. Goldfinch was recognised as a
notorious character by some Natives of Tulago, he had
got him on shore in Irons waiting execution

Monday 1st August 1898 HMS Mohawk Usual Drills

Class for Instructions usual drill
speed 6 ' 8 knots

Monday, 29 July 2013

Friday 29th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Stations for Collision Quarters

General Quarters. Man & Arm Ship / in fournoon
Stations for Collision Quarters & Cut Collision Mat speed 7 knt

Thursday 28th July 1898 aired bedding

Aired Bedding read Articles of War & Returns

Wednesday 27th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Passed through Barrier Reef

Weighed anchor and proceeded to Gavatu 8.30
sighted Fitzroy? Passage (Grafton passage) 9.0am passed through Barrier
Reef usual Sea Routine Stations Man & Arm Boats

Tuesday 26th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Finished Coaling

Finished coaling 3pm 150 tons, proceeded down river
4:30 pm dropped anchor for the night.

Monday 25th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Coaling. Wallaby and a Goat!

Started coaling ship received a Wallaby for the
Ships Company to make a pet off, presented by the naval

Brigade, one of the men forward managed to smuggle a small
goat on board and we put in a request to keep it with
out disclosing how it came on board.

Sunday 24th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Tea with the Warrens of Strood

The ships company landed for Church, the band
of Queensland Naval Brigade met us on the landing stage
where we formed up, then marche doff their band playing
to and from the church, went on shore in the afternoon to tea
to some friends that belonged to Strood outside Chatham
of the name of Warren was treated very kindly.

Saturday 23rd July 1898 HMS Mohawk Cairns vs Townsville

Returned on board 8am rather done up usual
routine obtained leave and went on shore in afternoon
to see football match between Cairns & Townsville re-
sulted in a win to Townsville 3 pts to nils

Friday 22nd July 1898 HMS Mohawk 24hrs Leave Dinner at the Lord Wolsely Dancing at Court House

Went on shore for 24 hours leave had a very enjoy-
able time had a trip out and went for a drive put up at the
Lord Wolsely about seven miles out of Cairns had dinner
and then had a good drive out in the country returned back
to Cairns 6 o Clock went to Dance held at the Court House
given by the Queensland Naval Brigade, dancing up till
3 in the morning.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Thursday 21st July 1898 HMS Mohawk Painting Ship Coasting Steamer with gear arrived

Painting ship & refitting gear diving chest &
pump arrived from Sydney by coasting steamer received orders to
proceed to Tucopia to try to recover anchor and the gear that
we had lost.

Wednesday 20th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Starboard Watch on leave

Port Watch returned off leave 8am Starboard
Watch went on their long leave 1 pm

Tuesday 19th July 1898 HMs Mohawk Port Watch on leave

Watch on board painting ship, Port watch still on

Monday 18th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Horse riding for shore leave

Started cleaning ship ready for painting, watch on
shore enjoying themselves very well indeed Horse riding
being the general amusement the inhabitants was very
kind and hospitable to us, and took a lot of trouble in
making us welcome.

Sunday 17th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Port Watch 72hrs leave

Usual Sunday Routine held Divine Service on board
1.0 o'clock Port Watch went on shore for 72 hours leave

Saturday 16th July 1898 arriving Cairns flying Signals for Pilot Corrugated houses

3.30am dropped anchor outside Cairns, 8:30 got
up anchor and proceeded up harbour flying signals for a pilot, 09:30
arrived by 1st Beacon weather misty the signals could not be seen
and the pilot not coming off we had to drop anchor again 10:30
pilot came off but it was then too late to proceed as their
was not enough water on the bar for us to cross, 4,30pm
got up anchor and proceeded up harbour only just enough wa-
ter on the Bar then all hands had to get right forward in the
eyes of the ship to bring her stern up 6pm moored ship off
Cairns a very picturesque looking place surrounded by Moun
 tains all the houses are built of corrugated Iron except only a
few of the new building which have a skeleton frame of
Brick work all the inside of wood.

Friday 15th July 1898 HMS Mohawk usual Sea Routine

Proceeded 6am usual Sea Routine weather moderating
continued steaming through the night so as to catch the tide

Thursday 14th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Captains Round hunts out stowed curios

Proceeded 6am weather still very rough, Captain
went the rounds and foraged out all our curios that we had
got stowed away, I had to do away with very good model of a
War Canoe covered with small shells and let in with mother
of pearl, I got it at the Island of Malanta a lot more besides
me had to do the same thing the ship was full of all sorts
of rubbish, which the men had got stowed away and
he has make no difference between us, the decent curios had
the same fate as the rubbish, was thrown overboard anchor
ed off Cooktown 11 pm went to night quarters.

Wednesday 13th July 1898 HMS Mohawk

Proceeded usual routine 6:30 pm anchored
for night blowing very hard.

Tuesday 12th July 1898 HMS Mohawk met HMS Dart Surveying Reef

Proceeded some speed very busy day stock taking
Wardroom Mess Stores 6pm met H.M.S. Dart surveying
the Barrier Reef & Queensland Coast, Captain and Officers of
Dart came on board and stayed to Dinner two of our own
Officers went back with them and brought back a mail
for posting when we arrived at Cairns.

Monday 11th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Blowing Heavy 6 knots

Proceeded at 6 knots blowing very heavy anchor -
ed at 6:30pm

Sunday 10th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Sunday Routine 6 knots

6am proceeded at 6 knots usual Sunday
Routine anchored at 4pm

Saturday 9th July 1898 HMS Mohawk

Weighed anchor and proceeded to sea shaped
our course course for Cairns going doing inside Barrier reef 7pm anchor-
ed for night very few land marks Navigation extremely dan-
gerous at night time

Friday 8th July 1898 HMS Mohawk General Quarters Prepared Ship for Sea

General Quarters prepared ship for Sea in afternoon

Thursday 7th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Football score 0;0

Mayor and Principle inhabitants came off
to call on the Captain and asked him to give the men leave as they
wanted to fete & entertain them on shore, the captain replied
that it could not be managed as he had received orders from the
admiral to proceed to the Main Land for the express purpose of
giving long leave, went on shore in afternoon  played the return
match with the artillery resulted in a draw no goals being got on either side
remained on shore till 7 o'clock following had a very pleasant evening
indeed up at the Artillery Quarters ) dancing and singing being in
full swing.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Wednesday 6th July 1898 HMS Mohawk 13 Blue jackets absent over their leave

13 blue jackets remained absent over their
leave finished taking in provisions

Tuesday 5th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Queensland premanent Artilery win Football match

provisioning ship went on shore and played football with Queensland Permanent Artillery resulted
in a win for the Artillery

The military barracks on Thursday Island, Torres Strait, Queensland, where 50 men of the Queensland Permanent Artillery were stationed. The barracks were built in 1892/1893 in preparation for an expected Russian invasion which never happened. The garrison was disbanded in the late 1920s. (Information taken from: J. C. H. Foley, Timeless isle : an illustrated history of Thursday Island, 1982.) The grand timber buildings of the barracks have a very tropical look, with wide verandahs, and were designed by architects H. Neale and Son. The soldiers are in full military uniform, and appear to be practising with mounted artillery pieces (field guns?). A windmill-like structure is visible in front of the buildings.

