GREEN HILL FORT, THURSDAY ISLAND
USED AS A SIGNALS AND WIRELESS STATION
DURING WWII

 

Green Hill Fort on Thursday Island was built between 1891-1893 as part of Australia's defence against a possible Russian invasion. It was eventually decommissioned some time in 1927 and the buildings were demolished and the guns were spiked. Green Hill is a small grassy hill about 58 metres above sea level at the western end of Thursday Island.

There are five rooms with 600mm thick concrete walls used for ammunition storage. The initial buildings on site were the general storeroom, shell store, cordite room, lamp room and artillery store. A timber and corrugated iron guardhouse (25' x 15') was also built over a 20,000 gallon underground well. A cooling plant machine room and a powder room were added in 1912. "Air conditioning ducts were installed from the cooling plant machine room to the cordite store.

The guns that were part of the pre federation fort were as follows:-

4 rifle muzzle-loading (RML) 7" guns
4 sixteen-pounders (King 1983:98)
2 Mark VI 6" breech loading guns
2 Mark IV 6" breech loading gun

 


Photo:- Trevor Costin July 2011

Looking towards the south west at a gun emplacement at Green Hill Fort, Thursday Island

 


Photo:- Trevor Costin July 2011

The same gun emplacement at Green Hill Fort, Thursday Island

 

Green Hill Fort was reactivated during WWII and was used as a Signals and Wireless Station. The main change to the fort was the filling of the doorway to the Artillery Store by the Royal Australian Engineers with reinforced concrete in 1942. There is evidence of some small Seaward defence emplacements on the grassy slopes for machine gun emplacements.

From 1954 to 1993 the land at Green Hill Fort was used for a weather station by the Bureau of Meteorology.

 


Photo:- Trevor Costin July 2011

Looking to the north north west at at the 2nd gun

 


Photo:- Trevor Costin July 2011

Looking to the north west at another gun emplacement

 

Photo:- Trevor Costin July 2011

Depression Target Finder site

 


Photo:- Trevor Costin July 2011

Underground rooms

 


Photo:- Trevor Costin July 2011

Another view of Underground rooms

 


Photo:- Trevor Costin July 2011

Entrance to Green Hill Fort

 

On another small nearby hilltop there are the remains of another possible WWII relic which may possible be an observation post. It is 150 metres from the entrance to the Green Hill Fort on a bearing of 36deg according to Google Earth. It is located within a Broadcast Australia compound which is on another hill of similar elevation to Green Hill Fort.

 


Photo:- Trevor Costin July 2011

Old concrete works in Broadcast Australia site

 


Photo:- Trevor Costin July 2011

Old concrete works in Broadcast Australia site

 

REFERENCES

"Strange Bedfellows: Green Hill Fort, Archaeology, and Tourism"
By Gordon Grimwade and Geoff Ginn
Australian Historical Archaeology, 20, 2002

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Trevor Costin and Andrew Bevan for their assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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"Australia @ War"
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This page first produced 30 July 2010

This page last updated 28 July 2015