EKIBIN, BRISBANE, QLD
The Ekibin Hospital was initially established by the Office of the Base Engineer, Base Section 3, USASOS, SWPA. It was capable of looking after 2,000 patients with a staff of about 600 personnel. Ekibin Hospital was bounded by Sexton St to the north, and Toohey Rd to the east. It straddled Cracknell Rd and covered parts of Effingham St., Fingal St., and Lutzow St. The nurses quarters were located south of Cracknell Road. The boiler rooms were located where the Golden Fleece Service Station was built years later. Buildings 40 feet by 10 feet were erected inside the compound which was surrounded by a high barbed wire fence. Local traffic was not permitted to travel along Cracknell Road through the hospital complex.
Ekibin Hospital was initially occupied by the 155th Station Hospital, US Army which arrived there on 28 January 1944. Once the new US Hospital was built at Holland Park they relocated to Holland Park on 30 June 1944.
The Australian Army 102 Australian General Hospital (102 AGH) occupied the Ekibin Hospital from July 1944. When the 102 Australian General Hospital (102 AGH) relocated to the Holland Park Hospital after it was vacated by the Americans, a British Navy Hospital occupied the Ekibin Hospital. It is believed that the Ekibin site may have been reoccupied by another Australia Army Hospital unit after the British Navy vacated the hospital site.
Aerial photograph showing the Ekibin Hospital directly below the Greenslopes Hospital
Oblique aerial photo of the Ekibin Hospital on 26 September 1943
Ray Roberts of the 112th Transport Company was involved in relocating the 102 AGH from Ekibin Hospital to the Holland Park Hospital after the Americans moved out of Holland Park.
Kel Garland remembered the Ekibin Hospital as being a British Naval Hospital. During his teenage years, Kel Garland knew a few of the nurses who returned to the United Kingdom a year or two after war ended. They found it very cold - fibro unlined shacks and our winter westerlies. - a little different to the UK's centrally heated stone buildings!
Kel could see the Ekibin Hospital from his parents home. Kel also watched the construction of the Greenslopes Military Hospital.
After the war, squatters occupied many of the buildings. The authorities cut off essential services in an effort to get the squatters to move on. The Queensland Housing Commission eventually utilised the buildings as a home for displaced persons. Two families were able to occupy each hut. They used the shared camp ablution facilities but cooked and slept in their own quarters.
The buildings were eventually removed in about 1955/1956 and the land was subdivided and sold.
In December 2019 I received the following history of the Kennedy families and their presence within the boundary of the Ekibin Military Hospital during WWII from Pat Raymond, daughter of Bill and Bonnie Kennedy:-
EKIBIN MILITARY HOSPITAL
William Adolph and Bionda Patricia KENNEDY moved into their new home in Fifth Avenue, Ekibin with their two young children in July 1940. In 1939 they had bought their block of land at an auction for the cost of £15. This land was situated in the County of Stanley, Parish of Yeerongpilly, City of Brisbane, being Subdivisions 94 and 95 of Portion 114 containing 32 perches. The block was covered in bush and the closest public transport (tram) was either at Chardon’s Corner, Annerley or Holland Park, both being approximately a mile from our block.
Francis James KENNEDY also bought a corner block of land opposite his brother’s which cost £30. This was on the Corner of Main St. (now Cracknell Rd.) and Fifth Avenue (now Lutzow St.). Bill was the first to build and there were no other houses on this dirt road.
Just prior to 1942, Bill and Bonnie KENNEDY received a letter from the Australian Government advising them that the Government was going to take over their house, as an American Military Hospital was going to be built at Ekibin. Their home was to become the headquarters which meant Bonnie and Bill were to move out. They were offered alternative accommodation in an unpainted weatherboard shack in the Jackson Estate at Cribb Island but, after inspecting this, Bonnie declared it wasn’t suitable for two small children and she and Bill refused to move from their home. The whole Hospital Base was later fenced in with barbed wire and huge gates were installed down at the Fingal Street entry where sentries were put on duty. The Government then advised the Kennedys that they wouldn’t allow any visitors in and that they would starve the Kennedys out if they didn’t make the move. After this threat was made, Bill went and saw the American Major and showed him the letter. He was very sympathetic and agreed that the Kennedys were no threat to the Military Hospital and gave orders to the sentries that anyone connected to the family be allowed in and out of the gates. They took some of our land on the top side of our block and put up huts which were used for nursing quarters. This was built so close to our house that if you put your hand out of the bedroom window you could ‘almost’ touch the hut. At the back they reclaimed some of our land on which toilets and bathrooms were erected. The morgue was down in Fingal St. and a recreation hut was erected two doors down from us. All the American Military and Nurses’ quarters were on our side of Cracknell Road and the hospital was on the other lower side of Cracknell Road. The 155th American Station Hospital at Ekibin was bounded by Sexton St. to the north, Toohey Rd. to the east and it straddled Cracknell Rd. (then Main St.) and covered parts of Effingham St., Fingal St. and Lutzow St. (then Fifth Avenue). The US Army also built the very large 2,000 bed hospital located on Logan Road at Holland Park.
