TUNNELS UNDER THE BRISBANE GPO
QUEENS STREET, BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND
WAS IT USED DURING WW2?

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visits since 18 February 2003

I spoke to someone on 18 February who has been inside a tunnel under the Brisbane General Post Office (GPO) in Queens Street, Brisbane. The entrance to the tunnel is via a trap door which was under some carpet on the floor inside the building behind the mail boxes on the northern side of the central lane between the two buildings of the GPO.

A set of stone stairs led down to the tunnel from the ground floor level. The tunnel headed southwards parallel to Queen Street towards the AMP building which was used by General Douglas MacArthur as his General Headquarters, South West Pacific Area during WW2.

Since then, the adjoining Commercial Bank building has been demolished to make way for a shopping centre development. This tunnel was probably exposed as part of this construction work. Was it used during WW2 as an escape tunnel for the big brass at GHQ?

Apparently there was originally a Female Factory for women prisoners on the site, the remains of which may possibly now constitute the basement area of the Brisbane GPO. When the female convicts moved out in 1837, the building was used by the new Foreman of Works, Andrew Petrie and his family as a temporary residence. It then remained abandoned until 1847 when it was converted to become the Brisbane Town Gaol. Construction of the Brisbane General Post Office commenced on the site in 1871.

Another person told me a similar (but different) story of another tunnel under the Brisbane GPO. He said that there was a false floor in the old Telegram Section at the back of the GPO. It lead to a tunnel which ran under Elizabeth Street and went under St. Stephens Cathedral. There were shackles on the wall inside this tunnel. Could this have been part of the old Female Factory for women prisoners??

Bill Bentson told me that the US Military also occupied the Commercial Bank building next door to the AMP building and rather than have to go down the lift and out on to the street and then back into the Bank building the Americans knocked at least one door between the two buildings. Click on the photo below to see at least one of these doors which appears to be at about the 8th Floor level.

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The northern side of the AMP building

 

Can anyone please confirm the existence of these so called tunnels?

 

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This page first produced 18 February 2003

This page last updated 19 February 2010