Commodore Henry Ballard

CMG  JP

Service Record

From

To

Cambrian

3rd Officer

10/1860

1/1863

Saxon

2nd Officer

1863

1863

Norman

2nd Officer

1863

1864

Athens

2nd Officer

1864

1864

Anglian

Chief Officer

1864


Dane

Chief Officer

1864

1865

Cambrian

Chief Officer

1865


Saxon

Chief Officer

1866

4/1867

Dane

Master

4/1867

6/1867

Saxon

Chief Officer

6/1867


Cambrian

Chief Officer

9/1867


Roman

Chief Officer

7/1868


Norseman

Chief Officer

1869

11/1869

Celt

Chief Officer

11/1869


Dane

Master

7/1870

1870

Celt

Chief Officer

1870

12/1870

Dane

Master

12/1870

1871

Cambrian

Master

5/1871


Teuton

Master

2/1876

6/1877

Nyanza

Master

8/1877

1880

Olympus (Chartered) Master

1881

1881

Durban

Master

1/1882

9/1883

Mexican

Master

12/1883

2/1884

From “My Life at Sea” by Commander W C Crutchley

“.....I had to turn over to the coasting steamer Natal, a little craft of under 500 tons…..Ballard was the skipper.

He was a sailor, curiously quiet until roused, when he could make the sparks fly with a vengeance; very self contained but always ready to do a good turn if he could to any one.

I am happy to say I won his confidence.”

Postscript to “An Old Sea Dog’s Story” by Capt Henry Ballard

After twenty-five years service in the Union Company, Captain Ballard relinquished command of “Mexican” to take up the duties of Port Captain at Durban, Natal.

On this occasion he was the recipient of a gratifying testemonial from the Company in the shape of a silver salver, inscribed as follows:-

“Presented by the Union Steamship Company to Captain Henry Ballard, in kindly recognition of

the twenty-five years of faithful and valuable service. February 1884.”

During the Boer War, 1899 to 1902, he received the Queen Victoria Medal, 1900, and in 1901 on the occasion of the visit of their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, he was invested as Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

After holding the position of Port Captain for twenty years he was, upon retirement, given a public banquet, at which he was presented with a silver punch bowl, bearing the inscription:-

“Presented to Captain Ballard C.M.G., J.P., Together with the sum of £750 on the ocassion of his retirement from the office of Port Captain, Port Natal, 6th November 1903. Subscribed by the members of the shipping, mercatile and general community.”

On the same occasion a diamond bracelet was given to Mrs Ballard. Captain Ballard also received from members of the Harbour Department a gold presentation watch and chain, and a a complete artist’s outfit, the easel of which bears a suitable inscription.

He was also presented with souvenirs from the Signal and Wharf Departments.

The testimonial mentioned stated:-

“When you took office, shipwrecks were not infrequent and small vessels only could enter the Harbour.

The Port is now a sure Harbour of refuge for the largest class of ships and the year’s shipping (1903) has increased from 250,000 tons  - one fourth of which entered the Harbour, to 2½ million tons - two thirds of which entered the Harbour.”

Capt Ballard in the uniform of Port Captain

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