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Construction of the Victoria Barracks in Melbourne was first started in 1855. The site is bounded by St. Kilda Road, Wadey Street, Wells Street and Coventry Street.


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Victoria Barracks


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Photo: from Julie Wurf

A very early photo of Victoria Barracks
(possibly before 1885)


Victoria Barracks in Melbourne became the Headquarters for:-

- the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) since its formation in 1911

- the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) since its formation in 1921


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Victoria Barracks


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Plaque outside the Officers' Quarters,
Southern Pavilion, Victoria Barracks 


Air Board

Allied Air Force Headquarters

Diplomatic cryptographic and intelligence section

Central War Room

Hollereith machines at Victoria Barracks

Intelligence Section, Home Forces
in "A" Block at Victoria Barracks

Office for Defence Secretariat
Including Secretary of Defence (Frederick Shedden)

No. 1 Wireless Unit (RAAF)

Office for Minister for Defence

Section RO4, Directorate of Signals Special Intelligence Bureau
Royal Australia Navy (RAN)
War Cabinet Room
Secret Signal and Cypher Group Victoria Barracks Tunnels  


There is a story there was a boat moored near Swanston Street  on the Yarra River during WW2 and in the event of an air raid, the occupants of the War Cabinet Room at Victoria Barracks would be whisked up the Yarra to a large underground bunker near Dights Falls at Abbotsford on the Yarra River.



I'd like to thank Julie Wurf and David Beech for their assistance with this web page.



"The Intrigue Master - Commander Long and Naval Intelligence in Australia, 1913 - 1945"
by Barbara Winter

"Victoria Barracks Melbourne, A Social History"
by Agnes Hannan


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"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

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 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 1 September 2002

This page last updated 25 January 2020