During late 1944, the Royal Signals No.4 Ship Signal Section of the British Army were involved in communications work in the Forgan Smith building at Queensland University. The site was known to the British as St. Lucia College. It was the site for General Blamey's Advanced Land HQ.

No. 4 Ship Signal Section had earlier been involved in Combined Operations Duties aboard HMS Lothian in the Pacific Ocean. It was one of many detachments of Army signallers employed on board Her Majesty's ships for communications during amphibious warfare. This also included postings onboard logistic supply vessels. The formation of Lord Louis Mountbatten's Combined Operations HQ in 1942 saw the establishment of a number of these units serving on ships such as HMS Bulolo, HMS Hilary, HMS Largs and HMS Lothian. These Royal Signals groups worked with the Naval communications personnel to control the radio links between HQ and the shore troops. HMS Lothian was deployed to the Pacific to support Australian and US forces. It remained in the area until the Japanese surrender.

Stan Leahy was a wireless operator in that unit. He remembers that he "never was able to thank General Sir Thomas Blamey for the 6d.Postal order he awarded to all army personnel for some unique happening at some time in `45.!"

No. 4 Ship Signal Section's role whilst located in the Forgan Smith Building was to maintain wireless communications with military units in the Northern Territory. Their original role was essentially a shipboard one on board HMS Lothian. They had been in Brisbane for a few months awaiting posting to their next ship, HMS Persimmon. They were accommodated in an Australian Army Camp at Long Pocket near Indooroopilly.



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This page first produced 5 August 2002

This page last updated 31 August 2018