Keswick Barracks
by Peter Donovan

Early History of the Site

The present site of the Keswick Barracks is situated on the Adelaide plains, midway between the coast of St Vincent Gulf and the Mount Lofty Ranges.  There are few remarkable features of the area which is generally flat, although with a gentle rise from the north-west to the south-east.  Brownhill Creek is the only watercourse in the vicinity and, indeed, once flowed through the southern section of the site but is now enclosed within a concrete drain.

The first inhabitants

Prior to white settlement the site was part of the larger region inhabited by the Kaurna people who roamed over a large area which stretched from Willunga in the south to the vicinity of Port Wakefield and Crystal Brook in the north?  The site was only a tiny portion of this much larger area and was not one of particular significance to the original inhabitants, although the creek may have provided access to water and animals that used it.

The first white settlers arrived in South Australia in the latter part of 1836, although several months passed before Colonel William Light determined that Adelaide should be the site of the capital.  Some of these settlers must have trekked across the site as they moved from Holdfast Bay to the site of the new capital because some time passed before the road was surveyed.  Light began the survey of the city on 11 January 1837 and completed the task on 10 March.  Seven days later the several land-order holders obtained access to their town allotments in accordance with the order determined by the drawing of lots.  They then set about building the capital.

The country sections beyond the 'parklands' were first surveyed in April 1837 by men under the control of Light's deputy, Boyle Travers Finnis.  This survey defined the main road to Holdfast Bay which formed one of the boundaries of the site.  Once the surveying was completed the country sections were put up for selection on 17 May 1838, with the order of choice being determined by the drawing of lots, as was the case with the town sections.  Section 6 was acquired by the South Australia Company along with many others including sections 221 and 239 immediately adjacent to the east and sections 2, 3, 4 and 5 to the north which abutted the western parklands.   (See Fig. 2)

The South Australia Company

The South Australia Company, the first and, indeed, only other owner of the site, played a fundamental role in the foundation of South Australia after having been legally established on 22 January 1836 under the Deed of Settlement, registered under 7 and 8 Victoria; it obtained a Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1856.

The Company was of immense significance to the early history of South Australia.  Indeed, in a real sense the colony owed its very existence to the Company.  Douglas Pike has referred to it as the 'third authority - regulating the private resources of many colonists'[1]; the other two authorities were the Colonization Commission, which oversaw the plan of settlement, and the government appointed by the Crown.  The role and influence of this 'third authority' was without parallel in any other Australian colony.

The foundation of South Australia differed from that of other Australian colonies in so far as it was established in accordance with an Act of Parliament in 1834 and a plan devised by Edward Wakefield.  Fundamental to the plan was that the new colony would not be a drain on the British Treasury.  It was to be financed by the prior sale of land before the first settlers ever left England. 

The South Australian Act stipulated that before it could come into force; the Colonization Commissioners were required to sell land orders to the value of £35,000 and to deposit £20,000 with the British Treasury, to ensure that the colony would not be a financial drain on Britain.  Each land order comprised an entitlement to 80 acres of country land and one town acre at £1 per acre or £81 for the lot.  Sales were sluggish, forcing the Commissioners to lower the price of each acre to 12s and increase the entitlement of each land order from 80 to 135 acres to raise the requisite amount.  They achieved their target only because George Fife Angas, Henry Kingscote and Thomas Smith acquired the remaining 102 land orders, which they immediately sold to the South Australian Company which they had formed.

George Fife Angus, the Company's founder and first chairman, anticipated that it would be the 'scaffolding for the colony, removable when the latter was well established'[2].  The Company certainly fulfilled this aim.  It dominated the early economic life of the colony.

The Company acquired two brigs, the Duke of York and the Lady Mary Pelham, and the schooner, John Pirie and chartered the brig Emma.  The Company settlers left England in February 1836, a month before Colonel William Light's surveying expedition.  The Company vessels landed at Kingscote on Kangaroo Island and here the Company's manager, Samuel Stephens, established the colony's first industry, a whaling station.

Under a new manager, David McLaren, the Company built much of the colony's early capital infrastructure.  It built a mill on the parklands, north of the River Torrens, and a bridge over the river leading to the mill.  In 1840 it built the road across swamplands to the new port, where it also built wharves to supersede the inconvenient landing place at Port Misery.  It established the colony's first bank, The South Australian Banking Company, which was made an independent body in 1839.

