Frederick Watkins was born in Ashwater, County Devon, England on October 25 1865. He wrote this diary as a record of his journey by ship to Australia in 1885. Frederick was one of 10 children born to Thomas Watkins and Elizabeth Ann Crabb, both born in Devon. This is his diary entry for the day that he boarded the ship 'Victor'. Frederick arrived in Maryborough, Queensland, in January 1886. here is his diary continued...
Friday Morning October 9th, 1885
I was in a good heart to be off for Queensland. All though I enjoyed my self at the home at Blackwall - for I look it nearly as home. I used to help wash the dishes with the girls and young men. Well, I left London for gravesend at 11 o'clock by the Victor when she had come to graves end and then we entered the [Silhet?] at one o'clock which when we had got in was left for our journey the same boat towed us out and at the light house (more there) dropped anchor. it is very fine weather there is land on each side of us which is very grand to see, we are anchored Saturday 10th.
Sunday October 11th
This is Sunday and a good rough morning. we started at 7 o'clock morn. I have had a good round of sickness the waves are coming in over the deck very fast the men and women are all sick today the waves are sweeping over the men one on the other we passed Dover at 3.30 had it rough from the north (dizziness) Got at easting 6.30 Had a good prayer meeting tonight.
Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday I was sick oh so sick if you could see me you would say I was not going to live so far as Queensland but after all my sickness I enjoy the sea for to see the fish is most delightfull We have left all the English coast. I shall be glad when we get to maryborough The food is so funny you can't think but it is not bad sort of stuff for they that like it Today it has been fine The people are enjoying themselves but me, poor me s done right up for the want of food, I do not know what the end will be if I do not alter, I am sitting in my favourite place that is in the sheeps pens this is where I sit every day as I have given you some hints of the last 4 days