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Colonel Frank North


Colonel Frank North, the Commanding Officer of No. 1 Line of Communication, Sub Area Townsville, established his new Headquarters with a skeleton staff at the top end of Denham Street in Townsville on 19 April 1942.

Colonel Francis Roger North (or Frank North) was the Commander of "TOWNFORCE" (L of C and Base Units Gp) which was one of the 3 Military Forces responsible for the Defence of Townsville during 1942.

He was also the Commander of Townsville Fortress and chaired the Local Planning Committee meetings which were held in Local Defence Headquarters Townsville.

"TOWNFORCE" comprised all Australian units in TOWNSVILLE area other than those on the Order of Battle for the 5 Australian Division. The other two Military Forces responsible for the Defence of Townsville were "MONFORCE" and "CHUNDAFORCE".

Colonel North had his offices inside Castle Hill. I was told this information by a friend whose aunty was a driver for Colonel North during WWII. Bill Stovell who was part of the Combined Operational Intelligence Centre (COIC) located inside Castle Hill at Area Command Headquarters at Green Street, West End told me that he did some work for Col. North. This included painting a coloured map on a wall for Col. North of the roads etc in the Townsville area. Bill said that Col. North's office was located at the top end of Denham Street.

After the war, Colonel F.R. North was one of the founding partners of a well known firm of solicitors in Townsville called "Roberts, Lu & North". When Colonel North's established his new Headquarters for No. 1 L of C, Sub Area Townsville at the top end of Denham Street, a Major Douglas Arthur Suthers (QX48791) from Headquarters 11th Australian Infantry Brigade Group was attached for local administrative experience. This is most likely the same D.A. Suthers of Connolly Suthers Lawyers from 1951 to 1973.

In October 1943, Colonel F.R. North and Wing Commander T.L. Baillieu DFC, welcomed Her Excellency Lady Gowrie (Honorary Air Commodore, WAAAF) to Townsville. Lady Gowrie arrived in a  Lockheed Hudson VIP aircraft. Lady Gowrie, the wife of the Governor-General, was accompanied by her two aides, Lieutenant T. Long AWAS and Squadron Officer M.F. Miller, Deputy Director of WAAAF. They were on a northern tour of inspection.

Famous Australian operatic star, Miss Marjorie Lawrence entertained the troops during a show at the Wintergarden theatre in Townsville. She was introduced to Colonel F.R. North, Commander 1 Australian Lines of Communication Sub Area and his wife after the show. Miss Lawrence was also introduced to Lieutenant Kelly, Captain Miles, and Mr. Lock.

Colonel Francis Roger North (QX50080) and his wife Margaret May North lived at 38 Fulham Road, Pimlico. There is an old colour film available online which belonged to Frank North and it has the address 9 Cleveland Terrace at the start. Could he have lived there as well at some stage?


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Defence of Townsville during WW2


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This page first produced 10 April 2001

This page last updated 22 February 2020