RAAF CENTRAL SICK QUARTERS,
THEN RAAF NO. 3 MEDICAL RECEIVING STATION (3MRS)
THEN NO. 20 MEDICAL CLEARING STATION
THEN WAAAF BARRACKS
The historic house "Currajong" on Fulham Road, in Townsville was commandeered by the military in 1942. It was used as an RAAF Medical Receiving Station.
In September 1939, the owners of "Currajong", Mr & Mrs Ferguson offered the use of their house to the Anglican Parish of St. Matthew for use as a home for refugee children being sent to Australia from London and other major English cities which were being ravaged by the German aerial bombing. Unfortunately the ship bringing the children to Australia was torpedoed by the Germans.
In early 1942, "Currajong" was commandeered by the military for use by the RAAF as a Central Sick Quarters for the Squadrons based at Garbutt airfield. The bedroom and sitting room at the rear of the house were converted to an operating theatre. The archway between the the verandah and the master bedroom was closed in and the wall between that bedroom and the second bedroom was removed. This resulted in two large wards being established either side of the hallway which were used for the dangerously ill patients.
Seriously ill patients were accommodated on the verandah which had been enclosed with flyscreens and blinds.
Nurses were accommodated in huts which were erected around the croquet green, the centre of which became a barracks square. The area was also used as a tennis court and volley ball court.
The coach house and stables at the rear of "Currajong" were used as a workshop area. New buildings were erected for use as a mess hall, ablution blocks, toilet blocks and a morgue. Tents were also erected to accommodate medical personnel. A small house at the rear of "Currajong" was used as general offices.
On 9 July 1942 "Currajong" was taken over by No. 3 Medical Receiving Station (3MRS). Wing Commander J.C. Fulton was the commanding Officer of 3MRS. Dr. S.F.M. Yeates was the Medical Officer. Evacuees from the Battle of Milne Bay were amongst the first patients received by 3MRS at "Currajong".
3MRS relocated to New Guinea in approximately October 1942 and "Currajong" reverted to its role as RAAF Central Sick Quarters.
In July 1943 Central Sick Quarters No. 20 was formed at "Currajong". This unit was later renamed as No. 20 Medical Clearing Station.
3 Medical Receiving Station (3MRS) returned to "Currajong" from New Guinea in April 1944 and merged with No. 20 Medical Clearing Station.
"Currajong" ceased being used as a hospital in October 1944.
29 Air Stores Park RAAF established its own camp area on 17 November 1944, when it started to take over the camp used by 20 Medical Receiving Station in Fulham Road, Townsville. This was probably at the historic house called "Currajong".It may have been used as a WAAAF Barracks at some stage also.
The historic building, with its wide verandahs, was relocated to a Heritage Centre at Castling Street at West End. "Currajong" was originally built in 1888 for the Australian Manager of the Joint Stock Bank, a Mr. Alfred P. MacKenzie.
"In the Shadow of Castle
by Margaret Heuschele and the William Ross State High School Year 10 Leading Learner Social Education Class
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"Australia @ War" Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 26 July 2002
This page last updated 03 September 2018