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Peter Brown of the St. Lucia History Group told me that General Thomas Blamey lived at 29 Ryans Road, St. Lucia during WWII.

Blamey's "Batman" and personal staff lived in a house called "Jerdanefield" which was located directly across the road. It was known as the Commander-in-Chief's Mess.

Jerdanefield was a large residence located on 7 acres, 1 rood and 10 perches of land fronting the Brisbane River and Ryans Road. The house contained dining and drawing rooms, hall and lounge, four bedrooms, kitchen, servant's room, bathroom, and pantry. It was owned by George Eddington back in 1912 and adjoined a residence owned by Dr. E.S. Jackson.


My guess is that this was the original site for "Jerdanefield", which was
located on the corner of Ryans Road and Jerdanefield Street, St. Lucia


The Senior Australian Army Officers staying at "Jerdanefield" in June 1943 were as follows:-

PA to DCGS Lieutenant Charles Leslie Pender
DDMI Colonel Kenneth Agnew Wills
DMT Brigadier Ronald Godfrey Howy Irving
D/E in C Brigadier Leonard Cuthbert Lucas
D/SO in C Brigadier Henry Herrick Edwards
Inspector Administration Colonel Lionel Henry Lemaire


The Courier Mail Saturday 1 June 1946


DR. A. J. FOOTE told the Army Compensation Board yesterday that after his St. Lucia home, which had been General Blamey's headquarters mess, was vacated a rat's nest was in his best carpet, a fowl run on the best site, and some household effects were damaged or missing.

By a consent assessment he was awarded 40, additional to 274 which had been allowed in a previous claim.

The Army Department had referred to the board a claim for compensation for physical damage to furniture and fittings at Dr. Foote's home, Ryan Road and Jerdanefield Street, St. Lucia. Dr. Foote ,had claimed 140/5/. The Hirings Committee had allowed 58/6/ and he claimed a balance of 70/19/ after some items had been deducted.

Paid 40 Month

Dr. Foote, who was discharged last week after six years in the A.I.F. said that his home was occupied by the Army from August, 1942, until February, 1945. When the Army occupied the University as L.H.Q., the C.O.C. had personally sought his home as a mess. Dr. Foote said he was paid 40 a month compensation by the Army. It was a big, old house, on the river bank, with tennis court and swimming pool.

The billiard room had been converted by the army into a kitchen and batman's quarters. The carpet had been ripped up, causing strips to be torn off it, and had been stored in the garage; he found a rat's nest in it. It would have cost 36 originally, but today would have been worth 90. It now had some second-hand value.

'Track Worn Round'

Claiming also for a lounge carpet, Dr. Foote said that apparently the billiard table had been shifted into the lounge, and by the look of the carpet a lot of billiards had been played. A track was worn round it. and it was of no value to him. Original cost would have been 24/1/. He had been allowed 22/10/ compensation. He had bought a carpet at 36 to replace it. His own Axminster to-day would cost 66.

Other items on his claim concerned linoleum used to line kitchen and pantry shelves and cup boards, brass door stops of antique design, and electric light fittings which had disappeared, and a loose carpet rug missing from the drawing-room.


Dr. Foote told his counsel (Mr. F. D. Curlewis) that on the best site, on the river bank a huge fowl run had been erected, covering a quarter-acre or more.

It had been built presumably by the batman, and was left there when the Army went. He said that he spent a month's Army leave dismantling it and cleaning up the grounds generally, and claimed 12 wages he would have had to pay an employee. He had to fill in the rear of the laundry which had been excavated for a hot water system.

Dr. Foote told Mr. K. Cronin for the Army Minister that he had signed an agreement to accept 274 in final settlement, but said he had been assured he could make a supplementary claim.

Mr. Cronin: When you rent a furnished house some depreciation must take place?

Dr. Foote: Yes but in normal circumstances you don't have people in hob-nailed boots walking on the carpet.

'Left Tacks On Floor'

Capt. A. C. Gossling, of the A.M.F. hirings section, said there was no question that the billiard room carpet had been taken up roughly and came up minus short strips where the nails had been.

'The army fellows left the tacks on the floor and took the rest of the carpet away,' he said.

Dr. Foote had signed a clearance and he had told him it would be regarded by the Hirings Committee as final, Capt. Gossling continued. Damage to the billiard-room carpet had been offset by painting work.

After discussion by the parties Mr. Cronin asked the board to make a consent assessment of 40.

Mr. G. A. Cameron, C.S.M. (chairman): As a just settlement of claim?

Mr. Cronin: Yes.

Mr. Cameron said he would send notice of the determination to the parties.

Mr. Curlewis was Instructed by Chambers, McNab, & Co.



I'd like to thank Peter Brown of the St. Lucia History Group for his assistance with this home page.

I'd also like to thank Richard Bean for his assistance with this web page.



Telephone Directory - Allied Land Forces Advanced Headquarters June 1943


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This page first produced 9 October 2005

This page last updated 25 January 2020