Monday 4th July 1898 HMS Mohawk Coasting steamer arrives with orders

All day thoroughly cleaning ship in the even
ing small coasting steamer arrived with our stores &

provisions from Sydney, received answer to telegram from
Admiral to say that we had got to carry out previous orders

Sunday 3rd July 1898 HMS Mohawk Washed and brushed up Leave given

Washed down had a quik brush up all round
left the Coal Hulk and dropped anchor just off the pier went
to divisions, there read prayers and gave leave to half the ships
company 1st time men had ben on leave since leaving

Saturday 2nd July 1898 HMS Mohawk alongside Coal Hulk William Fairbairn

4.30 am Got up anchor and went alongside coal
hulk "William Fairbairn" commenced coaling and continued
till 4 am Sunday Morning


Owned by edward bates and son870-1878 William Fairbairn (1856), iron fullrigged ship. Liverpool Journal ships for sale 1877 Iron ship, WILLIAM FAIRBAIRN, 1293 Tons, built at Birkenhead by Messers LAIRD, 1856.
On 01 January 1903, William Fairbairn was lost off Goode Island, Torres Strait.

Friday July 1st 1898 HMS Mohawk

5 am weighed anchor proceeded on our course
arrived Thursday Island 7 pm recievd 18 bags of Mails for
our ship, received 14 lettters and 8 pearsons?  for my own cheer

Thurday 30th June 1898 HMS Goldfinch

7.30 Anchored in Tores Strait as navigation
very dangerous at night time.

Wednesday 29th June 1898 HMS Mohawk

9 O'clock sailed for Thursdy Island after
filling up H.M.S. Goldfinch with provisions

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Tuesday June 28th 1898

Arrived Port Mausley found H.M.S. Goldfinch
in Harbour dropped anchor and dressed ship Captain Leggett
of Goldfinch came on board and we turned over our orders and the
Senior officers box of the Northern Division. likewise to prepare
for Sea at once to carry on the duties that we was told off to
perform round the Solomons, our Captain feeling confident
that we should be ordered to Sydney to go into Dry Dock
to have our bottom seen to 12 o clock fired a salute of 21 guns
it being Coronation day in the evening turned the captured
Cheif ov tothe Goldfinch with instructions to take him to
Gavatu to be tired by the Commissioner Mr Woodford
The marines sent us some papers and magazines the first we

had received since leaving Sydney found out thatthey had been
having fine times in Thursday Island, Cricket, Football, & Enter-
tainment being in full swing between them and the Queensland
Permanent Artillery stationed there, the Goldfinch had been
swinging round the buoy for 6 weeks, heard that all our mail
was waiting for us on Thursday Island.

Monday 27th June 1898 HMS Mohawk Tube Cannon practice

General quarters and cannon tube practice
at target in forenoon stations for Man & Arm boats in the

Sunday 26th June 1898 HMS Mohawk Captured Chief of head hunter village likes Pea Soup

Usual routine read prayers on
Quarter Deck the Captured Chief seems to take things
quite comfortable and fully smacks his lips over the
ships rations especially on Pea Soup Days.

Saturday June 25th 1898 HMS Mohawk Usual routine

Usual Routine squaring things off ready for cleaning ship up a bit.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Friday 24th June 1898 HMS Mohawk Head hunting, defensive tree houses and the Currency of the Solomons

7.30am Captain with all boats fully armed
with Officers & men went on shore but could  find out nothing
regarding the two females, but after searching round about the
front of the bush we came across and old man that had bee
wounded the day before, after the Doctor had dressed his wound
he told the Captain through the interpreter that they had save the
two females for a feast  that was close at hand or as the call it
a Great Kiki gathering, but they would not have it till
we had sailed, as they knew very well their chief would
not come back, it is their custom that when they launch a
Big War Canoe they go head hunting to the neighbouring islands
and capture as many women as they possibly can they then
cut their heads off and decorate their canoe and have a great
gathering and a feast with the bodies, the chief we captured
very well on it indeed he stands 5 ft 11 inches and an has

a very decent corparation of him, he takes this very coolly and seems
to think that there is nothing in dying, they have no thought on
fear of death, they put less value on their lives than we we do a flys.
When we found that it was no good wasting time there, we re-
turned on board, Mr Mahephy preferring to stay behind with
the trader, we then shaped our course for Port Marsley in New
Guinea and from there we was to proceed to Thursday Island,
which is North of Australia in the Torres Straits , and as we had
got over a thousand miles to go with only just enough coal to
do it with, and besides the Captain was very anxious to get to
the mainland, as he had reported nothing about us going on
shore to the Admiral. The curse of the Northern Solomon Islands
is head hunting the more savage tribes make collections of
heads which they adorn their huts, and are very eager in the
hunt for them they are not satisfied with the heads they h
get by fighting one another, but they organise expeditions
sweeping down on the weaker tribes and carrying off all the
victims that they can possibly seize, the Southern end of
of the Island of          is a favourite hunting ground for them
more Northern Tribes, who come down in great force bring-
ing large canoes full of Warriors from the Island of
Chaiseul and New Georgia, the more peaceful Southerners
make no attempt to forcibly resist them, but they build

themselves strongholds into which they retire and if possible defy
their enemies,these places of refuge are of two kinds, tree houses
and hill fortifications, the tree houses posses the greatest in-
terest, and in some parts of the island are quite numerous
the people attain the nimbleness of monkeys by continually
climbig up and down these trees, and walking along their
branches, at a village which we passed their was tree house
close tot he waters edge, and as as we was steaming dead
slow and close in shore we had the opportunnity of have
ing a good look at it, the tree in which it was built was
a magnificent one growing upon the cliff by the shore
all th elower branches where cleared away and its peculiar
appearance made it most conspicuous amongst the
surroundig palms and smaller trees, there was a clear
space found the foot of the tree and from the branches
hung a slender rattan cane ladder, th eladder seemed of the
weakest and swung abount unpleasantly,the rounds are

merley bits of stick slashed on to a single cane rope which
would be impossible for an booted whiteman to get a foot
hold on, the house was built well in amaongst the branches
and seemed to be very large they estimated size of it, about
26ft long 18 wide and about ten feet from the branches in
height at each end of the house are balocnies oe of which

looked over the sea, the height of th ehouse form th eground
I should say was between seventy and eighty feet, along
the side of the balconies was piled up small heaps of
stones which they used for defensive purposes, when they
get news onf an expected raid to be made on them by the head
hunters, the people all retire to these sort of places for safety
drawing the thin ladder up after them if the head hunter
come near for th epurpose of cutting down the trees,
whic is avery hard job for them as they have not got any proper tools
and the trunk is as hard as iron, they would be pelted with
stones from above and unless the enemy was armed with rif
rifles it would be impossible to dislodge them, the other
kind of stronghold is less curious, the build house s on the rock-
iest peaks they can find, then cut of the all approaches by construct-
ing dykes and allkinds of obstructions which must have caused
them a exceptional lot of hard work, the money used
in the Solomon island sis very interesting, the general
currency consisting of strings of shell beads about the size
of Shirt Buttons, strung on native cord in 6ft lengths,
thereare two kinds red & white money, above this comes from
a dog jaws are used and there value is very considerable a hole
is made in each tooth and when a man has sufficient

number, he sets them on a band and wears them as a collar
Popoise teeth are used but only one fifth the value of
Dogs Teeth, there is another coinin the shape of a marble
Ring it is worn upon the chest and looked upon as a charm
as well as a oin, I managed to get  a scale which varies
but little through out the Group ( it seems as follows)

Scale of Solomon Island Coinage

10 Coca Nus = 1 string White Money or Stick of Tobacco
10 Strings of W. Money = 1 String red Money or 1 Dogs Tooth
10 Strings Red Money = 1 Isa or Porpoise teeth
10 Isas = 1 Good Quality Wife
1 Bakika or Marble ring = 1 very god pig
1 Bakika = 1 medium Young man

By this table a wife cost 10,0000 Coca nuts which they
have to pay to the father of the bride, the girls are short
but well made with pretty hands & feet their faces are
covered with tattoeing, they wear a loin cloth of
native gass, the generral articlles fof table which the
traders get from the natives are Copra, Beche de mer Y
Yams Vegetable ????, Shells, coca Nuts, the climate is

is very bad indeed full of fever which rises from the
ground, through decayed vegetation everytime we

landed we had to be dosed with Quinins directly we arrived
on board

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Thursday 23rd June 1898 HMS Mohawk Arrested Chief of Village of Head Hunters