The Company settled tenants on its large land-holdings, and in February 1843 exported the colony's first breadstuffs when it shipped 260 bags of flour to Perth   I.A. Diamond, the historian of the Company's first decade indicated that '. . . the general system of farm leasing which developed from the original scheme was undoubtedly of great service to the colony as a whole.  The Company's tenants were not only among the first to begin farming operations on a commercial basis, but by 1850 were together responsible for something like one fourth of the Colony's total farm produce'[3].  Elsewhere he indicated that 'During the early 'forties the South Australian Company were conducting the most expensive pastoral and grazing establishment in the Colony, with about 25,500 head of sheep and over 1,000 head of cattle, valued in the inventories of 1843 at between £25,000 and £30,000.[4]

Through the influence of its founder and the settlers which it brought to South Australia, the Company also helped determine the notion that the colony should be free of the influence of an established church.  As Pike indicated, 'The avowed policy of the directors was to combine profit with civilization and biblical truth; they saw in themselves not grasping traders but enlightened English merchants who 'with a philanthropy worthy of Christianity in its purest days. . . sought to engraft upon their commercial enterprise the moral and religious prosperity of the community'.'[5]

In spite of, or perhaps because of, it’s early dominance in the colony, and certainly because it remained an absentee landlord, the Company was never very popular within South Australia.  Many may have felt great satisfaction when the Company was hard hit by a decline in the value of stock and by the dispersion of its funds and energy over a wide field of miscellaneous interests in the early years.[6]  However, this simply encouraged the Company to concentrate on a few key activities.  As Diamond indicated, '. . . by 1850 the Company were left with land, including their buildings and other improvements as their major asset and it was principally as a dealer in and lessor of real estate that they continued to operate until the firm went into liquidation in the first quarter of the present century'.[7]

Within 20 years of the foundation of the colony, the Company's activities in the South Australia were reduced to those of a landowner, although it still retained enormous influence in the colony.

Shortly after the grant of the Royal Charter, in 1856, the Company practically ceased buying land in the colony, there being only one large purchase in 1863 - the other purchases of small plots were only for convenience of boundaries, frontages and rounding off existing properties.  Indeed, in the latter part of the 19th century the Company sold down its large landholdings.  The stimulus for this was the colonial government's passage of property tax legislation during the 1890s, which impacted heavily on the Company.  The effect of this tax was compounded by later taxes imposed by a federal Labor government for the express purpose of breaking up the big estates.  In 1906 the local manager, Henry Percival Moore, was instructed to hasten the sale of the Company's property.  The Company reflected on the increasing imposition of land taxes:

'It was the practice of the Company in earlier days to lay out its lands in convenient holdings, plant and develop and occupy and work the holding until opportunity arrived for letting.  Colonists invariably desire to have a right of purchase to protect their own improvements and it was the policy of the South Australian Government to facilitate tenant ownerships.   An option of purchase was therefore included in the leases granted by the Company and until about 1894/5 the sales were practically made to tenants.

        'As from that date local taxations and burdens upon absentee owners have rapidly increased and the Company decided to press sales with a view to closing its interests in the state.'

In the Report of 1911, the manager reported of the disastrous effect of the federal government's imposition of a Land Tax of 6d. In the pound.  'The amount of extra Tax payable this month is very large, amounting to £18,017 7s. 10d'. [8]

The scaling down of operations went well for the Company.  The 1909 Annual Report noted that:

The population of South Australia shows a considerable increase during the last few years, and now amounts to over 407,000.  This has caused a demand for Suburban Land for the erection of residences within a reasonable distance of Adelaide, and the Company has been able to dispose of a considerable area at favorable prices.  The money realised by these Sales, and from the purchase of a few farms by old established tenants, has been in part expended in building Shops and Warehouses in the City of Adelaide, and in the erection of large business premises at Port Adelaide.  These have all been readily let to substantial tenants for a considerable period at fair rentals.[9]

The local manager reported that by 1913: 'Nearly all the farm lands belonging to the Company have now been sold, in most cases to the tenants, and the average price received is considered satisfactory.  The Suburban Land cannot be sold so quickly, but a moderate area has been disposed of during the year, also a small portion of Town land.' 

In December 1915 the Company still owned 13 town acres; 2433 Country acres, and 364 Port Adelaide acres.[10]  The land was farmed by tenants of the South Australia Company.

While owned by the South Australia Company, Section 6 remained undeveloped although it was divided in the late 1870s when land was acquired for the construction of the railway south of Adelaide which was authorised in 1878. The site then took on its distinctive triangular shape. The first section of this railway to Aldgate opened for traffic on 14 March 1883. The northern part of section 6, now to the east of the railway line, was subdivided for residential purposes, but that to the west remained broad farmland.  (See Fig. 3)

The site remained undeveloped farmland when, late in 1910, the Commonwealth acquired 30 acres of the 44 acre triangular section of land situated between the main eastern railway line and the Hills trainline when it was offered for sale by the firm of Hosking and Ryan on behalf of the South Australia Company.

