CHEVERELL'S AMERICAN RED CROSS OFFICER'S LEAVE CLUB
2 ELIZABETH BAY ROAD, SYDNEY, NSW
DURING WW2

 


Drawing by Staff Sergeant Robert A. Laessig

Cheverells American Red Cross Officer's Leave Club

Cheverells American Red Cross Officers' Leave Club was located at 2 Elizabeth Bay Road, Kings Cross, Sydney. The building has since been demolished and is now the site of the Gazebo Hotel, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney. Cheverells was a very stately home which became flats in the 1940s before it was taken over by the American Red Cross during WW2.

Cheverells was a three story, masonry building and was more commonly called Cheverells Officers Club. Volunteer ladies served as the household personnel, with Sunday afternoon teas, musicals, etc. Musician and conductor Eugene Ormandy performed at Cheverells.

Ben Glusing was one of many members of the 13th Air Force who was quartered at Cheverells during WW2 on R & R. Ben and his buddies were on R & R from Morotai in the Dutch East Indies. They stopped over at Charters Towers to overnight on their way to Sydney and stopped over at Charleville on the flight back north.  Ben went on to tell me:-

"The hospitality in your city was great.  I remember one day at the horse races (horses running the wrong way), and an evening at a club - Prince's- I think it was.  I won a little race money and went to Mark's Jewelry and purchased two small unmounted opals as souvenirs."

Ben Glusing was transferred to the 13th Air Force in January 1944 with IG section, where he served until the end of the war in Leyte.  Out of his five years in the military, 32 months were spent in the South Pacific.

During Cheverells' use by the Thirteenth Air Force, 68,000 men of all arms and services were lodged, and 194,000 meals served.

Lady Emilie Coote, an American born widow of an Irish baronet, and the only titled woman to serve in the Southwest Pacific Area, was Director of Cheverells Officers Club. Her true identity was not known for some time and until then she had been known, as Emilie Coote rather than Lade Emilie Coote.

Some of the former occupants of Cheverells have included at that time the future Prime Minister of Australia, Billy McMahon and aviators P.G. Taylor and Jimmy Mollison.

 

REFERENCE

"From Fiji Through the Philippines with the Thirteenth Air Force"

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Ben Glusing for his assistance with this web page.

 

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 Peter Dunn 2006

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This page first produced 29 July 2008

This page last updated 10 August 2008