Arrived  back again at Ronago during the time
Jean Pratt  was on board he reported to the Commissioner that
a chief of a village next to his station had made a raid on a
small island and had carried off 18 young women which
he had brought back with him, the commissioner then
asked the Captain to land an armed party for the purpose
of rescueing the women, so we man & armed boats and
set off on the expedition, we found out on landing that
out of the 18 women only two was left the others had either
been eaten or sacrificed for canoe launching, they had
taken the remaining two women with the women &
children of the tribe up into the hills we had a bit of of a
sharp brush with the natives who then fled but we man-
aged to capture the head chief we brought him on board and

placed him in Irons with a Guard over him, the Commissioner
and trader remaining on shore with 12 marines as a body guard
they held a parley with the natives and made known to them
that they had they brought the two women down from the the hills
and turn them over to us, so we could take them back to
their own Island, we would release their chief, we then got
under weigh, and cruised and cruised up and down off the island all

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Wednesday June 22nd 1898 HMS Mohawk they wanted the Head of Pratt the trader to stick on a New War Canoe

7.30am we stopped off the island of Wanono at
this place lived a trader named Pratt who had sent news down
to Sydney that he had been murderously attacked by the Natives of Vella
La Vella this man is a Frenchman and whilst trading with the na-
tives, of a village in Juno bay he and his crew was murderously
attacked whilst on board this schooner, Pratt received a terrible
cut across the left side of his head which very nearly cost him his
life the natives who struck him was instantly killed but one of the
schooner crew named Jack a black man who very nearly severed
the native in half by a blow from an axe another native was
shot in the head by Pratt before he had received the blow, the
schooner crew managed to beat the natives off who when they
found that they had lost two men retreated in their canoes
they wanted the Head of Pratt the trader to stick on a New
War Canoe which they was about to launch this had taken
place seven months back November 1897 and we had come
here with the commissioner on purpose to punish the Natives
and to try and stop them from head Hunting, our
boats went on shore and brought off Mr Pratt and 2 natives
we had them to act as guides. to show us, the place of hiding
of the Chiefs, we then proceeded on to Vella la Vella
arriving there at noon, we landed 70 Blue Jackets

and all the marines, the Commissioner & Mr Pratt on getting
ashore we found the Village was deserted the Natives hav-
ing retreated in to the bush, where it would be sim-
ply madness to try and follow them,they made a sig-
nal to the ship and they fired some 6 inch shrapnel
& Common shells into the surrounding hills but would
find no traces of them, they had some very fine huts
& war canoes these we broke up and burnt destroying everything
we came across, whilst the huts were burning , I amused my-
self shooting at some pigs that was running about in half
wild state, I was attending on the 1st Lieut , my Governor, he
managed to shoot two bad enough to stop there run-
ning, but a Lee Matford Bullet would pass clean through
them and they would hardly take as much notice of
it, that if I had only stuck a pin in them after
all the huts was well a light, we started to return
back to the ship, but just as we started to shove off
from the shore a native showed himself in the
Bush we fired a volley at him from the boats,
thinking that there would be a lot more in the bush
by him, he was only a little over 100 yds away and
I never in all my life see a chap jump so high
in the air, he must have been like a top of a
pepper box riddled with bullets, Our Captain did
not think it wise enough to turn back as the sun

Continued in Exercise Book

Continued from red book

Wednesday June 22nd. was beginning to set and it would be ex-
tremely dangerous to be on shore, as no sooner than the sun is
down it is dark, so we returned on board and left the place
going at slow speed, during the time I was on shore we came
across a native oven of smooth stone a human skull
and a few loose bones, scattered about, I expect they had
made a bake for that chap we collected the Bone, and
buried them I managed to stow the skull away, but
could not find the lower jaw to go with it.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Tuesday June 21st 1898 HMS Mohawk protection money Palm leaf in one hand revolver in the other

Stopped off Rubiana Mahaphy the commissioner
with armed party went on shore for th epurpose of collecting protec-
tion dues from traders, we notice a great number of natives collected
together on the shore, and on the boats getting nearer the found the
Natives were all men and all armed with unusual long spears, bows
and arrows, they did not shout or make any sign of what they was going
to do, they merely drew themselves up in aline along the shore their long
spears standing up far above their heads, and having a most formidable
appearance, we pulled on till the boats grounded we then jumped into
the water and waded on shore with our rifles at the ready and the
machine gun trained amongst the natives, Mahaphy went forward
with a Palm Leaf in one hand his revolver ready inthe other, he
kept on repeating the Chiefs name and the name of the traders
but they did not take any notice, they did not make any show of
attacking us, but holding themselves aloft seemed to ready for
anything that might turn up, there were no women or children near
and the men seemed more elaborately dress than is usual when they
are bent on fighting,there ornaments in some cases were most beautiful
some of them wearing wide sashes of native bead work fringed
with human teeth, they were worn over the right shoulder and

under the left arm, the colours were evenly arranged which gave them
a very pretty appearance after a delay of about half hour during which time
we was trying to make them understand that we was on a peaceful mis-
sion an Old man arrived on the scene he came forward spoke a few
hurried words to the crowd evidently assuring them that he knew who
we were, we found out afterwards that the assembling of these arm-
ed savages was on account of a feast to be given that night at the
village, The Chief from the neighbouring had been invited and was
coming in all day, the custom of these feasts are very curious, no part
of the food provided is eaten at the entertainments, each guest
on the contrary bring all they require for their own use and take
his share of the fest away with him when he goes, Our motto of
eat all you can and Pocket none is exactly the reverse, in
the Solomon Islands it is Pocket all you can and eat none.
The spears which these fellows was armed and are used by all
the natives of the Solomon Islands are certainly the finest weapons
in the Southern Seas, they are about 10 feet long a single
black shaft highly polished and ornamented near the point
which is of human bone, there are ten or a dozen barbs very
much like the tip of the spear which are fastened to the shaft
by a binding of coloured cane work the whole being held together
and strengthened with the same stuff as they use for their canoes.
Mahaphy proceeded along to the village with the Chief, but returned soon
after as he found out that the trader had gone away on a trad-
ing expedition, returned on board the ship, then preceded

on our course 8.30pm we dropped a target for the purpose of Night
Firing, we had 2 Electric search Light playing on the target and fired
at it out of our 3 pndrs quick firing & machine guns

Sunday June 19th HMS Mohawk 1898 Mr Mahaphy

Usual Routine Mr Mahaphy assistant commissioner
came on board for passage to vella La Vella

Saturday June 18th 1898 HMS Mohawk Finished Coaling

Finished coaling by 8am having received 134 tons wash-
ed down & cleaned ship Mr Woodford Royal Commissioner came on board
he sent for Bob the chap saved from the schooner and questioned him
about it, sent Berte Baton (native of Santa cruz we had as Interpreter)

on shore in Charge of the trader Neilson to be sent back to his native place

Wednesday June 16th HMS Mohawk 1898 Coaling and Crocodile shooting

Commenced coaling received new about Spain-
ish & America war, Officers went away crocodile shooting but did
not get much sport 6 pm stopped coaling for the night received 60 tons

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Tuesday 14th June 1898 HMS Mohawk The local village and inhabitants

