SEMI-FORTIFIED STONE BUILDINGS
AT WEST END, TOWNSVILLE
POSSIBLY USED BY THE MILITARY DURING WW2
OR WAS IT MUCH EARLIER!!
In late October 2001, while on a 9 day holiday in Townsville I decided to explore the slopes of Castle Hill in the West End area. I trudged all over the place and on my way back to the car I caught a glimpse of a strange stone wall out of the corner of my eye. On closer examination it was quite a high stone wall with slotted window openings. The stones in the wall were all held together with cement. I then noticed some more stone buildings and then even more. They were everywhere. Some large, some quite small. They were very difficult to see amongst the overgrown grass and small trees.
They appear to be of military origin with entry ways that immediately turn at right angles upon entry, to minimise direct entry of gunfire into the rooms. They have no evidence of any roofs. The highest of the buildings in the gully, a small building, had some names written in the concrete on the top of the wall. I was in a hurry and was not able to decipher what they said.
The owner of the house adjacent to these buildings told me that he had found a number of wine bottles and some communications cable at the rear of their house when they were putting in their swimming pool. The wine bottles may suggest the presence of Officers. The communications cable was paper insulated and had about 56 copper cores in it. It was heading around the slope of hill rather than heading downhill.
Was this building use during WW2? Or was it used during WW1 or maybe even before the turn of the century? The stone buildings are evident on 1938 aerial photography of the area.
Are these pre Federation buildings as part of the defence against Russian attack? Maybe the buildings were built by the Volunteer Garrison Artillery as part of their string of defensive locations. Or are they an outpost of Fort Kissing Point? Are they associated with the famous Kennedy Regiment which was based in Townsville. Or are they one of the many other pre Federation Queensland Defence Forces that existed in the Townsville area? Or are they some sort of explosive magazines?
short piece of the Communications cable
The 31st Battalion "moved from Denham St. to the house mentioned by Loftus Dun, in Church St, up against Castle Hill. The signallers had built a bunker into the Hill, with quite big logs - at least 18" in diameter. I doubt that a direct hit would have done much damage, because the logs on the roof were huge and covered with dirt. While we were in the HQ at Church St, at West End, the signallers operated there all the time". Could this be the connection with the stone buildings and the communications cable?
I know that the 31st Battalion was located at Townsville West on 14 May 1942.
Rod Burgess from Townsville told me that a person named McVeigh has his name written in some concrete at this location at West End. Rod advised that the name McVeigh also appears on some cement at the Pallarenda Battery.
Can anyone help me
with more information
on these semi-fortified stone buildings?
I'd like to thank Peter Beesley, Russell Wylie, Barbra De Bono, Mark Allen, Rod Burgess and Kevin Parkes for their assistance with this home page.
© Peter Dunn 2006
This page first produced 3 November 2001
This page last updated 05 September 2013