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

Friday May 13th 1898 HMS Mohawk

Finished coaling having taken in 320 ton afterwards
all hands went on shore to bathe, as on account of
the place being infested with sharks no bathing was
allowed from the ship.

Monday 9th May 1898 HMS Mohawk

Carried on a very slow process of coaling during the day
we managed to get on board about 45 tons, in the
afternoon the Southern Cross left us resuming her
cruise around the Islands, Dr Moore & Mr Scott
Navigating ??? went away in steam cutter fully
armed to attend a sick European about 12 mls
distant they remained away all night return-
ing at noon next day, two traders came on
board from 2 different islands for the purpose of
seeing the doctor they had got a attack of the fever, carried

on routine of coaling ship till the 13th.

Sunday May 8th 1898 HMS Mohawk

Sunday May 8th 1898
Our officers availed themselves of a little shooting,
but the only birds that came across ship' path was

pigeons, in the afternoon the missionaries from the
Southern Cross, came on board bringing with them
twenty of their reformed Natives belonging to different
Islands most of them spoke English very well
having been  to the Mission School on Norfolk Island
which they said they liked very well indeed and
was very sorry to have to leave it, they were now
going back to their own islands to teach their own
people about Civilization & the bible, during the
the afternoon our men went away seineing for the
1st time, but was unsuccessful owing to the seine
getting foul of the coral which the bottom is cover-
ed with.

Seine net fishing - Image linked to

I wasn't sure if  had correctly read seineing and seine.
Seining is I have discovered a type of large net fishing that is made to hang vertically in the water by weights at the lower edge and floats at the top.

I have discovered another journal at when searching for info on Norfolk Island Missionary schoool

Here is an extract mentioned the Schooner Southern Star
ON Easter Tuesday, 1867, the Southern Cross conveyed the bulk of the Mission School, with the Bishop, Mr. Codrington, and Mr. Bice, from Kohimarama to Norfolk Island. Mr. Palmer had spent the summer there, and Mr. Brooke and Mr. Atkin, with the boys under their charge, had been there for a month; so that when the Bishop arrived there, he found his new station in a fair state of preparation, enclosures and outhouses ready, and all in a state of sufficient forwardness to receive the large party who were there to be lodged.

Here is an image of the Southern Star

The image is linked for another online journal I just discovered
Described by the Rev.
Missionary in Santa Cruz, 1897-1904

They are some excellent images here.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Saturday 7th May 1898 HMS Mohawk

Sat 7th May (1898)
The Southern Cross got underway early in
the morning to carry on with her cruise, but
when she had got about 2 miles from us
she went on shore on a coral bank our
boats was called away and sent to her
to render any assistance which she would
require, after working all day long taking
out her stores and all heavy gear, and plac-
ing out anchors we manged to get her off
by the evening tide without any material
damage she then came back into harbour
and dropped anchor, we sent our divers
away to examine her bottom and found
it was all right only a strip of copper off
here and there just where she had touched, dur
-ing the day we were invited by the Royal Com-
issioner C. M. Woodford having his wife
& son with him they stayed on board and
lunched with our Captain and on leaving
he was saluted with 7 guns which greatly
frightened the Natives, the natives seems very
much struck with our figure head, which
is a very good representation of a Mohawk
Indian with a Tomahawk in his right
hand and a scalping knife in his left
all ready to strike out at anything, the
natives collected around the bows, talking &
making alls orts of grimaces at it, mak-
ing great fuss of the ship, they brought a
canoe full of long grass which they kept ty-
ing together till they made a line long enough
to take the measurement of the ship. We are
about the biggest and heaviest Man of War
that has been here, so no doubt they are under the
impression of building a War canoe on the same size.

Charles Morris Woodford
First Resident Commissioner of british Solomon islands protectorate and important (forgotten) Collector of Natural specimens
born Gravesend Kent 1852, Died Steyning Essex 1927
Hi s collection of Bats is at The Natural Hisory Museum

Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London

Volume 55, Issue 2, pages 320–328, March 1887

CM Woodford Journal

Extract from link mentioning Tomohawk (see diary entry)
From the trading station at Rubiana, which is the center of the head-hunting district, our first visit was to a small island occupied by another trader. This island he is allowed to occupy on sufferance only. It belongs to the natives of Sisieta; they will not sell it, as they use it for their cannibal feasts. I was told that six bodies were eaten here a fortnight before my visit. From here we went to a town called Oneavesi, and thence crossed to the small island of Rubiana proper, where we found nearly all the men away on a head-hunting expedition to the island of Isabel. I here photographed the interior of a tambu house, the post of which was carved to represent a crocodile. Along the rafters was a row of heads. I also took a photograph of a collection of sacred images, near to which was a heap of skulls, upon every one of which I
PSM V35 D500 Sacred image at rubiana.jpg
Fig. 1. — Sacred Image at Rubiana.
noticed the mark of the tomahawk.