Coaling again finished by 8.30pm on receiving 46 ton
in all, the steam cutter coming off at 8pm with one of the
traders boats in tow grounded on a reef, the boat being full of coal
sank, but was picked up on the beach in the morning the coal
having shot out of her when she heeled over, went on shore during the
day, to traders house to get some chickens for wardroom we landed
upon some sharp coral rocks and was met by about 100 Naked
savages in a high state of pleasurable excitement, we was taken
into the village which was a long straggling place built in a
clearing in the forest, having the appearance of an enormous
avenue with Henry? Joy? Cottages scattered about here and there at
the foot of the trees for about a mile, everything here was much
different to the Santa Cruz Islands, the natives are much darker
both men and women are splendidly formed and in many cases
very handsome,they wear no clothes even the women not getting
beyond a loin cloth, their ornaments were more than usually
various, they had armlets & anklets formed of very prettily arranged
native beads which was made from shells and dyed blue, red, & yellow
Some of the young girls wore a little mother of pearl ornaments some-
what resembling a bird fixed in a hole at the extreme tip of the
nose, which gave them the most curious appearance, the canoes
of these Islands are very beautiful to look at, they are built

of burnt plank of wood held together with strong thwarts and cemented
with some kind of stuff obtained form a tree, the stern is carried up
to a considerable height like the bow of a Gondola they are
narrow and have no outrigger but sit on the water like a duck
there is a large amount of inlaying work the design being quaint
 but not without credit, in some case there being many thousands
of pieces of pearl shell all carefully shaped and let into the wood, the
paddles are short and thin and are used indifferently on either side two
or three strokes on ones side and then the same on the other and so on
after getting a few curios some Yams and Chickens we went on board.

Monday June 13th 1898 HMS Mohawk Tedious job coaling 12 tons

Started coaling with traders whalers and ships boats
having to tow the boats 2 miles along the coast by steam cutter
making a very tedious job received only 12 tons during the day.

Sunday June 12th 1898 HMS Mohawk Guadalcanal prepare ship for coaling

Usual Sunday routine sighted Guadalcanal
Island shortly after noon, we proceeded into Moran Sound anchor-
ing at 6 pm, two boats went away to fetch trader who came on board
found out that he had 50 ton of coal to sell so our Captain
resolved to buy it as we was getting short, prepared
ship for coaling.

Saturday June 11th 1898 Usual Saturday Routine

Passed Santa Cruz during previous night
altered course for Solomon Islands usual Saturdays Routine

Friday June 10th 1898 HMS Mohawk Duff Group Sighted

Sighted the Duff Group but owing to the
bad state of the weather, found it not practicable to land so
proceed on to Santa Cruz, weather thick and squally sight-
ed Santa Cruz 10pm.

Thursday 9th June 1898 HMS Mohawk Counting losses and damage

Divers down bout Bower Anchor Accident oc-
urred which resulted n the lost of our largest boat, diving
pump and all the diving apparatus, it happened in this way
out cutter with diving pump and all the gear lay directly over the
Anchor, the diver went down taking a stout hemp hawser with
him he made it fast  round the cable, the men in the cutter took
the weight of a bight of cable to clear a rock of which it was foul of
a 4 in wire hawser had been shackled on to the cable from the ship
which was round our steam Capstan ready for heaving
in, when everything was got ready they was going to cut the
hemp that was from the cut so that the cable would clear
itself when let go as it was resting on the ledge of the rock, In
the meantime the hands came on board for their Stand Easy
whilst they was on board the ship started  to swing around
towards shore, the Captain seeing this and forgetting all
about the wire Hawser hanging form our bows went
astern with both Engines, which taughtened the Wire
Hawser hauled on the cable causing that to slip off the
Rock the hemp hawser being fast to the cutters

stern took her down with diving pump and all the gear in her,
lucky job that no-one was in the boat at the time, as they would have
gone down too, as nothing could have been done to save them, the
Captain then gave up all hopes of recovering the the gear and thought
it was time to clear out, so they slipped the wire hawser  and
proceeded to sea, since arriving at at Tucopia the following
losses and damages had happened to us, Running the Ship
on Shore damaging her bottom causing her to leak badly
lost port Bow anchor 4 & 6 inc h wire Hawser ten oared
cutter diving pump and gear complete 2 1/2 inch shackles
of cable Blacksmiths Anvil 4 sounding leads broke two gripping
spars and knocked a large hole in the 2nd Gig during the???
had very rough weather set in, shaped course for Duff Group.

Wednesday June 8th 1898 HMS Mohawk Leaks discovered

Finished surveying cable divers down all day
about the bow anchor several leaks discovered in Ships bottom.

Tuesday June 7th 1898 HMS Mohawk Divers recover Stream Anchor

Divers down trying to clear our anchors the
Bower Anchor which was entangled round a rock seemed a
hopeless job, all day surveying cable, during afternoon divers
cleared and we got on board our stream anchor.

Stream anchor - a light anchor for use with a bower in narrow waterways.
Bower - an anchor carried at the bow of the ship

Sunday June 5th 1898 HMS Mohawk Ship aground and Cockpit fighting on Forecastle

at 1 am we sighted the Island of Tucopia
and at 6am we got ready for anchoring getting soundings
at 17 fathoms at 6.20 the Captain gave the order to let go
the port anchor, but no sooner than it was let go our sound-
ings ran, 12,7.5,5 & 3 fathoms the leadsman not hav-
ing time to heave his lead but only taking in slack
line, suddenly a hard grating noise was felt through out
the ship and before we knew what was  happening we had
we ran right on top of a coral reef  close under the shore, we
began to bump considerable the tide being just on the
turn at the time, we closed water tight doors and went
full speed astern, but it was no go, we was hard
and fast, when the tide went down it left only 3 ft
of water forward, we had to shore up the ship up with
Booms & Beams to prevent her from healing over to
either side, this of course caused a great deal of hard
work, we had to take all the shot & shell out of the fore
mast shell room and carry them right aft in the stern
of the ship, as from the after gun to the stern there was
10 fathoms of water, it was no childs play carting 25 tons

of projectiles each shell weighing 100lbs, all the heavy gear that
was on deck was thrown overboard and buoyed and all the boats
in the ship lowered so as to lighten her as much as possible on
the returning tide we began to receive a great deal of bump-
ing our plates at the bottom being bulged in all ?????
began to give way and break up, we was aground in
four places, by each Cat Davit, by the Starboard Midship 6th Gun
and the port after 6 in Gun, the plates at the bottom seemed
to give rather than break away, and we was making
very little water, we had lit up the remaining boilers and
had got steam up to the highest pitch, when the tide was
at its full height, we went with all possible speed astern
and at 2.50 we had got clear off and was in deep water
we let go our starboard anchor, and had a good look
round at things, we had been on deck working hard every
soul in the ship from the time we stuck till the time we
anchored, with out having a bite all day, but they managed
to afford time to serve Grog at half past 12 which
came like a God send, during all this we had lost the port bower
anchor with 2 1/3 shackles of cable, Stream Anchor with 5 in
Hemp Hawser & 4 in Wire Hawser had a big hole
knocked int the bottom of the gig 2 gripping spars and

the blacksmith anvil making a very good days work especially
as it was Sunday, I did not require much rocking to get to sleep
that night, the natives of Tueopia are much different from the
other Islanders, especially in height, the average Man & Woman being
a lot over 6 ft and built in proportion the tallest man that
came on board stood 6ft 91/4 inches when measured, his photo was
taken standing alongside our 1st Lieut, by the Chief Engineer,
they also differed in colour some of them being almost white with
Chinese Features, but the general colour was a light brown, they
were very friendly and seemed very happy and contented always
laughing, at night time and early in the morning they
would sing in their native tongue beating their Tom Toms
all the time, they brought off all sorts of things in the way of
curios, fish, fruit & chickens asking in return scissors knives
Beads, pipes and tobacco the population of the island was 820,
We arranged a bit of a Cock Pit on the Forecastle, and made a
bit of sport during our stay here to change the monotony, we would
buy Cock Fowls from the Natives and back them up to fight
one another, but no sooner than one was knocked out
his neck was wrung and into the pot he went, but as long as
he could hold his own, he was all right and treated as a
Champion should be, but the first knock out he received into
the Pot he went it passed a few dull hours away, and we did
let them hurt one another much.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Saturday 4th June 1898 HMS Mohawk steaming through the night

