FORTUNA
ON THE BENDIGO GOLDFIELDS
LAND HEADQUARTERS (LHQ) CARTOGRAPHIC COMPANY
AUSTRALIAN SURVEY CORPS

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"Fortuna"

In about January 1942, General Rowell, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, directed Major Sarl `to secure, north of the Great Dividing Range, a location for the printing and storing of maps for the Australian Military Forces'.

Major Sarl and three officers of the Australian Survey Corps inspected "Fortuna" near the Bendigo Goldfields.

In March 1942, the Commonwealth of Australia, using National Security (General) Regulation 54, compulsorily acquired a lease on "Fortuna" and the surrounding area from Mrs Nott.

Lieutenant Ralph Westgarth led an advance party to establish the group in "Fortuna". The villa at that time was deserted and overgrown.

Warrant Officer Harold Trust assisted by some tradesman from the nearby Military camp at the Bendigo Showgrounds, carried out alterations and additions to "Fortuna".

 Major Sarl and 150 men of Land Headquarters Cartographic Company arrived at "Fortuna" on 11 June 1942.

The Australian Survey Corps and the Australian Women's Army Corps, worked around the clock producing highly classified documents and mapping for the allied war effort at "Fortuna" during World War 2.

"Fortuna" was purchased by the Commonwealth Government in 1951. The Regiment was granted the Freedom of the City of Bendigo in 1970.

"Fortuna" was first erected in early 1856 by J.T.C. Ballerstedt. It was at that time an eight room verandah-less double-fronted semi-basement (two-storey) red brick house.

The house was situated beside the New Chum line of reef and across the top of the probable extension of the Nell Gwynne line of reef. The lower floor of "Fortuna" actually penetrating the reef. 

In about 1869 a gabled wing extension was added to the south of the house. This added a further three rooms.

The whole of the villa was surrounded by a large masonry and brick wall with an impressive arched gateway leading to the main entrance on the eastern face, overlooking the mining operations of the Bendigo gold fields.

George Lansell bought the villa on 6 May 1871 for the sum of 20,000 pounds.

Lansell carried out many additions and modifications to "Fortuna" over the years.

 

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 Peter Dunn 2002
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This page first produced 23 September 2001

This page last updated 02 April 2002