Following its acquisition by the Commonwealth, the history of the site became inextricably identified with that of defence in South Australia.

A Brief History of South Australian Defence

For several decades after the foundation of South Australia the question of defence and foreign policy seemed remote and irrelevant as colonists struggled to establish an outpost of British civilization in an alien and often inhospitable environment.[11]  Local defence forces were organized, but permanent fortifications were an expense that colonists could ill afford at the time when attention was directed to the establishment of more fundamental public works such as roads, railways and water resources. The problems and crises of Europe seemed far removed from the daily lives of the colonists.

Throughout this period of relative tranquility, colonists considered the external security of the Australian colonies to be an Imperial responsibility.  Great Britain's naval and military predominance was undisputed, and none doubted that she would protect her colonies, no matter how distant.  Local defence, however, was the colony's responsibility and as early as 1846 Governor Robe considered proposals for the defence of Port Adelaide.  In that year Captain Frome, RE, the Colony's Surveyor-General and Captain I. Twiss, RE, who was at the time visiting South Australia, selected a site for a gun battery on Torrens Island.  While nothing was to come of this recommendation, the question of the best means of defending the colony's main port was to be a central issue in defence planning for the next four decades.

However, in the 1850s, as British suspicions of Russia's aims in the Crimean crisis pushed her ever closer to war, the colonies began to re-asses their strategic relationship with the Mother country.  The wealth of the eastern seaboard colonies, especially which of Victoria and New South Wales, had increased dramatically because of gold discoveries there, while the increasingly heterogeneous population encouraged a growing awareness of foreign affairs and the moves towards self-government encouraged independent thinking and a degree of self-reliance.

The colonies increasingly saw themselves as tempting prizes for the apparently rapacious Russians.  British naval units in Australasian waters were few, and were deemed to be a poor defence against the Russian Pacific Squadron which was based in Siberia, should it decide to attack the major eastern cities and either bombard the shipping in the ports or blockade the port and demand a ransom under threat of bombardment of the shipping and harbour facilities.

It was in such an atmosphere in 1854 that South Australia's Governor, Sir Henry Young, appointed a commission under the Colonial Secretary, Boyle Travers Finniss, to 'enquire and report upon certain precautionary measures of defence . . . in the event of . . . war'.[12]   The First Finniss Report was the first comprehensive review of South Australia's defence requirements and was to set the pattern for future defence studies in the colony.  The first line of defence was to remain the responsibility of the Imperial navy whose role was the protection of Empire shipping and the interception and dispersal on the high seas of any foreign naval flotilla bent on attacking the colonies or disrupting inter-colonial commerce.  Colonial forces in conjunction with the small Imperial Garrison, then stationed in Adelaide, together with a field battery which had been given to the colony in 1847, were to provide all local and coastal defence which might be necessary to repulse any single raider or small force which might slip passed the Royal Navy.

The Report of the Finniss Commission emphasized the need for mobile land defences (horse-drawn artillery and mortars supported by infantry), but also recommended the purchase of a 400 ton naval vessel.  A Torrens Island battery was now considered a low priority because of the cost and it was considered that scarce funds would be better spent defending the long stretches of coastline from Marino to Port Adelaide.  The report went on to recommend the establishment of signal stations at various points along the coast, and an increase in the number of imperial troops.  It also recommended that a volunteer militia should be raised, that an artillery force should be established and that boom defences be placed along the Port River.

Each of South Australia's many subsequent defence reviews and all the recommendations made by local or visiting naval and military experts, reiterated the basic features of the Finniss Commission, but few of the recommendations of the First Finniss Report were implemented.  With the cessation of hostilities in the Crimea in 1856 the immediate danger passed, consequently the war fears and, with them, the need for costly defence preparations faded.  For several decades this was to be the pattern of colonial defence efforts generally.

Although the seemingly endless debate produced little which was substantive, there developed a consensus that any fixed defences should be situated at Semaphore.  The Hart Commission, which was appointed in 1858, argued for this.  Indeed, the Commission's main recommendations were the construction of Martello Towers at Semaphore and Glenelg.  However, the recommendations were not implemented because of the costs involved.

Despite an apathetic government and general community disinterest, international events continued to exercise the colony's defence experts.  In 1861 British-American diplomatic relations were again strained.  While local colonial authorities thought war to be unlikely, the issue revived painful memories of the 1812-14 war in which American privateers and commerce raiders had carried out spectacular raids on British shipping and commerce.  Also, during this period, Russian naval vessels and merchantmen began once again to call occasionally at Australian ports, as they had done prior to 1835, before the Polish insurrection of 1830 had created widespread anti-Russian feeling.  The early visits during this second period were diplomatically and socially successful until news of the Polish insurrection of 1863 reached Australia.  Pro-Polish and anti-Russian sentiment ran high.