9am Got up anchor and proceeded to sea
steaming S.E by E. steaming slow during the night

Friday June 3rd 1898 HMS Mohawk Islands of Teanu & Vanikora

Early in the morning they listed a couple of
the natives aft of a canoe that came alongside and made them
point out whereabouts the Village was situated at 7am the
Captain Paymaster and Navigator with two boats crews fully armed
left ship and hoisted the flag at three different places
and declared British Protectorate river the Island of Vanikora
& Tevai Islands (Teanu) some distance off they returned about
3 pm, the natives was rather frightened, thinking we had

come to punish them and destroy their huts, but with a little
palavar they soon had confidence in us, and brought a lot
of fish & bananas off.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Thursday June 2nd 1898 HMS Mohawk Machine gun practice

IN the afternoon Captain with two boats crew
landed on the beach to find the village as none could be located
from the ship they returned unsuccessful to the ship at 6pm
we man & armed boats and expunded Quarterly Boats ammu-
nition out of 45 degree machine gun for practice.

Wednesday June 1st 1898 HMS Mohawk

7 am Captain with two boats crews went
to the friendly side of the Island and hoisted the Union
Jack returning on board by, 9am weighed anchor and
left Utupua taking Bob the fugitive from the schooner with
us, We made him a present of a Tomahawk some pipes To-
bacco and matches, and landed him on his side of the Island
he could hardly relish the idea of us leaving him alone,
would have much sooner have stayed on board at 5.30
we came to anchor in Ceili Harbour in the Island of Vanikoro
this place being 50 miles SE of Utupua the natives here came
out to us in a friendly manner bringing all kinds of things
to trade with

Tuesday May 31st 1898 HMS Mohawk

Steam Pinnace 2 CuttersWhaler
& Gig with Captain, Paymaster, Doctor, 1st Lieutt Mr Roberts
with 15 Marines and 50 Blue jacket well armed and
with the 5 barrel Nordenfelt Machine gun went on shore
but before the ship 12 shrapnel shells were fired
into different parts of the bush to scatter the natives if
they was collecting together at all, we landed and advanced
to the first village at a rush, up to the village but as before
it was deserted, but the natives had been down during the night
as we found there was traces of recently burnt fires we pushed
on and visited several smaller villages picking up several
little things belonging to the whitemen, a trunk looking
glass supper box and two large knives and some Sydney
papers, which we took possession of but we could find no
traces of the murderers, and it was not practicable to enter
the bush, we turned back and burnt every village we came
across, the men looting them afterwards, all of us had some
thing or other to bring on board curios, we broke up every-
thing we came across, destroyed their Yam plantations and
cut down all the Coca Nut tress, demolishing the vegeta-
tion round about so that they would have nothing to live
on for sometime Our Chief Carpenters Mate Jack Morris hav-
ing made a Wooden Cross we erected it on the Grave of the
murdered men, we left the villages burning and everyone
returned on board at 6pm, we was the 1st Man of War
there for Seventy Years.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Monday May 30th 1898 HMS Mohawk

On the following morning, as was expect-
ed Jim did not turn up, so they manned and armed two
boars and went on shore in search of him, and after a
lot of skirmishing about, we came across him in the bush,
we made a prisoner of him and brought him back to the
ship, he told the Captain he did not want to point out any
thing as no sooner that we go away from there, they
would hunt him down and kill him, but the captain took
no  notice of him, only made him a close prisoner so as
was not allowed to move with out an escort of marines, at 2 pm
the steam pinnace and two cutters with crews fully
armed with Captain, Paymaster & Doctor went on shore
to find the place were the bodies was buried, taking the
Chaps with them after a lot of trouble, they found the place deserted
all the inhabitants having taken to the bush, except
a few pigs & fowls, then Jim pointed out the spot where
the men was buried, our men then formed up in
a line with the flanks dressed back dancing the bush
all on the alert in case of a surprise, a party then com-
menced to dig up the bodies they were buried in a hole
about 4 ft deep all face downwards, the blackman on
top of the two whitemen, they having been buried
about a week, decomposition had set in and

 was beyond being moved, so after Bob Wells had recognised
them, which he did by their clothes, instead of putting
them into the quickly made coffins which our car-
penters had made, we placed boards across the bodies and
covered them up again Our Captain reading part of the
Burial Service, during the time all hands that was
round the grave had their pipes on, whilst the the men that
done the digging was allowed a glass of Brandy each
out of the Medical Comforts, the stench was something
awful, we then posted a chain of sentries round the
huts and began to loot the place we found a chart
which belonged to the schooner a pair of boots belonging to
one of the murdered whitemen, and several articles of
curiosity belonging to the natives, all of which was taken
taken down to the boats, all of a sudden the alarm was
given that the natives was about to rush down on
us, but before you could say knife it was allover, as
it was two of them that had been perched upon a
Coca Nut palm watching our movements we return-
ed back the ship at 5.30pm Our Captain then
decided to land an extra armed force the following
day to burn all the villages and to shot any of the
murderer that they might fall across.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Sunday May 29th 1898 HMS Mohawk

At daybreak we came upon the Island
Utupua at 7 am our Steam Pinnace and Cutter fully arm-
ed with the Captain and Paymaster went to annex the
island, but the boats returned about 10am bringing back
with them to Black Men one a native of the Island and the
other belong to the New Hebrides, we found that out that on the
boats nearing the Island, a canoe shot out from a
small inlet with these two men in it, who was waving
there paddles frantically in the air, the native from
Hebrides could understand English pretty well and he
stated that he had just escaped from being murdered by
the natives of the Island, he belonged to a schooner that
was trading from the New Hebrides in Beck-de-Mu a
kind of Sea Slug (Black) which is use for making a very good
Soup,very nutritious to invalids, there was four of them
which made the crew, himself and another native & two
English Men, whilst they was on shore making arrange
ments about trading, they were attacked by the native
just a week before our arrival, they murdered the two
Englishmen & a native, but Bob Wells ( the name of the
native) who escaped swam off to the schooner, but
they pursued him and he had to make good his escape
by jumping overboard and swimming to the other side

of the Harbour were the Natives were more friendly, he was
taken care of by the native that came off to our ship with
him, Bob had got a very severe slash across the back which
he had received from a knife just as he was jumping over
the side of the schooner, it was just beginning to close
up, and he must have been in a great pain and agony
swimming the distance across which was a good
mile & half ??? standing a chance with Johnny Thanks
We found out from Jim (the name of the chap that was
looking after Bob) that they had buried the bodies and
and had burnt the schooner down to the waters edge and
than sank her in deep water, so we kept him in order
that he could direct us to the spot, we made our way
through the reef by the Basslish passage with two
boats away ahead sounding sounding and after some very careful
navigation we came to anchor in 24 fathoms of water,
 the Island was shaped very much like a horseshoe we
sent a boat in to reconnoitre along the coast but
could find out nothing, and it being late in the afternoon
and Sunday, the Captain thought he would let things
alone till the next day, so he let Jim goon shore and
he was to let his own tribe know that we had not
come there to punish them but only those people that
had committed the murder, and that he had to return
on board the following mooring or we would punish him

Saturday 28th May 1898 HMS Mohawk Lord Howe Island

Took all the afternoon to unmoor
ship having both anchors foul, the ground chain of the star-
board anchored carried away and nearly swept the fore-
castle buy fortunately no one was seriously injured  only a
few bruises & pieces of skin knocked off we got under under weigh
at 1.30, and during the evening we arrive of Lord Howe
Island lying South of Santa Cruz this seemed uninhabited,
and was surrounded by a coral reef, our Captain found land-
ing impossible so we steered South again steaming slow
during the night burnt search lights during 1st Watch
(Turn back to next page)

