YspeopleExplore tab

 
Stranger

The huts behind the hill


Thumb shutterstock 703943017

About Athol B

I'm 89 years young and my mind's still sharp.


Athol Barrett wants to learn more of the WWII soldiers who occupied some huts he enjoyed as a young teacher. Can you help?

Who staffed the Gun Battery? Where were the soldiers housed? What remains as an evidence today?

Leighton Battery at Buckland Hill.

Leighton Battery at Buckland Hill. Picture: Frederik Vanrenterghem

I attempt to answer these questions, not as an army person from WWII, but as a school teacher and  cadet officer, post the war.

In 1957 and 1958, I taught at Kent Street Senior High School in Victoria Park, WA. My duties included assisting with the school cadet corps.

In the summer vacation of 1958, teachers from the 5th Cadet Brigade attended a camp at the Leighton Battery. We were accommodated in huts situated in a valley eastwards to the site that was ‘behind the hill’. We assumed the huts housed the Battery crew.

As I recall, our duties were far from arduous but certainly peace-time oriented.

My most vivid recollection was being told to get our shoulders back when we were in a marching drill conducted by hard-bitten ex-Middle East WOs.

My next was of afternoon lectures in the hot unlined huts and trying not to stay awake.

My third was of playing volleyball followed by a swim as part of an afternoon get-fit session.

Life was organised made convivial by Captain Bert Brearley, the CO of the Brigade and his regular army men.

I look today at where I believe they were located. At best, I pinpoint the valley bounded by the Guns on the west and the ridge to the east. In the residential area which is now developed, I identified Somerset Crescent where the collection of huts stood.

Today, I feel I need to know more about the soldiers who occupied those huts during the wartime.

I am curious to know who they were, what their jobs were and most importantly, what they thought of an imminent Japanese invasion on Australian shores.

To learn more, I need to revisit this well-restored site.

Lest we forget these heroes.

Banner 1
| Your rating
No ratings yet


Related stories

From Superman to Jaws, these are just some of the important things to happen today in history!.

Memory Lane: January 16

January 16 is packed full of absolute highlights in our cultural history. Why not share with those celebrating an anniversary...

Sport Celebrities Nostalgia Culture History
Expand
About 20 hours ago
(Nostalgia)
From famous birthdays to monumental events.

Memory Lane: January 15

From famous birthdays to monumental events, here's what happened over the years on January 15.

Celebrities Culture History Nostalgia
Expand
2 days ago
(Nostalgia)
Corporal punishment was all the rage when I was at school.

Do you remember the cane and strap?

It doesn't seem that long ago that children were disciplined with the strap at home, or caned at school for misbehaving.

Expand
2 days ago
(Nostalgia)
Who might you be sharing a birthday with?.

Memory Lane: January 12

Celebrating an anniversary or birthday today? January 12 has marked some momentous occasions.

Celebrities History Culture
Expand
5 days ago
(Nostalgia)
What happened on today in history?.

Memory Lane: January 11

Celebrating a birthday or anniversary today/ See what other amazing things happened throughout history.

Celebrities Culture History
Expand
6 days ago
(Nostalgia)
Steve Jobs announcing the iPhone (2007).

Memory Lane: January 9

Were you born on January 9? Here are some other historic highlights from your special day.

Celebrities History Culture
Expand
8 days ago
(Nostalgia)
Can you guess who's birthday it is today? Picture from elvis.

Memory Lane: January 8

Two of the world's most famous musicians were born on this day in history.

Celebrities History Culture Music
Expand
9 days ago
(Nostalgia)
The Beatles, icons of the 1960s.

Do you remember the Swinging '60s?

If you are under the age of 60, you probably don't. But neither does anyone who was truly there.

History Music Culture Nostalgia
Expand
9 days ago
(Nostalgia)
They were happy days in the time of black and white.

Do you remember black and white?

It was a time when most of your media was devoid of colour. And it was great!

Movies Technology TV
Expand
About 1 month ago
(Nostalgia)
V-Capri in their glory days.

There's nothing like an '80s crowd

Growing up in the '80s meant big cars, big hair and big hangovers.

Drink Music Nostalgia
Expand
About 1 month ago
(Nostalgia)
Trending stories
Spend time with your friends!.

10 powerful tips for self-investment

When we prioritise...

(Health & Beauty) 2 days ago
Corporal punishment was all the rage when I was at school.

Do you remember the cane and strap?

It doesn't seem that long...

(Nostalgia) 2 days ago
Aussie country music superstar Keith Urban.

Dang! Here's what's wrong with country music

Millionaire metrosexual...

(Entertainment & Culture) About 15 hours ago
The cat's out of the bag!.

20 truths about a woman's life after 50

The pros, the cons and a...

(Health & Beauty) 8 days ago
When it comes to great bloggers you can connect with, this list has you covered.

20 mature bloggers worth following

Looking for Australian...

(Entertainment & Culture) 9 months ago
Weekly Poll
Haiku of the week
Qcnq3xgd6xtqpb5yioih
Memory lane
Mqpgmvy4q4zcnlbhhnrl