ST. GABRIEL'S CHURCH OF ENGLAND GIRLS SCHOOL
CHARTERS TOWERS, QLD
USED BY THE MILITARY DURING WW2

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St. Gabriel's School was located between Prior Street and Gordon Street, Charters Towers, Queensland.

At the end of 1941, due to a shortage of staff, the Sisters left St. Gabriel's School and Headmaster Canon O'Keefe resigned. Miss Ena Eden then took charge of St. Gabriel's School.

St. Gabriel's was commandeered by the US Military for use as a Military Hospital. The school moved to the Royal Hotel at Richmond. School finished on Monday 4 May 1942 and after the staff a students swept and washed the classrooms, the students finally leaving the school on Thursday afternoon 7 May 1942.


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The cleanup at St. Gabriel's before the move to Richmond

 


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The cleanup at St. Gabriel's before the move to Richmond

 


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The American tents at St. Gabriel's in 1942

 


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The Americans move into St. Gabriel's in 1942

 


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An American truck at St. Gabriel's in 1942

 


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St. Gabriel's School at the Royal Hotel at Richmond

 


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The rear of the Royal Hotel at Richmond

 


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Students and staff at Richmond

Miss Eden died suddenly in January 1944. The Bishop had tried to find a new Headmistress but was unsuccessful. Archdeacon James Norman then became Priest-in-charge of the school until 1945. There were 22 boarders at the school in 1944. 

The American Military Hospital left the school in June 1944 and the students returned to the school.

After the war, the school used an old Army hut as a meal room. It is now used as a prep room.


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Staff at Richmond during WW2

 


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Scholarship Class at Richmond in 1942

 


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Today's Mathew's Mansion as it looked just after WW2 still showing
the Red Cross on the roof, indicating it was used as a Hospital.

In September 1940 a house owned by Mr. Deissler in Gordon Street was purchased and moved to the school grounds. It was used as part of the Military Hospital during WW2. It was known as Becket House. The top story of Becket House was the original Deissler house.


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The same building building (then Becket House)

 


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Domestic Science classes held in one of the old Army buildings.

 


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Domestic Science classes held in one of the old Army buildings.

 


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Old Army building used as a Lunch room after
WW2. It is now used as a Prep Room

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"That's Why We're Here!"
"A Pictorial history of All Souls' and St Gabriel's School, 1920-1987"
by James C. Francis

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank John Daly for his assistance with this home page.

 

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                         "Australia @ War"
                         

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2004

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This page first produced 26 December 2004

This page last updated 28 December 2004