Colonel Frank North, the Commander of Townsville Fortress, had his offices inside Castle Hill. I was told this information by a friend whose aunty was a driver for Colonel North during WW2. Bill Stovell who was part of the Combined Operational Intelligence Centre (COIC) located inside Castle Hill at Area Command Headquarters at Green Street, West End told me that he did some work for Col. North. This included painting a coloured map on a wall for Col. North of the roads etc in the Townsville area. Bill said that Col. North's office was located at the top end of Denham Street. Is this where Local Defence Headquarters Townsville was located? Was it actually inside Castle Hill? Please e-mail me if you know more.

Colonel Frank North chaired the Local Planning Committee meetings which were held in Local Defence Headquarters Townsville. Typical attendees at those meetings in early 1944  were:-


Colonel F.R. North, Commander Townsville Fortress (Chairman)
Commodore Ross Valdar Wheatley , Naval Officer in Charge (NOIC) Townsville
Lieutenant Colonel Wilbur Rep. Comd. Base Sec 2 USA,SOS
Wing Commander Cox, Rep. AOC NEA, RAAF


Lieutenant Colonel Heward, ??? Townsville Fortress (possibly Lt-Col. Frank Lowe Heward VX133039)
Lieutenant Colonel Cannon, Area Defence Officer NEA, RAAF
Lieutenant Colonel Shrimpton, AADC Townsville Fortress
Major Pidgeon, Rep 1 Aust CRE Works


Major Keith Valentine Leighton Kesteven (QX39249), GSO Townsville Fortress (replaced Major Elliott)
Captain Erik Charles Browne (VX112197), GS II Townsville Fortress







1.    L.D.H. will be manned continuously as follows:-

        (a) During the period 0900 hrs and 1730 hrs each day, by at least one officers and two O.R.s.

        (b)  During the period 1730, and 0900 the following day, one officer and one O.R. Should the situation warrant it, both may sleep on the premises provided that the O.R. sleeps near the switchboard which will have the "NIGHT ALARM" switched on.

    The above applies to periods of non-operational activity. During periods of operational activity L.D.H. will be manned continuously by at least one officer and three O.Rs.



2. The duties of the personnel manning L.D.H. are dealt with in detail in appendices A, B, C, D & E hereto.

        They may be summarised as follows:-

            (a) The officer on duty may be instructed to act for the Commander TOWNSVILLE Fortress until such time as he is relieved of this responsibility. He will sight all incoming messages and ensure that appropriate action is taken in each case.

            As far as is possible from information available to L.D.H., the officer on duty will keep himself acquainted with the war situation, particularly as it applies to the S.W.P.A.

            (b)     (i)  The O.R. Staff of L.D.H. will be responsible for carrying out the procedure outlined in appendices hereto, and any directions which may be given by the officer on duty.

                    (ii)  A Senior N.C.O. will be appointed, and he will be responsible to the officer on duty for the discipline of L.D.H. Staff and any personnel who may be for the time being attached. This direction will apply to Officers batmen.

                         The Senior N.C.O. will be responsible for the maintenance of the filing system and general cleanliness of L.D.H. and residential quarters, and in this connection all O.R.s will take direction from him.



3.  At 1000 hrs each day the officer on duty will inspect the L.D.H. premises including the operations room, sleeping quarters of all ranks, cookhouse, latrines etc together with any quarters which might be occupied by attached personnel. During the inspection he will be accompanied by the Senior N.C.O. or in his absence a soldier appointed for this purpose. Any directions which may be given by the Senior N.C.O., or the soldier acting in that capacity, immediately at the conclusion of the inspection.



4.  No officer will visit L.D.H. except on duty, and no visitor will be admitted except on production of a pass. Exception may be made to this rule in urgent cases when telephonic instructions may be given to L.D.H. by G.S.O. 11, TOWNSVILLE Fortress. All visitors will sign the "Visitors Book" and the "Nature of Duty" column will always be completed.



5.  At 0730 hrs each day all telephone extensions will be tested and results of test entered in Log Diary.


F.R. North              

Comd. TOWNSVILLE FORTRESS.              




AWM File - AWM52 Base and Line of Communication Areas (Sub) No. 1 Line of Communication Area (New Guinea and Townsville Fortress), 1944 Appendices


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This page first produced 4 November 2009

This page last updated 06 September 2018