The 4th Australian Ordnance Vehicle Park, AIF (4AOVP) was located on Kessels Road at Mount Gravatt on the south side of Brisbane not far from the Garden City shopping centre. 

This land was originally purchased by Maria Kessels in 1868. Maria and her son established a farm on the land. She sold it to Alfred Hughes on 8 March 1871. Maria's husband was Nicholas Joseph Kessels, JP who was a Councillor in the Yeerongpilly Shire.

The Vehicle Park was used to store large shipments of vehicles awaiting distribution to Australian Army units. The area was also used to carryout repairs to vehicles and reissue them to Australia Army units. The Vehicle Park would contain as many as 6,000 vehicles at any point in time. Among the vehicles stored at 4AOVP were Jeeps, General Service Trucks and Amphibious Jeeps.

The Vehicle Park was also used to store vehicles that had been written off. The vehicles would be stripped and the parts classified into three categories:-

1. Salvage

2. Parts reclaimable by repair

3. Serviceable parts

One of the Officers from 4AOVP Headquarters was Captain N.S. Morgan (NX103716).

If you do a search for the phrase "Mount Gravatt" on the Australian War Memorial Photograph Database home page you will see a number of photos of vehicles, etc taken at 4AOVP at Kessels Road, Mount Gravatt on 5 November 1943. The photos were donated by Lieutenant Ronald Noel Keam who passed away on 16 March 1993.



The following story on 4AOVP was kindly given to me by David Robinson:-

Sometime ago, a wartime photograph of military vehicles  appeared in "Wheels and Tracks" magazine number 31 (page 1). Nothing unusual in that but what captured my attention was that it depicted British-style trucks in an Australian Army vehicle park.

Even more interesting, the caption said that the photograph had been taken in the Brisbane suburb of Mt. Gravatt. I knew there had been a garrison detachment in the area during the war but they mostly manned observation posts on the top of Mt. Gravatt. I had never heard of a vehicle park in the area before.

Recently, while engaged in some other research, I came across the original army plans for all of the war-time bases in Queensland. Included in these were two plans of a substantial  vehicle park at Upper Mt.Gravatt. The site occupied approximately 50 acres on the northern side of Kessels Road between Mains Road and the creek. Apart from the workshop buildings, large parking areas were set aside for different categories of vehicles. Some awaited servicing and minor repairs while others needing major repairs were stored in their own area. Those too badly damaged to be repaired were dumped in the "sentenced" vehicle area to be reduced to components or scrap metal. There was a separate motor cycle assembly and repair compound and a convoy formation area.

Base personnel were housed in a separate camp across Mains Road in what is now the QE2/ANZ Sports Centre. On the first plan, dated November 1943, the installation was described as 3 Australian Advanced Ordnance Depot (Motor Vehicle Park). Three months later in January 1944, some further buildings had been erected and it was designated as 4 Australian Ordnance Vehicle Park.

Judging from the number of workshop buildings and servicing areas, this installation must have serviced and overhauled many Army vehicles during the war. Large vehicle convoys would have passed through the western gate onto Mains Road on their way to join their units.

After the war, the land reverted to its owners from whom it had been leased. The main workshop buildings have been demolished to make way for later commercial development. One igloo building is still used by a garden centre and the other two large igloo buildings act as warehouses for Hudson's Timber & Hardware (formerly Brett's Hardware) but for how much longer is uncertain. Soon 4 AOVP will be just another memory of wartime Brisbane.


Garden Centre on Kessels Road



Hudson Timber and Hardware now a trampoline place


Yet another igloo in this area off Kessels Road






The following photographs were given to me by Arthur Stafford (stafford@powerup.com.au). The photos belonged to his wife's Aunty, Rosaline MAGURREN who was in the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) at 4AOVP at Mount Gravatt in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Rosaline married Benjamin SHEPHERD who was in a Commando Unit.


Can anyone please confirm what 4 AOVP AWAS stands for
and where their huts were located in Mount Gravatt?


Commando Unit that Ben SHEPHERD belonged to. He is 7th from the
left at the rear and appears to have a swagger stick under his arm




4AOVP AWAS Coy Mt Gravatt - Dec 1945


Dulcie DUCQUIT (?), Rose ANDREWS 4AOVP - Oct 1945


Love from the kids. Grace


Mavis with jeep we tried to drive upside down Mt Gravatt - Oct 1945


No hopers Hut - 20 May 1944. Plonay JONES, Tim WALL,
Doug BYRON, The Pig, Me, Big Joe, Tommy POOLE, Harry BECKET


Shirley HALL, Rosaline MAGURREN AWAS
Barracks 4AOVP Mt. Gravatt - Aug 1945


Shirley HALL, Kath RIORDAN, Rosaline MAGURREN 4AOVP Mt Gravatt - Aug 1945


Shirley and Rosaline MAGURREAN on bike, Rose ANDREWS in jeep
and Ned and Molly HAZEL at shed door 4AOVP Mt Gravatt - Aug 1945


AWAS Barracks 4AOVP Mt Gravatt - Aug 1945 Dulcie DUEQUET (?),
 Nina HALE, Kath MANNING, and Heather MUNRO


B Coy 4AOVP Mt Gravtt Aug 1945 Kath RIORDAN,
Rosa ANDREWS, Kath ROWE, Rosaline


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn OAM 2020


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This page first produced 3 January 2000

This page last updated 01 September 2022