While casting around for a definitive defence policy in 1864, the South Australian government approached two visiting British naval officers: Captain Parkin of HMS Falcon in 1864 and Commodore Sir W.F. Wiseman, Commander of the Australian Station.  Perhaps rather surprisingly for naval officers, both men recommended similar programmes of fixed coastal fortifications supported by gunboats.

In the same year a wild story, which was given credibility by some elements of the press, claimed that a Russian fleet had been preparing to descend on Melbourne in the event of war breaking out between Russia and Great Britain.  Such a bold stroke, it was feared, would not only secure rich prizes in bullion and ransom but also act as a diversion, drawing away British naval units from other waters.[13]

In South Australia the report burst like a bombshell.  The Colony's major newspaper, the South Australian Register in an editorial bemoaned the lack of defence preparations claiming 'our exposed position, our slight means of defence, our weakest points are well known even to the minutest detail in St Petersburg'.[14]  Within days and without dissent, the House of Assembly passed a resolution providing the large sum of £20,000 for defence measures.  The following day, coincidentally, Britain's Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, was reported as stating that war with America was not impossible and that any conflict would inevitably lead to attacks on British Colonies.[15]

The immediate danger passed however, and once again the government of the day procrastinated.  Over the next few years, reports were received from various commissions and military experts recommending a range of measures involving gun boats and/or gun emplacements at various positions along the coast.[16]  The government finally adopted in principle the report of Sir W.F. Wiseman, who had recommended the construction of three round gun-towers; one at Semaphore, a second at the entrance of the Port Creek and the third mid-way between them.[17]

As an economy measure, however, only the Semaphore Fort, considered the most important of the three, was to be built initially.  Two 9-inch guns and associated equipment were purchased and site preparation began.  However, as time passed and the cost estimates mounted, doubts were expressed as to the need for the additional fortifications.  Torpedo defences were also considered for Port Adelaide once the Semaphore tower was completed.[18]  But by 1868 the entire plan had been abandoned.

Even more than the previous decade, the 1870s proved to be a period of immense change and uncertainty.  The great power rivalries of Europe were soon translated into a scramble for colonies in the Pacific region.  In the interests of economic growth, national prestige and naval logistics, Germany, and to a lesser degree France and the United States, began to annex individual islands and even entire island groups.  Steadily these nations increased their commercial and naval influence in an area which many Australians and New Zealanders considered to be their preserve.

Despite the increased fears, South Australian defence thinking was in disarray with dependence solely upon the Volunteer Military Force and several pieces of artillery which had been purchased at the height of earlier war scares.  Numerous commissions had met and debated the issue but had failed to convince the governments of the day of the necessity for particular defence works, but it was not until the mid-seventies that firm decisions were taken to construct the fixed defence works which had long been recommended: Cabinet approval was given on 29 January 1878 for Lieut-Col Scratchley, RE, to design the Semaphore Battery (Fort Glanville)[19]; Fort Largs was constructed in 1881.

Indeed, until 1870 the presence of British troops in the colonies gave positive proof of Britain's intentions to protect them.  In 1840 Governor Gawler had raised a body of South Australian Volunteers.  However, enthusiasm waned rapidly and until 1854 when the Voluntary Military Force Act was passed, because of fears engendered by the Crimean war, there was no South Australian military force.  Housed in buildings adjacent to the Mounted Police Barracks on North Terrace, interest waxed and waned in the Voluntary Military Force for the next two decades and was reflected in its numbers.    The establishment of a permanent military force was first recommended by Lieut-Col Freeling, RE, and Major Scratchley, RE, in a report to the South Australian government in 1866, but at that time no further initiatives were taken.

However, Major General Sir W.F.D. Jervois, RE, reiterated the recommendation in his report of 1877.  Colonel M.F. Downes, RA, who had been appointed Commandant of South Australia's forces in 1877, soon thereafter submitted cost estimates for a small permanent force.  Nothing was done immediately, but in November 1878 the government passed the Military Forces Act which provided for the raising of the first permanent body of troops, together with a reserve force.  Again interest waned.  Two volunteer reserve rifle companies were formed in 1878 but it was 1882 before the first permanent force - an artillery unit - was formed.