Friday May 6th 1898 HMS Mohawk

May 6th Fri
At 5am we got up anchor and proceeded
to the Florida Islands a distance of 80 miles
We arrived in the afternoon and anchored
off the island of Gavatua here we was
surrounded by canoes trading in the same

Solomon Island warriors, armed with spears, aboard an ornamented war canoe (1895)
Linked from Wikipedia

manner, only some having parrots, some of
the natives here would ask for money, but we
found out that the missionaries had put
them up to ask for it, so that they could make
them presents of it instead of there native
produce. The natives seems very friendly some

(Florida islands also known as Nggela Islands)
(Gavatua presumed to be Gavutu)

speaking a few words of broken English their
only covering being a Tshafed Loin cloth wear-
ing bone rings in their ears and round their
arms & ankles their hair being being very long and Budy?
some having it nearly white which is cause by
it being plasticised with lime, which takes all
the colour out of it for a time, when the lime is
dry they brush it out with a rough kind of
brush made out of coconut fibre, the men
are the only ones that show themselves they
keep all their wifes & children in the bush
for which the island are very thick indeed
a walk in most part being impossible in
the thickest of the bush they build their
huts living in small numbers, shortly after
we arrived we were joined by a missionary
Schooner the Southern Cross being then
on a visit around the islands she anchor-
ed close alongside of us, the trading station
on Gavatua is owned by a couple of traders

Newman and Alison keeping 3 Schooners and having
several Niggers working for them, they came
on board and gave us a lot of information about
the Solomon Islands in General, on the Island
Admiralty has 1000 tons of coal stored
under the charge of the traders for the use
of the Men of war doing duty around the islands
that was mostly our reason for visiting this

Source Wikipedia
The Nggela Islands, also known as the Florida Islands, are a small island group in the Central Province of the Solomon Islands, a state in the southwest Pacific Ocean.

Gavutu is a small islet in the Central Province of the Solomon Islands, some 500 metres (550 yards) in length. It is one of the Nggela Islands.
Coordinates: 009°07′00″S 160°11′20″E

Sunday, 5 May 2013

April 25th

We left Sydney in company with H.M.S Goldfinch
bound for the Solomon Islands and after a very
fine passage of 10 days we arrived at the island
of Guadolcanan of the longest islands of
the Solomon Group having run a distance
of 2000 miles we dropped anchor in Honiara
Bay on the night of 5th May our soundings
being very deep. On our arrival several canoes
containing natives came alongside to barter
with yams bananas in exchange for tobacco
& clay pipes, the mountains on this island
are very steep and come right down to the wa-
ters edge, they are between 7000 & 8000 feet
and covered to the summit with very
dense jungle

(Guadalcanal ? Guadalcanan?  definetly an n not an l written in the diary)
(Honiara is an modern day guess the word is difficult to read and looks like Hondirera Bay???

Diary of a Royal Marine aboard HMS Mohawk Solomon Island & Santa Cruz 1898

Island Cruise

H.M.S. Mohawk

Australia Station
Solomon Islands
Santa Cruz Group
South West Pacific Ocean


Diaries of William Cocks - Royal Marines

About HMS Mohawk

Source National Archives (Greenwich) Mohawk Logs
Type: Cruiser 1886 3rd class
Built: Clyde (J. & J. Thomson)
Dimensions: 225' 0"
Beam: 36' 0"
Tonnage: 1,770 tons
Armour: 6-6" : 8-3pdrs : 1 tube (Originally8)?
Complement: 172 men
Speed: 17 knts Horsepower 2,200 N.D, 3500F.d.

1890 Sheerness
1893 N.A. and W.I   Captain E.H.Bagly
1901 chatham
Sold 4.4.1905 Garnham

From newspaper clipping inside cover Daily Mail Special  (unknown date).



 News by the Australia Mail tells of the arrival
at Sydney of H.M.S. Mohawk, after a wholesale
annexation cruise among the Islands of
Melanesia. so successful was the trip that any
decrease of the empire owing to the ocean's
onslaughts on the Kentish cliffs in the past years
will be simply recouped by our recent aquisitions
in the pacific.

In April last the Mohawk left Sydney under
orders t hoist the flag of England on the Santa
Cruz, the Swallow, the Reef, and other islands.
These group of islands lie 400 or 500 miles east
of the Solomons, the home of savage cannibals.

Altogether in Santa Cruz and the other islands
the Union Jack was run up on fourteen islands,
namely:-On Santa Cruz,Utupua,Tinakula, in
the Santa Cruz group; Matema, Fenuloa, Lom
Lom, Nifiloli, Bangauena, Bamga, Natapa, Pelian.
Nukapu, Nalogo, Nupani,Tocupia, in the Reef
and Swallow Group.

One of the officers of the Mohawk,
in recounting his experiences said, "During
the cruise we burnt a couple of villages
at Vella La Vella to avenge the outrage on Mr
Prat, a British subject. Commander Freeman
went ashore had a "palaver" with the chiefs.
One notable character, Belungi, was charged
with being out head-hunting, and from the evi
dence it appeared that after


some time in search of a white head (they prefer
the European) he came up with a canoe laden
with eight young native women, who were out 
for pleasure. He shot six and took with
him. The charge being proved, Belungi was
given until the rising of the court for the pro-
duction of the two missing girls. These he re-
fused to hand over, so was taken prisoner to
new Guinea.

"One of the most interesting features in 
connection with our cruise was the visit to
Tocupia. This island is without a history. Its
people certainly are not kanakas, woolly-haired,
or stunted in stature. The whole island, which seems
to give colour to the Darwinian idea of a sub-
merged continent in so far that the formation is
mountainous with valleys, and has about 800 people
 on it. they are gigantic in stature; one we
measured was 6ft 10in., and the women are
proportionate. The men have long,straight
hair, which they dye a flaxen colour, and
which in thick folds hangs over their copper
tinted shoulders. The women,on the contrary,
have their hair cut short. Strange to say these
natives have no weapons of defence at all  A 
remarkable law among them is that they marry
only once, the superstition being that if a married
manor woman dies, no mater how many children
there may be, the deceased's spirit has gone 
ahead and is waiting for the other half.
"During the cruise we annexed a volcano, on
which at night, though not very active, one could
hear a rumbling noise and see a flame or glare
above it. This was in the Santa Cruz Group.