E-MAILS FROM TERRY GALLAWAY

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visits since 27 January 2001

 

Subject:    Roseneath Bunker
Date:             Sun, 2 Apr 2000 10:59:16 +1000
From:           Terry Gallaway <tgallaway@skynews.com.au>

Greetings,

Very interested to see your site with particular reference to the Mt Louisa bunker.

My family owns the Roseneath building which you may be familiar with, the concrete structure that during the war housed, I believe, radio transmitters. I have little other information about it, but there was a photograph of the building (where I lived during my teenage years) in a publication to commemorate the Coral Sea Battle anniversary.

My late father was a signaller during the war, and, I believe, helped in the construction of the radio facilities at this site.

He later served as a coastwatcher on Murray Island.

Another wartime bunker stands about half a mile further towards Townsville on the other side of the road, half buried in the side of the hill. (This is possibly 3 Fighter Sector HQ)

If you have any photographs of the Roseneath site I would be extremely interested to see them.

I lived in Townsville between 1954 and 1963, went to Our Lady's Mount College and began my working life as an apprentice at the old Townsville Bulletin.

My brother still lives there (at Alligator Creek).

Hoping to hear from you soon.

Terry Gallaway

 


 

Subject:    Roseneath Bunker
Date:             Mon, 3 Apr 2000 05:09:30 +1000
From:           Terry Gallaway <tgallaway@skynews.com.au>

Gidday again,

Re Mt Louisa bunkers: I have no knowledge of them really. in 1962-64 I was a member of the Townsville Motorcycle Club that at that time ran a dirt track circuit (Lang Park, named after Whacky Lang the owner of Lang's Hotel) at the base of Mt Louisa. The track was carved out of the bitumen of the old airfield runways. My understanding that that whole area from Garbutt was part of a giant aircraft repair facility where aircraft shot up in combat rolled through an assembly line procedure before being returned to active duty. There were a number of concrete floors through that area typical of hangar construction.

Re Roseneath: the house is most definitely still standing. In your picture the verandah and stairs are fake, camouflage to make the building look like a farmhouse (Note:- I think the photo of the painted farmhouse is a different bunker. The one belonging to No. 1 Wireless Unit - Peter Dunn).

When we moved in (1955) it had been abandoned for years, with squatters sometimes living in it. My father bought it from Clive Armati who ran a pharmacy along with his fatrher in Flinders Street. It was painted "military" green, the exterior walls are 18 inch reinforced concrete, the interior walls are 9 inch reinforced concrete (this I know definitely from experience as my father and I punched a hole through one of the interior walls to make a doorway connecting an isolated room on the side to the remainder of the house (backbreaking work).The roof was flat, also 9 inches of reinforced concrete. My father also built a second storey of besser block, and a verandah around two sides.

Re its construction: Dad told me of carting concrete and other materials to the site with construction teams being in Alligator Creek and Oonoomba camps. That's about as much as I know.

Re Mt Stuart bunker (Probably 3 Fighter Sector HQ): about half a mile towards Townsville from Roseneath (just past the Mt Stuart access road), on the other side of the road, there is a concrete bunker built into the side of the hill. As a youngster we explored it fully. It appears to have been a base for machinery or generators, with raised sections of the floor that appeared to be engine mounts. About two thirds of the building was underground, with only the front section visible from the road. Again it featured massive concrete exterior walls, and bomb proof doorways. There was a roadway running north towards Mt Stuart from just west of that site, gravel construction and at that time (1955) badly washed away and overgrown with China Apple.. I was told at the time it had been built by the Americans to access a signalling station on Mt Stuart.

General: as kids we wandered all through that area around Roseneath and Stuart. Always fascinated to find evidence of military establishments:

concrete hangar floors, dumps of old army clothing and equipment, mostly rotted away. At the time I collected quite a few "Rising Suns", tunic buttons and other badges and colour patches (Lord knows where they'd be now). Later on with the motorcycle club I rode on an airfield strip at Majors Creek and another at Antil Plains.

Hope all this is of interest to you if not a help with your researches.

Somewhere in my "junk" I have photographs of Townsville (and Roseneath) taken in the 60s and 70s. I will try to dig them oput and send them to you.

All the best

Terry Gallaway

 

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This page first produced 27 January 2001

This page last updated 04 April 2002