Friday, 24 May 2013

Friday May 27th HMS Mohawk

Steam cutter & Sailing cutter went away and
fetched back our 2 officers from Mr Harvest at Rasia Gran-
ville they came back late in the evening bring with them Mr Jones
a partner of Mr Harvest and Bertie Baton a Native who was ra -
ther intelligent and going to act as interpreter for
the remainder of the cruise, the sailing cutter was loaded
up with Bananas, Yams & Coca Nuts which was sent
as a present to the Ships Company by Mr Harvest, during
the afternoon, All marines & two boat crews of Blue Jackets went
away to hoist the flag in the village were Commodore Good-
enough was murdered, when we got close in shore we
found that there was a great deal of surf breaking upon
the beach, and no sooner had our boat grounded than
out into the water we had to jump up to our waist
in Water slung  holding onto the Gunwale of the boat to steady
her so that she should not knock a hole in her bottom
we had our rifles across our shoulders with the
magazines charged with 10 rounds, a great crowd of
natives collected along the beach in front of the marines
Boat the other boat had backed out into deep water
for the purpose of covering our landing in case of a
strick out we try all we can to run the boat upon
the beach out of the way of the breakers, but owing to

us having to very careful to keep our ammunition dry
we could not manage it, we then made signs to the natives
to come and help us, but they kept shouting and waving
there arms  about, this was beginning to get rather awkward
for us and we was wondering  what would happen next
as they did not seem as if they they was resenting our landing
the other boats had there work cut out to watch for any
sins of treachery from the crowds that was collecting in
front of the Boat, they kept on shouting and swinging
the arms about in a wild manner, but we could not un-
derstand one Atom of it, we had all our work cut out to
keep the boat from bumping, after a time we found out
the cause of all the hubbub, the men did not believe in
manual labour, but had sent out into the village for the women
for they made an opening and along line of
women appeared they was entirely naked excepting for
a Native made Loin cloth made from the bark of young trees
but we very soon got all we wanted done, by the help of these
women although they seemed very much frightened &
timid, when the boat was well up on the beach an old
man came forward and made signs of submission
(no doubt he remember the Murder of Commodore
Goodenough) and then led the Captain by signs to a

 large hut, he wanted the Captain to sit down on mats and
eat some Hot Bread Fruit, but somehow he had lost his
appetite so he declined with thanks we formed up out-
side in case of surprise with a course clear for the boats, we
had to keep a very sharp look out as every one of the Natives
carried there bows & arrows and would not move a step
without them, it was not a very pleasant job standing
there, because they could have let drive a flight of arrows
and nipped into the bush before you could have say Jack
Robinson, we carried our Rifles at the slop with the cut
off of the magazine firing at once, but we had strict orders
not to show that we had git any mistrust in the Natives
but to try and make them believe that we had got the
greatest confidence in them, after a lot of palavar inside
the hut our Captain hoisted the Union Jack and we made
our way back to the boats on the way we passed a woman
carrying a black wooden kiki bowl on her head filled up
with mashed Yams she stepped on one side and covered
her face with her hands, the two children that was with
her scampered off into the Bush crying like the very dead
which was so funny that made the whole lot of us burst
out laughing which seemed to break the death like
                        (Miss the next page )

that had come over us from the time of landing, I dont believe
a dozen words was spoken from the time we landed and
those was only giving as words of command from the Officer
in Charge, all precautions and other orders were given us before
we left the ship, when we arrived at the boat we found that
a lot of natives had collected there, they seemed as if they
wanted tus to keep on marching as it was affording them
a great deal of amusement especially when we order arms
and then slung them, the sun getting down in the heavens
our Captain wanted to get clear of the beach before dusk
so after much excitement and noise we managed to
launch the boat and get clear of the beach in good time.

Thursday 26th May 1898 HMS Mohawk Very Miserable day

Very miserable day divers went down
to clear our Port Screw, piped down for the remainder of the day

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Wednesday 25th May 1898 HMS Mohawk

During the afternoon we annexed annex-
ed an Island all by itself, this being a Volcanic moun-
tain standing out from the Sea about 5000ft high
called Hinakula, we steamed close alongside there
being plenty of water, it was then burning and
sending forth a large column of White Smoke, it
looked as if some time during its eruption it had

blown part of its side away, as there was a great vent in
it from the water, out of which molten Lava was run-
ning out of and down the sides like great streams of
treacle, occasionally great lumps of Rock was hurled
down into the Sea which caused a great hissing noise
so that you could hardly your self speak, our
Captain landed in the Whaler and buried the procla-
mation in a Bottle no flag being hoisted as the place
was uninhabited, at Night time it was a very
grand sight indeed large tongues of flame would
shoot up and light up the Heavens for miles
knocking Brocks display of fire works at the Crystal
Palace in a Tin Hat, when the captain returned om board
we proceeded and annexed another island    Inevanion
off Santa Cruz firing a salute of 21 Guns we them steamed
on to Rosia Granville landed Mr Harvest
our interpreter, two of our officers going ashore with
him to stay a few days, we then went on to Carlilse
Bay a rather pretty opening in Santa Cruz behind a
great Coral reef there being a natural
opening in it just wide enough for a ship to pass
through, here we moored and made ourselves
contented to stay for a time on purpose to give our

Engines a good overhauling and general clean up of the boilers
we had now finished annexing all the Islands of any importance
belonging to the Santa Cruz Reef and Swallow Groups. on shore
at this place was erected a monument consisting of a great iron cross
in memory of Commander Goodenough who was murdered with
two seamen belonging to H.M.S Pearl in August 1875, the Commander
had landed with an armed party to settle a dispute amongst
the Natives, everything went on all right and was settled
favourably, the armed part then embarked on their respective
boats and got ready for pulling off to the ship, the Commander
staying behind with his boats crew to present suge and that
to the chiefs, after thi9s was over they made there way down to
the boat and was just shoving off when a number of Sav-
ages jump from out of the bush, and let go a flight of arrows
making a dash for the boat, the Commander & two Seamen
was struck with arrows, three other being slightly wounded
by blow from the clubs but they managed to get clear of the shore
the natives when they found they could not capture the boat
returned at once to the bush, it was all done in a moment,
In a couple of days the Commander and the two Seamen had
died from the effects of the poisoned arrows, H.M.S Pearl
landed a large armed force which finished the natives and
burnt their Villages down.

Tuesday May 24th 1898 HMS Mohawk Annexed 3 more Islands

During the day we annexed
three more islands Wakupu, Nalaga, & Nupui,
we did not drop anchor buy lay too off them the
landing parties had great difficulties to encounter
in lading owing to the coral reefs after we had
finish our business which was nothing to talk about
we turned our nose towards Sea again for the night
going dead slow.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Monday 23rd May 1898 HMS Mohawk 3 Islands annexed, flogging, 21 gun salute

6 am we got up anchor and pro-
ceeded to some other Islands of the same Group hoisting
the Union Jack on three during the day ?Wibauga
?Banipi & Pileni at the last named Island there was
a big Bug of a Chief who was constantly making raids
on the neighbouring Islands killing the men and car-
rying away there young women & children, we made
a prisoner of the Chief and a lot of his followers, took
them down to the beach, so that they was in sight of the
of the ship, and flogged them, and made the chief

understand that if he did not stop fighting and molesting
the other Islands we would shoot him and burn all his
villages down we then made him a present of some
Blue Suge Clay pipes and tobacco, the natives of this island
was noted for there treacherous cunning yet at this place
lived a trader all by himself, we fired a salute of 21 guns
when the Union Jack was hoisted, after every thing had quiet-
ened down we proceeded to Sea going at slow speed.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Sunday May 22nd 1898 HMS Mohawk specimens of the Flying Fox

We carried on Usual Sunday Routine
after Church our officers went on a shooting expedition
they came back just before sunset with a very good bag
which wa shared out amongst the ships company, they
brought back with them half dozen very good specimen
of the flying fox, which I had never heard talk of before
they were just like a very large bat, but the body resemble
that of a fox, when flying in the air they look like a
crow, but fly more steady and the spread of the wings
are much broader, they live in th etops of tree, and the
food consist of young leaves and fruit, the natives use
the large wing bone as a needle having a hole through
the thickest end, through which they pass the native
made thread so that it act as a eye.

