CONCRETE BUNKER
FLINDERS STREET EAST, TOWNSVILLE,
NEAR CORNER OF WICKHAM STREET, DURING WWII

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Photo: Peter Dunn (Jun 2003)

Old Bank of New South Wales building in Townsville now used as Flynns Irish Bar. The
WWII concrete bunker can be seen via a driveway at the left of the above photograph.

 

The Bank of New South Wales building in Flinders Street East in Townsville was built in 1887. The building was occupied by the military during WWII. A concrete bunker still exists at the rear of this building. In 2003 it could readily be seen from the Flinders Street footpath. The building was sold to the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU) in 1941. 

 


Photo: Peter Dunn (Jun 2003)

WWII concrete "bunker" in rear yard of the old Bank of New South Wales building

 

No. 1 (HQ) L of C Sub Area, No 2 Company Cypher Section and No. 2 Company L of C Area Signals occupied the Bank of New South Wales building during WWII prior to February 1942. The first complete Signals Office in the Townsville area was established there. It comprised a telegraph service, switchboard and dispatch rider service. The Signals Officer and Operations Officer used part of the first floor for their living quarters. No. 2 Company Cypher Section, whose work included monitoring and decoding Japanese messages, was housed in the concrete bunker at the rear of the building.

For a short time Colonel North, the Commandant of HQ Northern Command L of C Area, had his Headquarters in the Bank of New South Wales building. No. 8 Pigeon Loft, Australian Corps of Signals Pigeon Service was also based at the site and provided carrier pigeons to ships and aircraft in the Townsville area. From late 1942 and early 1943 the location was used to monitor all telephone calls (civilian and military) in and out of north Queensland. About 20 AWAS carried out this work until the end of the war, using the switchboards which were connected to the Security Monitoring Centre at Stuart.

A rest room for female personnel of the AWAS, AAMWS, VAD and AANS was opened in the Bank of New South Wales building on 20 August 1943.

 

 
Photo:- Mel Dundas-Taylor 1 October 2014

The plaque near the entrance was dedicated in 1995. It reads as follows:-

“In recognition of the service given by the men and women of the Royal Australian
Corps of Signals at this site during World War II - They passed this Way”.

 


Photo:- Mel Dundas-Taylor 1 October 2014

Side wall of the bunker. Note the small air ventilation slots.

 

 

 

Sketch by Mel Dundas-Taylor of the design of the air ventilation slots in
the concrete bunker used by No. 2 Company Cypher Section

 


Photo:- Mel Dundas-Taylor 8 October 2014

The air ventilation slots are lined with galvanised tin. Two
of them still have a mesh on the inside (see above)

 


Photo:- Mel Dundas-Taylor 8 October 2014

One of the air ventilation slots lined with galvanised tin.

 


Photo:- Mel Dundas-Taylor 8 October 2014

This air ventilation slots which is located at the end nearest the former
Bank of New South Wales building has an electrical(?) conduit protruding.

 


Photo:- Mel Dundas-Taylor 1 October 2014

Another view of the WWII concrete bunker

 


Photo:- Mel Dundas-Taylor 1 October 2014

Inside the WWII concrete bunker

 


Photo:- Mel Dundas-Taylor 1 October 2014

Another view of the inside of the WWII concrete bunker

 


Photo:- Mel Dundas-Taylor 7 October 2014

There is an old red brick building at the left hand side of the driveway that leads
 up to the bunker. In an earlier life this was believed to have been the horse
stables. It is believed this building then became the pigeon loft during WWII.

 


Photo:- Mel Dundas-Taylor 7 October 2014

The right hand end of what may have been the WWII pigeon loft

 


Photo:- Mel Dundas-Taylor 7 October 2014

The Flinders Street end of the what may have been the WWII pigeon loft

 

NOTE:- Please note that this site is private property
and permission is required before accessing the site.

 

WWII Bunker Tour of Townsville

 

REFERENCES

Diary of World War II North Queensland
Peter Nielsen

Australian Meat Industry Employees Union (Queensland Branch) building
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Mel Dundas-Taylor, Stan Mellick and Ray Holyoak for their assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

What sort of equipment was used in the bunker?

 

I need your help

Copyright

©  Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 17 March 2004

This page last updated 13 May 2015