Aerial View Ekibin Military Hospitals - The yellow circle is Frank
Kennedy’s house and the green circle is Bill Kennedy’s house
The building of Frank’s new house was allowed to take place and it too was bordered by the American Hospital. When the Americans vacated the hospital in June 1944 it was taken over by the Australian Army and it then became the 102 AGH Hospital at Ekibin. Private Beryl Agnes Usher (NFX203143), the sister of one of Bonnie Kennedy’s school friends, was a nurse working at this hospital. On her days off she would come up to our house and take me (a young baby at that stage) down to the nurses’ quarters. In the latter stage of WW2 the hospital became the British Navy Hospital after the Australians relocated. After the war ended, the huts that surrounded us and Frank on the top side of Cracknell Road were demolished or relocated, leaving a huge slab of concrete next to the top side of our block of land. This was used by us for many years as the safe place to erect our yearly bonfire when we celebrated Guy Fawkes Night. Our land which had previously been reclaimed was then handed back to us.
However, prior to any of the hospital huts on the lower side of Cracknell Rd. being relocated or demolished, by 1946 hundreds of squatters had moved into the camp and stayed there for quite a number of years, well into the 1950s. I would have started school at Weller’s Hill State School in 1949 and I recall that for a number of years there were children from the camp being in my class. There were always lots of dogs running around the camp so we were wary of walking through the camp as young children. During the war years and even afterwards, it was extremely difficult to get a phone connected to your house. As we had elderly relatives living in Frank’s house whilst he was serving in WW2, my Mum was able to get a Doctor’s certificate stating that we needed a phone because of our Great Grandfather’s ill health. We therefore were the only house around that had a phone and, after the camp people squatted, they would come up to our house to use the phone for emergencies. We also on occasions received urgent phone calls for them, and then had to relay these messages to the squatters.
I recall that the big heavy wooden gates remained on the corner of Fingal St. and Cracknell Rd. for a long period after the war ended. The hospital huts at Ekibin were identical to those used at the Holland Park Military Hospital. As they had no insulation, they would have been very hot in summer and cold in winter.
Upon the return of Frank Kennedy who had served in New Guinea during WW2, he suffered from malaria and became very ill. He was admitted to the Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital and we used to walk down to the corner of Esher St. and Toohey Rd. where there was a Pound (for cows and horses). The owners gave us permission to walk through their property, down through all the bush and gulley and up the rise until we came out at the back of Greenslopes Hospital. As there wasn’t a lot of public transport in those days and we didn’t own a car, we were all used to walking long distances.
The Ekibin Military Hospital was finally demolished C1955-56. The land that previously had housed the nurses quarters on the top side of Cracknell Rd. and up Fifth Avenue (Lutzow St.) and even further up the street than that, had War Service Homes erected in the latter part of the 1950s.
NOTE:- Researched by Pat Raymond, nee Kennedy – youngest child of Bonnie and Bill Kennedy - who grew up at Fifth Avenue, Ekibin which later became 73 Lutzow St. Ekibin.
Pat Raymond's brother, Ray Kennedy commented as follows:-
"The British Navy Hospital must have used the Ekibin Military Hospital for a period long enough for our mother, Bonnie Kennedy, to form friendships with some of the English nurses. I can recall that after the war on a number of occasions Mum would do up parcels containing non-perishable items and send them off to England to these nurses as they found that owing to the severe rationing after the war they were unable to get some essential items."
Frank Kennedy who was the
Secretary of the R.N.A for 26 years
Photo:- Barbara Hunt, daughter of Frank Kennedy
Frank Kennedy's house at 64 Lutzow Street, Tarragindi
Photo:- via Pat Raymond
An early photo (possibly 1960's) of Bill Kennedy's house at 73 Lutzow St, Ekibin, later Tarragindi
Photo:- Ray Kennedy
73 Lutzow St, Ekibin taken in 1994 when Bill Kennedy's house was sold
Bill Kennedy's house at 73 Lutzow Street, Ekibin was built in 1940. A Real Estate company purchased the house and rented it out for a few years before it was bulldozed and two low level separate brick houses (Nos. 72 and 75) were built on the block. Frank Kennedy sold his house in 1964 and built a new house at Kenmore. It is believed that Frank Kennedy's house still stands today and is the house now at 64 Lutzow Street, Tarragindi.
Photo:- Ray Kennedy
Bill & Bonnie Kennedy on steps of 73 Lutzow St
in 1994 when the house was sold
"A History of Wellers Hill, Tarragindi and Ekibin
1850 - 1976"
presented by Wellers Hill State School
I'd like to thank Kel Garland for his assistance with this home page. His father was Colonel Garland.
I'd also like to thank Pat and Frank Raymond for their assistance with this web page. Pat is the daughter of Bill and Bonnie Kennedy and niece of Frank Kennedy.
I'd also like to thank Ray Kennedy for his assistance with this web page. Ray is the son of Bill and Bonnie Kennedy and nephew of Frank Kennedy.
Can anyone help me with more information?
"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 10 December 2001
This page last updated 23 January 2020