Flying Fox

Saturday 21st May 1898 HMS Mohawk Trading on Funuoloa

At 6 am an armed party went away
and hoisted the Jack on the island Funuoloa about 10
miles distant, The natives of these Islands speak a different
language of those of Santa Cruz although the distance
is only 20 miles, they was very friendly laughing at any
thing they saw done on board like so many Big School Girls
they would do anything you asked them to do, even to help-
ing the men to wash their clothes, the swarmed round the
ship from daylight to Sunset trading in the usual things,
such as Chickens, Pigeons, Fruit & Shells you could get a chick-
en for two sticks of tobacco value of which was one penny
taking all things one with another we got on very well
with the natives and was beginning to get quite chummy
with them.

From Wikepedia
Fenualoa is the second largest island in the Reef Islands, administratively located in the Solomon Islands province of Temotu. At low tide, Fenualoa is connected to the neighboring island of Nifiloli to the north. The west side of the island is mainly sandy beaches facing the huge lagoon and the Great Reef. The east side is steep rocky cliffs with the deep Forest Passage separating Fenualoa from the largest island of the group Lomlom. The island is very densely populated with four main villages, each made up of a number of sub-villages and total approximately 1500 inhabitants (2008). These are all on the west side of the 8km by 600m long and thin island. The largest villages are Tuo (Tuwo), Maluba, Tanga and Malapu (running south to north). There are three schools on the island and the people are Melanesian. A few yachts (1 or 2 per year) visit the island by entering the huge lagoon through the Great Reef (the lagoon is approximately 25km east west by 8km north south). There is no scheduled transport to the island.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Friday May 20th 1898 HMS Mohawk

At six am an armed party went on shore and
hoisted the Union Jack on the Island of LomLom
after dinner another  party went away and annex-
ed an Island a few miles away called  Nifiloli
we then had to shift our anchorage on account of the
Tide running out very low and leaving us in Shallow
Water and almost swinging on to a coral reef, but
after a little trouble we let go both anchors and moor-

ed ship, in the evening a party went away with some Gun
cotton and a battery to blow up fish, but was not very suc-
cessful, Our Officers went away in parties to different Islands
to try their hands at a little shooting, they managed to bag
a good many pigeons, the bush appearing to be full of them
The pigeons here are twice the size of our common Blue Rock at
home we fired a salute of 21 guns which had agreat effect
on the Natives.

From Wikipedia showing Lom Lom & Nifiloli Islands
Also showing Mohawk Bay and Pigeon Island.

I have found a website with wonderful pictures form the Reef islands

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Thursday May 19th 1898 HMS Mohawk

Weighed anchor at 6am and stopped
of Rosia Granville & communicated
with shore we proceeded on till we
came across the Reef Islands some twenty

miles North, these Islands are small low coral
patches not more than fifty feet above the
level of the sea, they lie in a mass of reefs
a large reef extending right around the group
making it very dangerous for navigation, dur-
ing the afternoon we annexed a small island
Matema the natives were very pleased giving
us fish and Coca Nuts, having hoisted the flag
we made our way East coming to anchor between
some Islands belonging to the same group, here
we was surrounded by natives trading with shells,
chickens, pigeons and several other things, the natives
here seemed to understand English much bet-
ter than those of Santa Cruz Group, no doubt
the missionaries had made better progress with their flock.

Matema Island or Matema is of one of the Reef Islands, of the Solomon Islands in the Temotu Province.
The language spoken on Matema Island is Pileni a form of Polynesian

Matema is a beautiful circular island located in the south western Reef Islands.
The island is only a few hundred metres long and about 100 m wide. It is surrounded by a circular reef.
Most of the inhabitants live on the northern part of the island. North of the island is Malim Reef.
East of the island are Manuwa and Matumbi Reefs.
The inhabitants of the island speak Polynesian but physically resemble Melanesians.
The islanders regularly paddle canoes east to the Reef Islands to trade.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Original Document images and Service Records 1898

HMS Mohawk 1898

Service Records of William Cocks

Scan of one of the pages of the Diary which was written in an Excercise book
Service records showing HMS Mohawk

Monday, 13 May 2013

Wednesday May 18th HMS Mohawk Australian Station Solomon Islands Cruise

In the afternoon three of our Boats manned
by Marines & Blue Jackets fully armed and
carrying a 45 Machine Gun in the Bows
of our heaviest Cutter with a plentiful
supply of ammunition, Our Captain an
officer in charge of each boat the Eng-
lish trader Mr Harvest and a missionary
which had come on board during the fore-
noon from a village along the coast,

our purpose was to claim British Protectorate
over the Island and if the natives offered an
opposition we were to force a landing, No
sooner had our boats put off from the ship
when all the natives who were round the
ship in their canoes, hurried off as fast as
they could pelt after us, when we got close
in land we found that all the men had ????
themselves up in a line along the beach to
oppose us landing, but the captain pulled
close in shore with a large palm leaf in
his hand as a sign of friendship & peace
and after a lot of palavering he landed
but the other two boats was close alongside
with their rifles at the ready with magazines
charged ready to fire in case of any ???
at last all landed except a few hands
to look after the boats and have the gun
ready for action in case of treachery or a surprise,
The Head Chief appearing on the scene
he was conducted to a place alongside of the
Captain, our party then formed up in an
half circle formation with our backs to the

boats, the natives were made to form up in
a crowd exactly in front none were allow-
ed to go either to the right or left of us, be-
tween the two parties  a hole was dug, a
bottle containing a copy of the proclamation
was placed in the hole and buried a flag
staff being erected on the same spot for the
purpose of hoisting the Union Jack, on the hole
being filled in a heap of stones was
collected round the foot of the staff, when
all was ready our Captain made a bit of a
speech through the interpreter in which
he told them that by hoisting the flag
he had placed them under the protection
of the Queen Victoria of England and that
all the War Canoes with Big Guns like us
would punish anyone them molested
them, and that he hoped they would
always keep the flag flying, The Union
Jack was then ran up, the Guard of
Honour presenting arms and a salute of
21 Guns from fired from the ship, Santa
Cruz Island was the declared annexed

and under British influence, The Captain then
made a present of a large quantity of colored
Calica & Blue Suge the different chiefs who w
were highly delighted, the natives here as at
other Islands are very much frightened with
the firing of our guns, covering up their heas
and some of them actually jumped overboard
in the water and everytime a Gun was fired
they would bob their heads under the water,
which made everyone that saw them near-
by split their side with laughter, during
the remainder of the day our ship was alive
with the natives, A big bug of a Chief came
on board with a guard of natives they had
come down from the hills, these seemed
even a wilder and more uncouth looking
than those from the coast,I can picture
no more repulsive objects than were
some of these men, let a copper coloured
savage shave his head in parts, let him
gather up such such of his crisp woolly hair
as is not cut into long frizzly tails which
will stand out like a fixed Bayonet, let

