SOUTH HEAD FORT
OR HORNBY BATTERY
SYDNEY, NSW
DURING WW2

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Photo:- Ken Ward

Part of South Head Fort 1941 looking from Hornby Light

 

South Head Fort or Hornby Battery was the Examination Battery for Port Jackson during WW1 and WW2. The battery is now partly encompassed by HMAS Watson at South Head in Sydney, New South Wales.

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

Hornby Light, No. 5 Searchlight emplacement, South Head, 2001

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

AA Type Mk 1, 90cm searchlight. Used by Coast Searchlight
when Mk5 magazine searchlights were not available

 

Sgt. Ken Ward of the 33rd Fortress Engineers was stationed at Fort Wallace and Fort Scratchley in 1943. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant at Fort Wallace. Ken served in the Fortress Engineers from Hobart (Fort Direction), Port Kembla, Cape Banks (Botany Bay), South Head and North Head also at Cowan Cowan and Lytton. He finished as Chief Engineer with 11th Aust. Small Ships Coy. (Army Water Transport, Borneo and Celebes).

As a young soldier in the Vietnam War era, Kevin Parkes, stayed twice at the Eastern Command Personal Depot at Watsons Bay. The only way to keep out of sight and avoid being given duties was to explore the tunnels at South Head Fort. They were built in the late 1800s, of sandstone block construction. Kevin advised that the quality of construction was superb. Kevin visited site again in 2002 and the entry points been covered over. It was possible to look out from firing slits over both Lady Beach (nude bathing back in 1960s) and Camp Cove.

Graeme, Steinbeck told me that South Head Fort consisted of two 80 pounder RML (Rifled Muzzel Loading) guns with a covered passage and magazine between the two. The two 80 pounders were replaced with two 9 inch RML which then were replaced by a 6 inch Disappearing gun with one of the emplacements being remodelled. This new emplacement was again rebuilt for one 6 inch MK 7 gun that replaced the disappearing gun. Graeme believes the 6 inch Mk 7 and its partner which made up Hornby Battery were transferred from Georges Heights before WW2. For some reason when the 6 inch MK 7 guns were removed from Fort Wallace they went to Hornby Battery where all the guns were disassembled and four new guns made up out of the parts.

One person told me in October 2005 that he would love to get into the Sydney Examination Battery on South Head. He said the Navy use it for storage to prevent anyone finding the entrance to the first Sydney Harbour tunnel that no one will admit to being there.  He claimed the Federal Police checked the place out twice a day to ensure that no one had gained entry or managed to open the doors.

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

Old Gun emplacement South Head Fort 1961

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

Back of Orderly Room, South Head 1942

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

33rd Fortress Engineers, South Head Fort, 1941

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

33rd Fortress Engineers, South Head Fort, 1941

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

Officer Training School (OTS) for Fortress Engineers, South Head Fort, April 1942. Ken Ward is at far right in the back row.

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

OTS for Fortress Engineers, South Head Fort, April 1942

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

OTS South Head Fort, April 1942

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

Barracks, South Head, 33rd Fortress Engineers, 1942

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

Corporal Ken Ward and ? ?, South Head Fort, February 1941

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

Lieutenant Ian Douglas Clark-Duff of 33rd Fortress Company, RAE (based at North
Head) at South Head Fort, 1941. The photo inside his suitcase is of his future wife.

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

? at South Head Fort 1941

 


Photo:- Ken Ward

South Head Fort

 

Can anyone help to identify some of
the unknown people in the above photos?

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Ken Ward for his assistance and providing the above photographs for this web page. I would also like to thank Kevin Parkes, Graeme Steinbeck, and Mark Newton for their assistance with this web page.

I would like to thank Janet Clark-Duff, daughter of Lt. Ian Douglas Clark-Duff, for her assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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any information or photographs


"Australia @ War"
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This page first produced 18 February 2007

This page last updated 16 November 2015