14 MANGO AVENUE,
MUNDINGBURRA, TOWNSVILLE
TEMPORARY HEADQUARTERS FOR 5TH DIVISION
DURING WWII

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Major General Edward James Milford (VX12014) GENERAL OFFICER COMMANDING 5th Australian Division established his temporary Advanced Headquarters in a house at 14 Mango Avenue, Mundingburra at 1500 hours on 30 April 1942. They only occupied the house for some months till approximately July 1942 when they moved to the foothills of Mount Stuart. The General Staff Section of the Division was located in the house.


Australian War Memorial - AWM Image No. 070980

Major General E.J. Milford

Ronald Watt met Dr J.S.D. Mellick (QX40786), a former Officer on the General Staff of the Division in August 1995 (at the time of the VP celebrations 11-20 August 1995) after Ronald's neighbour, Betty O'Connor, saw Dr Mellick looking round the garden of 14 Mango Avenue. Dr Mellick was unsure if he had found the right house as it had changed so much and was now surrounded by many other houses. Dr Mellick took maps and other information to a lunch with 17 members of the 5th Division in September 1995.


Photo:- via Ronald Watt

South side of 14 Mango Avenue in the 1946 floods showing the original shape of the house

 

Mrs Bower lived in another house at the end of Mango Avenue from the age of five from the 1920's until 1943. She told Ronald Watt that the Australian Army camped all around her house.  She confirmed that the house owned by the Nelson family at 14 Mango Avenue was the house that was occupied by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Joseph "Tom" Daly (SX1436), Major General Milford's Chief of Staff. Mrs Bower's elder sister, Mrs Courtnadge confirmed 14 Mango Avenue was used as a temporary Headquarters. She said that she had been issued with a pass to get into Mango Avenue. She said the Army had tents amongst the China Apple trees. She advised that the Catips owned the house after the Nelson family. The Catips extended the house with a billiard room of the western side after the war. The Verandah facing Mango Avenue was added by the Watts family in 1989.

Dr. J.S.D. Mellick told me that the 5th Division Signal Headquarters was based under tent on the site of today's Aitkenvale Library. A plaque was presented to the library to commemorate the existence of the camp on that location.

 


Photo:- via Ronald Watt

This aerial photo of 1941 shows 14 Mango Avenue (circled) sitting in two acres of land
with a driveway coming in from Mango Avenue past a circular road section and then round
to the house. The front of the house was originally on the south side with the entrance to the
east of the house. That is Ross River Road running top to bottom at the left of the photo.

 


Photo:- via Ronald Watt

The Mango Tree lined Mango Avenue in olden days. There were over 60 mango
trees, now there are only a few left at the river end of Mango Avenue.

 


Plan:- via Ronald Watt

14 Mango Avenue is the hatched block above

 


Plan:- via Ronald Watt

Plan showing extensions to 14 Mango Avenue

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd also like to thank Ronald Watt for his assistance with this web page.

 

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Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2006

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This page first produced 14 November 2008

This page last updated 04 January 2011