him dye some of these White and some scarlet
as his fancy may direct, let him smear his
face with soot, with scarlet and yellow
streaks across it, his body be scaly like a fish
from skin disease and yellow in parts
from the wearing or carrying of Turmeric
cloths put a thin grass mat round his loins
and a large round shell plate upon his breast
squeeze a dozen shell bangles upon the up-
per part of his arm hang a tortoise shell ring
from his nose and twenty in his ears, not
forgetting to smear his big ugly mouth with
the red juice of the Betel Nut, let him car-
ry twenty or more thick arrows highly carved
tipped with poisoned human bone, and pain-
ted red and white, with along Red Bow
and some had a highly ornamented club
and this was the sort of ruffian that
swarmed upon the Quarter Deck of the
Mohawk, there was canoes full of fine
looking young savages which seemed to
belong a to a different class altogether they
took no part in trading , but was gor-

geously arrayed in pearl Armlets and Tortoise
shell earrings and wearing elaborately fretted
Mother of pearl ?lates fastened into their nose
which partly hid the centre of their face,
there was also on board white headed
and loosely cropped old Villains, with countenance
little short demonical in their ugliness
but all seemed in a great state of excitement
I managed to get a few arrows and a white
Bow, there is something about the arrows which
is more terrible than any of our latest firearm
their colour and high ornamentations the
smooth long points of human bone which
is stuped in some deadly juice, so that the
faintest scratch will produce madness &
dath, the horrible stories which was told
about them and the dread of getting a scratch
from them made us very careful about hav-
ing any dealings with them at all but we
found out there was no harm at all,
after 48 hrs as the poison dies and that
they only steep them in the juice just be-
gore going to fight with one another near-

by every one them carried a small grass bag
hung round his loins, in which he kept his ki-
ki (food) and small native made curios, which
he bartered with, they wear very eager to buy
if they saw anything in your hand that took
their fancy, half a dozen of them would rush
in great excitement so over come that then
could hardly ever shout there faces being
something awful to look upon, they were
especially keen on our Great Coat Buttons
which they tie in a bunch and hang
them from their ears & nose, the name of
the Head Chief of the Island was Misa,
we had a great deal of trouble in
chasing them out of the ship at sunset, as we had
to do it without giving offence, but eventually
we got them all out, we then scrubbed decks
and they had left had left a rather peculiar
dour behind them.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Tuesday May 17th 1898 HMS Mohawk

Sighted  Tinakula Island (Volcano) stopped
6 off Cape Invarion on the Island of Santa
Cruz of the Santa Cruz group these with

Tinakula (NASA picture linked from Wikipedia)

a lot more islands are called the Queen Charlotte
Group, our purpose being to annex them and all
the Islands round about,and pace them un-
der British Protection hoisting the British Flag
on each we lay off a village and sent a boat
in for the purpose of bringing off an English
man (Forrest?) which had great scope with the
natives, but they found out from a canoe when
near in shore that he did not live there, so
they took the oldest man out of the canoe and
let the others go, they brought him on board,
and turn him over to the Captain who took
him on the bridge and made him by signs
and gesture paint out in what direction
the trader lived after a little trouble they
managed to make him understand what
was wanted, we then proceeded a few
miles along the coast to the place of the
trader, Rosia Granville, stopped off there
the trader came on board and was with
the Captain three or four hours, he then went
on shore again and returned shortly after fully
equipped for a Sea Voyage having two na-

tives as body servants with him, his business was
to act as interpreter and to point out all the
largest villages on the Islands and the best
way of approaching them in fact a kind of a
pilot in every thing we proceeded further
along the coast till we came to Graciosa Bay
we went inside and anchored fro the night.
We had look outs stationed all round the ship
in case of surprise, as the natives so we was
warned might make a dash on us during
the night mistaking us for a Merchant-
man instead of a Man of War, the Natives
of these Islands are very much different to
the Solomon Islands, they are very finely
made, and of a dark copper colour through
there nose they wear a thick tortoise
shell ring about 1 2/2 inch in diameter in their
ears they have a collection of Tortoise and Sea Shell
rings,one had at least thirty of these rings
in his ears and must have weighed as much
as 1/2 ib the lobes of the ear were stretched to
an enormous size, I noticed that some of
them had got their ornaments tied round

their ears on account of their lobe having
been torn away, no doubt through a-
mount that he had got in them, there was
a great crowd of them collected about the ship
and after time they came alongside in their
canoes a very fine and neatly made grass
mat was their only article of clothing passed
round their loins then between the legs and
tucked n before and behind in the same man-
ner as the natives of the Florida Group, they
wore large shell rings around the upper arm
and some had a large shell breast plate with
some sort of design made out of tortoise
shell hung round their necks, but most
conspicuous of all was their large red Wooden
Bows and from a dozen to twenty long and
highly ornamented poisonous arrows, their
canoes were laden up fully with Native
produce and sheaves of theses arrows, which
are certainly the most terrible and deadly
weapons we came acroos, they are not
feathered  like those they use for archery
in England but are made of a simple

cane shaft four or five feet long and carved
with some care the designs upon them
being coloured with Red & white kind of
stain, the points are long and thin and of a
light brown colour the tips being made of human
bone, the canoes of these islands are not made
out of a single log as most of the islands in
the pacific are, but are partly built, they have
got the usual outrigger but in addition
they have a counterbalancing platform
on the other side on which they carry bun-
dles of arrows, Coca Nuts, Bread Fruit & other
native produce which they use for bar-
tering with, the way they handle the canoes
is something remarkable, there were several
of them upset in their eagerness to get along
side, but the owners swimming up to them
would in less than no time with a swing-
ing motion shake a good deal of the water
out, they would then jump in and commence
bailing out with the greatest ease, all their
trading stuff being fastened with coarse
native rope made from the fibre of Coca nuts,

A few of the natives were allowed on board at
a time , they started trading in Bows & Arrows
Shells, Yams, and different native trinkets
taking in return Coloured Calico, Sticks of
Tobacco, Pipes or any little thing that would
catch their eye, things that you would
throw away on the scrap heap at home,
Our tunic buttons and Cap ornaments
where in great demand, you could get
a Native Canoe Wife and all his family
if you would give a chief one of our Brass
Front Plates of our Helmet, on the whole
they were a very savage and ferocious
lot and could not be trusted.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Monday 16th May 1898 HMS Mohawk

At sea steaming about 7 knots usual routine
encountered heavy rain squall during the day.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Sunday May 15th 1898 HMS Mohawk

At 6am we got up anchor and left in a South East-
erly direction passing Guadalcanar Malita &
Hura Islands in the later part of the afternoon
we entered a beautiful group of Islands called Ma-
lapa our purpose for coming here was to see the
English trader and find out from him whether
everything was Quiet and satisfactory as regards the
natives, we cruised in & out of the islands
sounding our syren which very much frightened
the natives (our syren being a exceptional strong
one a regular buzzer) but after a time we man-
aged to entice one of the natives alongside, we
then found out that the trader had gone away
trading in his schooner, and he did not know
when he would return, so our Captain left
a letter behind for him, and it getting dusk we made
our way out to the open sea.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Saturday May 14th 1898 HMS Mohawk

Southern Cross returned from her cruise around the
Islands, our men very busy all day cleaning the ship in the
evening we exercise Fire Quarters and prepared ship
for Sea Commissioner Woodford with wife & son came
on board with him, but during the stay on board rain
came down so heavy that they had to remain till
past 9 o clock we had a yarn with their boats
crew, which consisted of five natives belonging
to different Islands of the Hebrides Group they
seemed a very decent lot of chaps (not chaps written) speaking
English very well and greatly taken up with
their master we took them into the Marines Mess
and gave them some coffee & supper afterwards
the ships company made them presents of tobacco
& old clothing likewise we made up a decent pack-
age of tinned provisions from the canteen we
sent our Mail on shore in charge of the Commis-

sioner as no steamer would call at Gavatu till the 31st