The Barrier MinerOn June 6, 1928 the SS Jervis Bay left Melbourne bound for England. Eight stowaways were discovered and confined to a cabin. With the help of some dissident crew members, the stowaways set fire to the cabin, and attempted to incite general mutiny amongst the crew. This disturbance was subdued, and those involved were confined to individual cabins "below hatches" guarded by volunteer guards drawn from amongst the passengers.

As the entire situation was very alarming for the 600 or so passengers, the Captain radioed for assistance. The Royal Navy Auxilary oiler RFA Slavol put to sea with a detachment of Marines who boarded the Jervis Bay on June 24. Under armed guard, there was no further disturbance and the Jervis Bay made for Colombo, British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) where the dissidents were removed from the ship and transported to prison.

RFA Slavol to enlarge

Received from Mr. John Rixon...

"Whilst sorting through some old family photographs I came across the attached photo of the SS Jervis Bay which I thought might be of interest.

On the back of the photo is a handwritten note which says -

SS Jervis Bay entering Southampton Docks after ‘mutiny’ on board Summer 1929 (sic). Taken from General Office window ‘W’ side, Test Chambers’

My father worked in the Southampton Docks and Marine Engineers Office from 1916 until his retirement in 1960 and I can only assume that the photo was taken either by him or one of his colleagues. The second photo is of the Floating Dock at Southampton Docks and was probably taken at around the same time.

Regards John Rixon "

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge