ADVANCED LAND HEADQUARTERS
ALLIED LAND FORCES, SOUTH WEST PACIFIC AREA
QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY,
ST. LUCIA, BRISBANE, QLD

hline.gif (2424 bytes)

visits since 6 December 2001

General (later Field Marshall) Sir Thomas Blamey, was based at his Advanced Land Headquarters in the Forgan Smith Building at the Queensland University at St. Lucia in Brisbane from 1 August 1942 to 31 December 1944 during World War 2. His Land Headquarters (LHQ) had earlier been established in Melbourne and remained there after the establishment of his Advanced LHQ at St. Lucia. 

Advanced Land Headquarters
The Forgan Smith Building

 

alhq10.jpg (35914 bytes) alhq12.jpg (31160 bytes)

The Forgan Smith building was almost completed when General Blamey took it over for his Advanced Land Headquarters at 0900 hours on 1 August 1942. After the building was vacated by the Army in December 1944, final construction of the Forgan Smith building recommenced.

Blamey was Commander-in-Chief, Australian Military Forces (AMF) and also had the role of Commander, Allied Land Forces. This latter role saw him in Charge of not only Australian but also American troops based in Australia. 

General Blamey initially lived in a house in Macquarie Street, St Lucia and then he mostly lived at 29 Ryans Road, St Lucia during WWII.

When the Forgan Smith Building was being refurbished in 1989, it was found that Seminar Room W343 had been heavily sound-proofed, possibly during World War II. It was more than likely Blamey's operations room. Room W343 is now used for the Corrs Chambers Westgarth Dispute Management Centre. 

Early information that I received had suggested that Field Marshal Blamey used Room W306, as his own office. This was not correct. Room 306 had 6 concrete reinforced walls and was referred to as the map room during WWII.

Professor Clive Moore advised me that the Telephone Directory - Allied Land Forces Advanced Headquarters June 1943 shows General Blamey's room as Room A102, Extension 201. This is now known as Room 340. General Blamey's two PA's, Major Norman Dean Carlyon and Major Daniel Horwood Dwyer were both located in Room A104 along with Sergeant Alma Minna  O'Halloran (AWAS) Blamey's Confidential Clerk.

The following Brisbane WWII Military Telephone Directories do not show Blamey's Room Number but give his telephone extension number as follows:-

 

Brisbane Military Telephone Directory December 1942 October 1943 May 1944 February 1945
General Sir Thomas Blamey St. Lucia Ext 201 F-31 Ext 201 F-31 Ext 20? (unreadable)

Note:- Commander General Staff, Gen Northcutt is shown as being on F-31 Ext 201)

F-32 Ext 205
PA - Lt Gen J. Northcutt St Lucia Ext 262 - - -
PA - Major N. D. Carlyon St Lucia Ext 305 F-31 Ext 305 F-31 Ext 305 -
PA - Major D. H Dwyer

-

F-31 Ext 305 F-31 Ext 305 -
PA - Major A. J. M. Shepherd - - - F-32 Ext 204 & 205

So it would appear Blamey's extension number changed from 201 to 205 by possibly 1944, which may mean that he changed rooms or the fact that the telephone exchange changed from F-31 to F-32 may have something to do with the change in extension numbers (rather than a room change). Can anyone help with this issue?

The June 1943 Telephone Directory for ALFAHQ also shows that Blamey's residence was at Ryan Road in St Lucia. This entry should have been Ryans Rd (with an "s").

During late 1944, the Royal Signals No.4 Ship Signal Section of the British Army were involved in communications work in the Forgan Smith building at Queensland University. The site was known to the British as St. Lucia College.

The Military Signals Unit, 24 Lines of Communication (24 L of C) was located nearby at Long Pocket, adjoining to the Indooroopilly Golf Course. An AWAS Camp (24 L of C) was located nearby and would now be part of St. Peter's Lutheran College grounds. AWAS from this camp were attached to the Military Signals Unit and manned teleprinters at Advanced Land Headquarters, where important signals were sent and received from units in the war zones.

 

A function at Advanced LHQ Mess at St. Lucia, Brisbane in 1943.

L to R: Lady Blamey, Col. Moorehouse, Ge, Douglas MacArthur,
 Lt. Col. Dan Dwyer, Mrs. MacArthur, General Blamey

 

A Party for the Intelligence Staff at Advanced LHQ, St. Lucia, Brisbane in August 1942 

L - R: Chef, Cpl. Lois McDonald, WO2 Don Hall, Brig. John Chapman,
Cpl. Elinor Mason, Brig. John Rogers, Cpl. Betty Fraser, Maj. Phil Sadler

 

alhq04.jpg (21047 bytes) Room W306, which is accessed via room W307. Room W306 had 6" reinforced concrete walls and was known as the Map Room during WWII.
alhq05.jpg (112260 bytes) Map revision in the Battle Room in 1943

Was this in Room W343? Or was W343 used for Signal Intelligence?

alhq06.jpg (46801 bytes) Aerial view of the Forgan Smith building
alhq09.jpg (63247 bytes) Aerial view of the Forgan Smith building
alhq07.jpg (43488 bytes) AWAS marching past the Forgan Smith building
alhq08.jpg (39023 bytes) Mobile Cinema Units September 1943
alhq11.jpg (50373 bytes)

Plaque in the main foyer of the Forgan Smith building that mentions the buildings connection to WW2.

