ROYAL NETHERLANDS NAVY
WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY STATION
YUROKE, NEAR CRAIGIEBURN, VIC
After the Battle in the Java Sea, the Dutch navy evacuated to Ceylon and Australia. In Australia the Dutch set up a new communications radio network.
A Wireless Telegraphy station (or W/T Station) was set up by the Netherlands East Indies Navy Air Arm with the help of Australian authorities at Yuroke 5 kilometres west of Craigieburn, which is approximately 25 kilometres north of Melbourne. In July 1942 a radio link was opened with the Dutch Navy's radio station at Ceylon, HQ of Admiral Helfrich who was C. in C. of all Dutch forces in the Far East.
A teleprinter line was established from the Craigieburn W/T Station to 260 Domain Road, South Yarra, Melbourne for the Netherlands Forces Intelligence Service. My research has shown that the Netherlands Forces Intelligence Service had their headquarters in a building at 225 Domain Road, South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria. Did they use two locations in Domain Road?
Another teleprinter line was established from Carigieburn to Wacol in Brisbane. It is known that Netherlands East Indies government officials were located at Wacol.
Dutch intelligence in Australia was NEFIS, Netherlands [Armed] Forces Intelligence Service, which was an element of Allied Intelligence Bureau. This service wanted to send intelligence parties to Java to find out what was happening under the Japanese occupation. For radio communication with these small groups of agents the naval radio station at Craigieburn near Melbourne was not suited. These parties would use small, low powered radio's to transmit their intelligence, so a forward radio-station (W/T Station) was created at Batchelor 60 miles south of Darwin.
When Michael Sorraghan was a young boy back in the seventies, his father brought the property where the W/T Station was located from Michael's uncle who was a local farmer. Michael remembers the building before his parents renovated it to live in. At the front of the house was a shed which was used for two huge generators and two engines. Michael recalls that the generators were huge. There were no motors, just the large bolts sticking out of the ground to hold the engines. The building was made of asbestos, and the floor was solid concrete.
The main building, had living quarters out the back, small kitchen, outside toilet. At the front end of the building was a large room containing large concrete floor, and a control panel which filled one wall. Michael remembers it was a huge control panel. Most of the equipment was taken away. The room was opened out to creat a large room.
The surrounding area/ground around the house was full of buried coiled wire strands. The house was made of asbestos sheeting, and hard wood. After a bit of demolition in certain areas, it was made into a house. At the front of the house near the road was also a large electrical sub station.
Michael's mother, a local historian for the Craigieburn area, tried to do some research on the house, but every time she tried, she was given the run around, or no one was willing to give her information. Perhaps it was still considered top secret?
Can anyone help
me with more information
on this Dutch Radio Station?
Wireless Intercept Station, Royal Netherlands Navy, Batchelor, NT
I'd like to thank Andre Willemsen and Michael Sorraghan for their assistance with this home page.
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© Peter Dunn 2006
This page first produced 2 January 2005
This page last updated 14 January 2015