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Two 6.0" guns mounted were installed at Fort Wallace at Stockton near Newcastle in 1913 to cover harbour and beaches in the Newcastle area. Prior to the outbreak of WW2 the 6.0" guns had been replaced by two 9.2-inch guns. The 6-inch guns were relocated to Rabaul in 1941. The other main fortification in the Newcastle area was at Fort Scratchley located on a hill overlooking the mouth of the Hunter River.


Bunker of some description in the overgrowth at Fort Wallace 9 Dec 2003
Possibly the underground Plotting Room described in Norma Johns' sketch below


Close-up of ventilators on bunker at Fort Wallace


Photo:- Andrew Dunstall September 2017

A more recent photo after the undergrowth had been mostly removed


Today Fort Wallace is used as a Royal Australian Navy Accommodation facility.


Sign on the immediate southern boundary of Fort Wallace.

It reads as follows:-

Newcastle City Council - Dangerous Surfing Area - Tank Traps - Submerged Objects.


Photo:- Michelle Griggs, a Stockton resident

WWII Tank traps revealed following high seas off the east coast of Australia in May 2020


Sergent Ken Ward was stationed at Fort Wallace and Fort Scratchley in 1943 with 33rd Fortress Engineers. Ken eventually received his commission there as a Lieutenant. Ken served in the Fortress Engineers from Hobart (Fort Direction), Port Kembla, Cape Banks (Botany Bay), South Head and North Head also at Fort Cowan Cowan and Fort Lytton. He finished as Chief Engineer 11th Aust. Small Ships Coy. (Army Water Transport, Borneo and Celebes). 

Ken said that the generators for the searchlights were 4 cylinder diesel and the searchlight on the end of the breakwater was an American searchlight powered by a petrol motor generator. Ken mentioned the Fort Redhead and Fort Tomaree. Ken said that he missed the Japanese shelling of Newcastle but saw the Zara St Power House minus a few bricks on the top of the wall caused by misdirected Anti-aircraft gunfire.


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Photo: - via Norma Johns (nee Robson)

Photos of some AWAS at Fort Wallace outside of
Hut 2. Norma Robson is at far right in the front row.


Norma Johns (nee Robson) does not know the girls in the above photograph. She said "They where in another hut-and always seemed to be going and coming out like tired Rabbitts."


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Sketch of Fort Wallace during WW2
by Norma Johns (nee Robson)


Norma Robson was an instrument operator, and she later moved upstairs watching for enemy ships and using search lights by remote control.

Norma told me that she was not attached to a unit as far as she can remember. Her address was just Gnr Robson, Royal Australian Artillery, Fort Wallace, Stockton. The code name for the battery was "SAND", and the code name for Fort Scratchley was "SPIT". The Plotting room was under a hill not far from the huts and road. See photo of bunker above. 

Norma always thought they had two 9.2 guns. She did not know where the men's barracks were. She said there were only a few older guys there. They had 303 rifles etc. After the above photograph of the AWAS was taken Norma left Fort Wallace and was sent to Electrical and Mechanical Engineers at Ingleburn and became a Sapper.



I'd like to thank Mark Scully for his assistance with this home page. Mark has training film for 9.2" guns and video (converted from 8mm film) of 6" guns being fired in the 1960's). I'd also like to thank John Groves and Ken Ward for their assistance with this home page.

I'd also like to thank Norma Johns (Nee Robson) for her assistance with this home page. Norma Robson was a gunner at Fort Wallace during WW2.

I'd also like to thank Andrew Dunstall for his assistance with this web page.



"Large waves reveal Stockton Beach's military history" by ABC Newcastle

"Fort Wallace Stockton Underground Tunnel System World War I World War II Abandoned Fort" 


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 25 March 2003

This page last updated 23 May 2021