The US Army established Camp Whinstanes just off Eagle Farm Road (now Kingsford Smith Drive), Whinstanes (now Hamilton) in Brisbane, Queensland during WWII. It was located between College Street and Alison Street, Whinstanes. There may have been a Motor Pool located at the site as well.
Photo: - via Bill Bentson
The entrance to Camp Whinstanes
The land that the Americans established their camp on was a Catholic Boys Boarding College possibly known as Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Convent Whinstanes or Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College for Boys Whinstanes (O.L.S.H. Whinstanes). It was run by the Roman Catholic Sacred Heart Sisters who had purchased the original Whinstanes property in 1925 after the death of Mr. A.B. Webster who had purchased and built the magnificent house called Whinstanes in the 1880's.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College for Boys at Whinstanes was ordered closed due to its closeness to some petrol storage areas near the Brisbane River. The College was run by the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. The students were evacuated to two rented properties in Toowoomba. "Maranoa" a former guest house was used as accommodation and "Sonnenberg" a nearby house, was used as classrooms. In late 1942, the school was relocated to "Lyndon" which was a few blocks away. After the war the sisters stayed permanently in Toowoomba and the school at Whinstanes was sold to the Augustinian Fathers.
Photo:- State Library of Queensland Negative No:- 74356
"Whinstanes" original residence of Mr. A.B. Webster in 1931
Photo:- State Library of Queensland Negative No:- 168730
The original Whinstanes homestead
Prisoners were apparently initially held temporarily at Camp Whinstanes during WWII. I assume these may have been American prisoners as there was a Prison Stockade established nearby on Eagle Farm Road which became known as Camp La Fayette.
Headquarters, the Medical Detachment and Company "B" of the 738th Military Police Battalion took over Camp Whinstanes on 24 December 1942. On 25 October 1942, Company "C" of the 738th Military Police Battalion took over Camp Lafayette, the Stockade for Base Section 3 in Brisbane, where it stayed until rejoining Headquarters, the Medical Detachment and Company "B" at nearby Camp Whinstanes on 7 January 1943. Company "C" whilst at Camp Lafayette operated the stockade and provided prison guards for the stockade. When they relocated to Camp Whinstanes they joined Company "B" is its duties as wharf guards and on M.P. Patrol in South Brisbane and Ipswich. Battalion Guard Detachments were also sent to the 105th General Hospital at Gatton, Headquarters of the Sixth Army at Camp Columbia, and some units and some individuals served in Toowoomba, Coolangatta and Southport and on trains between Sydney and Brisbane and trains going north from Brisbane and at various railheads in Queensland. Six months later Company "A" (from Northern Territory and Mt Isa) and Company "D" (from Sydney) arrived at Camp Whinstanes on 9 July 1943 and 11 July 1943 respectively.
Chuck Morton advised that records he had obtained showed that SSgt. Shook of Company C of the 738th MP Battalion was based at the prison stockade at Camp Lafayette and had his barracks at nearby Camp Whinstanes in 1942 and 1943. Glenn, as he was known, arrived in Australia in July 1942 and stayed in Australia for a year before being sent to New Guinea. He was later killed in action on 20 October 1944 at Red Beach during the invasion of Leyte, P.I. His death and burial were front page news in the regional and local newspapers in his hometown.
Grave of S/Sgt Glenn G. Shook
The Boarding School was bounded by College St., Eagle Farm Rd, Alison St. and Hilda St. The school was vacated as the buildings were required by the Americans.
After the war the property was sold to the Augustinian Fathers who then conducted Villanova College on the site from 1948 until 1953 when it moved to its new location at Coorparoo. The Augustinian Fathers then sold the property to a developer who demolished the buildings including the magnificent original Whinstanes residence and erected factories.
June Greaves and her twin sister were 8 years old when the Americans arrived in Brisbane 1942. They lived on the corner of Alison Street and Hilda Street, Whinstanes (eastern side of Alison St). June told me on the 25 September 2010 that she remembers the Americans giving lollies to her and her sister.
Photo:- Via June Greaves
June Greaves standing on the front verandah of their house in Alison Street
Camp Whinstanes at Eagle Farm, Brisbane can be seen at the lower left to centre of the above photo
Camp Whinstanes is located near lower left of centre of the above 1944 photograph
I'd like to thank Bill Bentson for his assistance with this home page.
I'd also like to thank June Greaves and Chuck Morton for their assistance with this web page.
Can anyone help me with more information?
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 6 September 2004
This page last updated 24 February 2020