 

Units attached to Allied Land Forces HQ at St. Lucia in 1942 were:-

COMMANDER IN CHIEF:
        Gen. Sir Thomas Blamey
    P.A. to C. in C.
        Lt. Gen. J. Northcutt
        Major N.D. Carlyon
    D.C.G.S.:
        Capt. Porter
    A.G.:
        Col. Adm. Staff:
            Col. R.L. Bennett

ADMINISTRATION:
    DA & QMG
        Maj. Gen. J.A. Chapman
    Liaison Officers:
        Lt. Col. N.H. Whitfield
        Major C.J. Arnold
        Major C.R. Bird
    Local Administration:-
        Camp Commandant
            Major D.H. Dwyer

ARTILLERY:
    G-1
        Lt. Col. Anderson
        Capt. J.L. Barton

ENGINEERS:-
    D/E. in C.
        Brig. L.C. Lucas
        Major W.S. Cantello

INTELLIGENCE
    B.G.S.
        Col. J.D. Rogers

INQUIRY DESK

MEDICAL
    A.D.M.G.S.:
        Col. A.L. Dawkins
        Capt. Ratcliffe

OPERATIONS:
    B.G.S. (O)
        Col. C.W. White
    Liaison Officers
        Col. P.L. Thomas
        Col. H.C. Brown
        Major J.B.F. Dice
        Major A.E. Sandover

ORDNANCE:
    D.D.O.S.:
        Col. C.A. Stinson

QUARTERMASTER:
    Q.M.G.:
        Col. Adm. Staff, Q.
            Col. S.F. Legge
            Lt. Col. D.A. Parsons
            Major J. Karns

SD and TRG:
   
Col. G.S.
        Col. T.W. White

SIGNALS:
    D/S. in C.:
        Brig. H.H. Edwards

SUPPLY AND TRANSPORT:
    D.D.S.T.
        Col. C.C. Easterbrook
        Major A.E. Allen
        Major J.L. La Plastrier

 

In May 1944 the following personnel were based at Advanced Land Headquarters at St. Lucia:-

ADVANCED HEADQUARTERS

COMMANDER IN CHIEF:

General Sir Thomas Blamey
    MA to C in C.:
        Major N.D. Carlyon
    BA to C. in C.:
        Major D.H. Dwyer

GENERAL STAFF:

CGS:
    Lt. Gen. J. Northcott
        PA to CGS Major C.G. Hall

BGS:
    Brig. L. DeL. Barham
        Confidential Clerk - Lt. O'Halloran

OPERATIONS:
    GSO I:
        Lt. Col. G.A. Bertram

INTELLIGENCE:
    DMI:
        Brig. J.D. Rogers
            GSO I (Coord)
            GSO I (Ia):
                Lt. Col. R.R. Lewis

STAFF DUTIES
    GSO I:
        Lt. Col. H.K. Oxley
        Lt. Col. S.T.G. Coleman
    OC Registry - Lt. R.F. Macgugan

TRAINING:
DMT:
        Brig. R.G.H. Irving
GSO I:
        Lt. Col. J.W. Balfe
Operations Report Section:
    GSO I:
        Lt. Col. R.W. Ogle

ATTACHED TO GENERAL STAFF:

ARTILLERY:
    SO Arty - Lt. Col. F.R. Evans

ENGINEERS
    DE in C - Brig. L.C. Lucas
        DDRAE

SURVEY
    D Svy - Col. L. Fitzgerald

SIGNALS
    DSO in C - Brig. H.H. Edwards
        SO Sigs - Lt. Col. E.F. Little

DUTY OFFICER

DEPUTY ADJUTANT AND QUARTERMASTER GENERAL:
    Major Ge. J.A. Chapman
        Staff Capt. (DA & QMG):
            Capt. A. Newton
        Liaison Officer:
            Lt. Col. N.H. Whitfield

ADJUTANT GENERAL'S BRANCH:
    Col. Adm. Staff "A"
        Col. R.L. Bennett

QUARTERMASTER GENERAL'S BRANCH:
    Col. Adm. Staff "Q":
        Col. E.E. Grant
            AQMG (Movements) - Lt. Col. A. Grant
            AQMG (Maintenance) - Lt. Col. P.A. Parsons

SERVICES:
    Medical:
        ADGMS - Col. N.H. Saxby
    Supplies and Transport
        DDST - Col. A.J. Stewart
    Ordnance:
        DDOS - Col. R.R. Speckman
    Electrical and Mechanical Engineering:
        DDME - Col. J. Sandes

CHINESE MILITARY MISSION:
    Liaison Officer:
        Lt. Nan-Yu-Lu

ADV LHQ SIGNALS:
CO:
    Lt. Col. S.J. Greville

COMMAND GROUP:
    Chief Signalmaster - Capt: T. Law
    Duty Signalmaster:

CIPHERS:
    OC Cipher Section - Capt. W. Forsyth
    Duty Cipher Officer

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"Winning with Intelligence - A Biography of Brigadier John David Rogers, CBE, MC 1895 - 1978"
by Judy Thomson

"The Forgan Smith: History of a Building and its People", 2010, POD UQ
by C. Moore

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Peter Brown of the St. Lucia History Group for advising me that Blamey's main WWII residence was located at 29 Ryans Rd.

 

In Association with Amazon.com

Heaps of WW2
books available at
Amazon.com

                         "Australia @ War"
                         

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2004

Disclaimer

Click here to E-Mail me
any information or photographs


 Australia @ War
Available on CD-Rom

Peter Dunn's
explode.gif (15799 bytes) AUSTRALIA @ WAR explode.gif (15799 bytes)
WWW.OZATWAR.COM


Do you need a holiday!
Sun, surf, beautiful beaches and lots more!


  Genealogy Software
190 Mbytes of Genealogy Indexes & Programs

This page first produced 25 November 2001

This page last updated 11 October 2011