HM Watch Vessel Kangaroo (formerly HMS Kangeroo) arrived in Burnham-on-Crouch around 1872, to be used as accommodation for the coastguards and their families. She was moored by the sea wall, where the Royal Corinthian clubhouse now stands, and took the place of another former naval vessel, the Chanticleer, a brig that was towed to Burnham in 1848 and which ended her days being broken up at Sheerness.
HMS Kangeroo was built in 1852 and had served as a hospital ship in the Crimean War. From 1865 she was used as a watch vessel on Stangate Creek, on the River Medway. She was finally broken up in the 1890’s after better shore-side accommodation for the coastguards and their families was built in Silver Road.
In 1884, Stebbings provided the Commissioners of the Admiralty with an estimate for repairs to HMS Kangaroo,
To caulk H.M. Ship Kangroo, from stem to stern, from rail to copper. Both sides with best oakam and pay good pitch. Provide and fix seven new rails with good yellow deal and paint same 3 times for the sum of £55-10s.
From W Stebbings Boat Builder, Burnham, Essex. January 23 1884
Other watch vessels deployed in the area included HMS Beagle (of Charles Darwin fame). It is likely that some remains of HMS Beagle are still beneath the mud of the River Roach, where the Beagle was stationed (scientists are looking into it).
See the Essex Family History website for further details, and C.E. Jefferies’ ‘Notes on Burnham on Crouch: its History and its People 1800-1900’, published in 1970 by Bay Read.