SEARCHLIGHT POSITION ON CASTLE HILL
TOWNSVILLE, QLD, DURING WWII

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The side road and small clearing in the aerial picture below at the western end of Castle Hill in Townsville, Queensland did not appear in 1941 aerial photos but does appear on the 1952 aerial photos. Mel Dundas-Taylor had previously taken me to this site on 28 June 2012. This lead me to believe it may have been a WWII site. So I asked my fellow researcher Ray Holyoak if he knew whether the site had been a searchlight position during WWII. Ray then sent me the photo of the AWAS polishing the searchlight glass which you can see further down this web page. I was also then able to confirm the location from an old military map provided to me by Graham McKenzie-Smith which shows many of the anti-aircraft and searchlight positions in the Townsville area. (See excerpt from the map below). Another Townsville WWII mystery solved through the collaborative effort of a number of WWII researchers!

 


1952 Photo:- Mosaic Townsville City Council

Note the new road off the main road up Castle Hill and the cleared area built some time between 1941 and 1952.
This location was apparently a very popular parking spot for young lovers over the earlier years of its existence.

 


1952 Photo:- Mosaic Townsville City Council

A zoomed out view of the above area, which is near the centre of this photo

 


Photo supplied by Ray Holyoak

An AWAS polishing the glass of the searchlight located on the western ridge of Castle Hill.
The photo is taken looking southwards towards Mount Stuart, the peak of which can be seen
in the lower fork of the tree to the right of the searchlight. I wonder if that tree is still there?

 


Photo supplied by Ray Holyoak

If you invert the reflection in the searchlight you can see two other AWAS watching the photo
session plus there is a distinctive boulder in the picture. I wonder if that boulder is still there?

 


Map supplied by Graham McKenzie-Smith

The red dot/blob and the No. 7 marked at the western end of Castle Hill on this marked
up military map confirms that an Australian Army searchlight position existed at this site.

 


Photo:- Peter Dunn 28 June 2012

Concrete slab still existing at this site

 


Photo:- Peter Dunn 28 June 2012

Concrete slab at the site

 


Photo:- Peter Dunn 28 June 2012

View towards the Belgian Gardens cemetery and Cape Pallarenda

 


Photo:- Peter Dunn 28 June 2012

View towards Cape Pallarenda and Magnetic Island

 


Photo:- Peter Dunn 28 June 2012

Looking towards The Strand

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Mel Dundas-Taylor, Graham McKenzie-Smith and Ray Holyoak for their assistance with this web page.

 

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This page first produced 23 January 2015

This page last updated 28 January 2015