There were many Air Raid Shelters built around Brisbane during WW2. The Brisbane City Council built many Air Raid Shelters for public use, but many local residents built their own air raid shelters. Many consisted of just a slit trench hand dug in the back yard, some possibly covered with a sheet of iron. Others were more elaborate, with some being fairly solidly made from concrete.


A substantial private Air Raid Shelter at 70 Cracknell Rd, Annerley


I was originally told that a lady called Elizabeth Minnie Ford owned the house on the corner of Cracknell Road and Juster Street, Annerley during WWII and built the fairly elaborate twin entrance air raid shelter in her back yard. I have since learnt from Julie Houston that the owner was actually her relative Olive Ford (possibly Gretrude Olive Ford) whose husband was called Francis. They owned and ran a sawmill / hardware shop in Annerley. A Brims family lived at that house at one stage and there was still a Brim's Sawmill at Moorooka in 1942. There was also a Brim's Ply at Yeronga and a Brim's Sawmill at Yerongpilly owned by a Francis William Brims possibly trading under the name D.G. Brims and Son Pty Ltd.

The air raid shelter is about 8 feet deep and currently has a canvas bed in it. Elizabeth Ford died and was buried on 6 January 1944.

In late January 2018 Mick Torley posted some more photos of this air raid shelter on Facebook. I contacted Mick and obtained permission to place his photos on this web page (see photos below). Mick advised that the air raid shelter was very professionally made. It had no concrete cancer. It had its own drainage system to prevent it flooding during rain. Mick believes it is about 4 metres and 2 metres.

Mick Torley advised that the house on the block has demolition approval despite the many objections received. Approval was gained to build 3 to 4 townhouses, again despite the many objections received. The latest proposal is that they want to reconfigure the two blocks into three and sell the blocks only. Brisbane City Council Heritage section appears to be disinterested in preserving this historic air raid shelter.

UPDATE 15 Feb 2019:- Unfortunately demolition crews demolished the house and air raid shelter on the corner of Cracknell Road and Juster Street on the afternoon of 14 February 2019 (Valentines Day!).


Photo:- Mick Torley

One of the two entrances to the substantial private air raid shelter


Photo:- Mick Torley

Canvas bed inside the air raid shelter


Photo:- Mick Torley

Looking towards one of the entrances


Photo:- Mick Torley

Inside the air raid shelter


Air Raid Shelters in Brisbane



I'd like to thank Daryl Waters, General Manager of DiveTek for his assistance with this home page. Daryl once lived in this house many years ago.

I'd also like to thank Julie Houston and Mick Torley for their assistance with this web page.


Can anyone tell me where there are more
of these structures still standing in Brisbane?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn 2015


Please e-mail me
any information or photographs

"Australia @ War"
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This page first produced 24 December 2003

This page last updated 04 March 2020