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As a young child in Townsville in the early to mid 1960's I used to occasionally explore Castle Hill and climb to the lookout at the top of the hill. I can remember an area somewhere near the rear of the West End Cemetery where there used to be some concrete slabs on some high relatively flat ground and what looked like concrete trenches. I cannot remember the exact location. It would however be in the general area of Scully and Francis Streets from my recollections.

Today at this location there are apparently some concrete steps going nowhere, eyebolts concreted into rocks and signs of both construction and some filled areas. An aerial photograph from 1952 shown no evidence of a building at that location near the "stairs to nowhere".

Were they the foundations for an old house or were they remnants of some World War 2 structures? Could they have been an entrance to an underground bunker? What were they?

Is the document below connected in some way to these slabs and "stairs to nowhere"?


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Sketch of an area near West End Cemetery near Scully and Francis Streets, West End

"P/O O'Sullivan - Please make a search of titles for allotments in Portion XCVI. Wing Commander Grant wants owners names and description frantically urgently for General Royce."


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Scully Street and this area of Francis Street
often shown unformed on most maps?


After the Japanese carried out three bombing raids on Townsville on the nights of 26, 28 and 29th July 1942, Major General Ralph Royce, North East Area Commander in Townsville sent a message to the Commander General, Allied Air Forces in Brisbane on 29 July 1942 with a proposal to relocate Area Combined HQ in Townsville to an underground location inside Castle Hill. Could it have been some unfinished works to do with the establishment of a new Area Combined Headquarters that was never completed?

I have heard stories from a couple of sources about tunnels in Townsville connecting a significant number of World War 2 sites. A local water diviner in Townsville investigated these findings and has plotted a number of underground streams that flow in fairly straight lines between a number of World War 2 sites. Guess what! He has also located a large underground watercourse running (8-10 metres wide) into the corner (Castle Hill side) of the location of these works near Scully and Ramsay Streets.


Did they ever start to build ACH inside Castle Hill?

Was it at or near Scully Street?


WWII Bunker Tour of Townsville


Area Combined Headquarters Townsville


Tunnels in Townsville used during WW2


Bunkers, Tunnels, Fortifications in Australia during WW2


WW2 Bunkers & Fortifications in the Townsville area


Utilization of semi-underground buildings as at 2 December 1943


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn OAM 2020


Please e-mail me
any information or photographs

"Australia @ War"
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This page first produced 15 October 2000

This page last updated 23 February 2020