BASE SECTION TWO
800 MILITARY POLICE BATTALION
COMPANY "D"
IN TOWNSVILLE DURING WW2

 

 

The Strand and Castle Hill in the background with Queens Park near the centre of the photograph in between the Botanical Gardens on the left and the Sports Reserve on the right. The 800 Military Police Battalion was based inside Queens Park at North Ward. This photo was taken in September 1945.

Note: - There are hotspot links on the above photo for Castle Hill, the Seaview Hotel, the site of the anti-aircraft guns on The Strand, etc

 

Botanical Gardens on the left with the site of today's Central State School
in front of the gardens, and Queens Park on the right. 

 

Close-up of Queens Park in September 1945

 

Comer Eugene Richardson was a member of the 800 Brigade Military Police, Company D based in Queens Park, Townsville during WW2. Queens Park is located between Castle Hill and The Strand. Comer was based in Townsville for 22 months during the war in 1944 and 1945. 

They initially lived in tents until they built some barracks. Comer lived in the left hand barrack of the three barracks at the bottom of the above photograph. 

No. 6 Transportation and Movements Office of the Royal Australian Air Force was also located in Queens Park at some stage during WW2.

 

HEADQUARTERS, 800TH M.P. BATTALION

OFFICE
Commanding Officer    Lt. Col. W. L. Hendrick
Executive Officer    Maj. W. Stacey

ADMINISTRATION
Adjutant    Lt. R.D. Hoar
Intelligence Officers    Capt. H.L. Winey
                                Capt. R.F.Rascoe
Personnel Adjutant    Lt. R.L. Martin
Supply Officer    Lt. A.L. Geisler

MEDICAL SECTION
Surgeon    Capt. D.T. Rinaldi
Dental Officer    Capt. E.J. Hyman

STOCKADE
Prison Officer    Lt. J.B. Welpton
Asst. Prison Officer    Lt. J. McLoughlin

 

This photo was taken at Comer's girlfriend's house. These are her sisters. He does not remember her name. He said the house was located little up on the hill between his camp and Castle Hill. The house was in the last row of homes built up the side of the hill because the ground is getting quite steep. The house would be facing the Strand with its back to Castle Hill.

From his description, his son Steve thinks the road that the house was on is Stanley, Alexandra, or maybe Stanton Terrace. The first picture at the top of this page shows a couple of rows of homes at the base of the hill. Steve thinks it may be one of the  homes on the left side of the picture. Steve thinks her home is in one of those rows but is located just off the picture. The family had an old player-piano.

Can anyone help to identify this family?

 

Comer Richardson standing in front of the White Ford Allied-Traffic-Control vehicle of
"ghost car". The photograph was taken in Warburton Street facing towards The Strand.
Queens Park is directly behind the photographer.

The same house in the above photograph approximately 60 years later.
The front veranda of the house has since been bricked in.

 

The Townsville Chamber of Commerce had made representations to the Prime Minister on 10 October 1942 concerning alleged infringements of civilian rights, lack of cooperation between civil and military authorities and display of poor behaviour by troops. The local civilian organisation claimed that there was a definite lack of co-operation between civilian police and military police. This claim was unfounded as the Queensland Police and the local Military Police had established so-called "ghost cars" in response to a large number of traffic accidents involving military vehicles. The "ghost cars" patrolled the town with both military and civilian police on board.

 

U.S.A.U. 12182 White Ford Allied-Traffic-Control vehicle "ghost car" parked in Stanley Street, Townsville outside the Townsville Police Station. The QATB (Ambulance) Building can be seen in the background on the corner of Stanley Street and Sturt Street. You can also just see the road cutting across the top of the hill to the right of the photograph.

 

White Ford Allied-Traffic-Control vehicle "ghost car" parked outside the Townsville Police Station


about 1944

An Australian Army Military Policeman, an RAAF Service Policeman, an
Australian civilian Policeman and a US Army Military Policeman standing
beside the White Ford Allied Traffic Control vehicle "ghost car". 

 

Steve Richardson told me that his father Comer has been drawing maps from his memory as to the location of their camp site. His memory seems to be quite accurate. He was able to draw a good map of the area before Steve showed him a small map that he had found on the internet. Also, he remembered that Townsville's old main street had a medium that had palm trees and public restrooms. From the small map and the first photo on my Townsville @ War web site, he was able to determine that the street was Flinders Street. Also, the Excelsior Hotel that is on the left side of the photo of Flinders Street is where he spent one night of a war time romance.

Comer also remembers walking along Flinders Street away from the Railway Station and across the Causeway into Charters Towers Road and going to the movies at The Regent picture theatre on the corner of Charters Towers Road and Oxford Street. Comer would have walked past the Causeway Hotel and the Hermit Park Hotel on Charters Towers Road on his way to The Regent. 

 

cer03.jpg (60581 bytes) This was taken in the Botanical Gardens in Queens Gardens.
cer04.jpg (43166 bytes) Comer Richardson, is on the left. The back of this barrack is facing The Strand, and the front is facing Castle Hill.

 


 

On 27 July 2007, Steve Richardson advised me that his father Comer Richardson had passed away on 4 July 2007 after a short illness. Comer was 86 years old.  Steve told me that Comer very much enjoyed seeing the details of his time during WW2 on this web site.

 

REST IN PEACE

Comer Eugene Richardson
born Nov 21, 1920 in Josie, Alabama, U.S.
died July 4, 2007 Panama City, Florida, U.S.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Steve Richardson from Panama City, Florida for his assistance with this home page. On 13 August 2003, Steve Richardson told me that he had heard from Steve Moore, of South Carolina, whose father, Charles Moore, also a Military Policeman during WW2 had an address book with the name C.E. Richardson in it.

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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"Australia @ War"
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This page first produced 13 April 2000

This page last updated 05 September 2015