This artillery unit was stationed at Fort Glanville, where minor modifications were made to accommodate them.  In 1886 members were also stationed at the Largs Bay Fort, although their numbers were never very great.  In 1889 the Permanent Military Force numbered one officer and 45 men; at the end of the 1890s, the defence force consisted of: Permanent Artillery (Glanville, Largs); Active Military Force Mounted Rifles four companies, field artillery two batteries, garrison artillery two batteries, Machine Gun corps, 12 infantry companies, signaling corps, medical staff corps; Reserve Military Force recruited from the country.[20]  

Most of the defence initiatives taken by South Australians after the last of the Imperial troops were withdrawn were concerned solely with the protection of the capital of the colony and its port.  New Defence acts pertaining to South Australia were passed in 1886, 1890 and 1895, but they did not alter the essential arrangement which was established in 1878.  Until Defence became a Commonwealth responsibility, the artillery comprised the only permanent South Australian Military Force.

Although local defence was the responsibility of each colony, a measure of co-operation was attained in 1885 with the establishment of the Colonial Defence Committee to co-ordinate responses to the War Office and Admiralty[21] and because of a growing realization in the colonies that other matters required greater co-operation.  

Throughout the latter part of the 19th century several British military experts were called upon to advise the colonial governments of their defences.  This established a pattern that persisted for many decades.  At this time it was certainly necessary because the advice was not available in the Australian colonies, but it established attitudes towards the worth of the British advice - not always totally appropriate in the Australian situation - that were to persist for a long time and frustrate attempts to devise more independent policies appropriate to conditions in Australia and the neighborhood. 

The spirit of inter-colonial co-operation, so frequently urged by experts like Major General Bevan Edwards, who visited Australia in 1889 and recommended that 'the various colonial forces be placed under one authority',[22] was taken a stage further in 1894 when a general Scheme of Defence for Australia and Tasmania was drawn up.  Two years later, in December 1896, an Intercolonial Military Conference comprising the commanding officers of each of the colonial forces met in Melbourne. 

Defence in South Australia after Federation

With the federation of the Australian colonies in 1901 the new Commonwealth government assumed responsibility for the defence of continental Australia, and the transfer of the colonial forces was made in March 1901 when the approximate strength of the forces in South Australia was: Permanent 51 (which was composed of administrative staff and garrison artillery); Militia 2949; and Volunteers Nil.[23]  The resulting Defence Acts of 1903-04, with the regulations made under them, constituted the legislative basis of the Australian military system.

However, regardless of the changes, Australia's defence policy during the early years of the 20th century differed little from that pursued by the individual colonies throughout the previous century.  As Admiral Sir Reginald Henderson later remarked in a report to the government on 1 March 1911 it remained based on the assumptions that the Royal Navy would maintain supremacy of the sea and that it would be able to defeat any foe with designs on Australia.[24]

Britain and Japan had signed a treaty on 11 February 1902, and with renewals in 1905 and 1911 it effectively remained in force until 1921.  However, Japan flexing its military muscles was seen as a matter of concern in Australia.[25]  The speed with which the Japanese fleet defeated that of Tsarist Russia in 1905 underscored the success with which Japan had fashioned a modern war machine.  This proved to be something of a turning point in the development of Australia's defence policy.  Hitherto, Australians had been complacent, safe behind the Royal Navy shield, but the Far Eastern Squadron was withdrawn in 1904 to counter the growing German fleet.  Many Australians became concerned at their nation's vulnerability regardless of the protection that might be afforded by the Royal Navy under the Naval Agreement between Britain and Australia, signed initially in 1887 and re-signed in 1903.  Alfred Deakin, a member of the first Australian Parliament and later Prime Minister, was one of those.

Against the advice of many military advisers, and that of the Committee of Imperial Defence, who considered the emerging Australian fears to be unnecessarily alarmist, Deakin, and an increasing number of supporters, urged the formation of the Australian Navy.  They also succeeded in establishing a General Staff in 1909 and introducing compulsory military service in 1911.[26]  The development of the Keswick Barracks was closely identified with this maturing of Australian defence thinking.

For a long while the Admiralty opposed the establishment of dominion navies fearing that this would weaken its control.  However, because of Australia's insistence, and with assurances that an Australian Navy would come under the direct control of the Admiralty in time of war, an independent Royal Australian Navy was established in 1909: in 1914 it comprised a battle-cruiser, three light cruisers, six destroyers and two submarines.

In order to ensure that this new navy would be compatible with the Royal Navy, Admiral Sir Reginald Henderson was appointed in 1910 to advise the Australian government.  His brief was primarily concerned with the development of naval facilities, and he urged first, a central naval base to be located at Sydney and a number of secondary bases in other parts of the continent.  Little came of Henderson's report, primarily because of the outbreak of World War I and the consequences that flowed from it. 

Action was also taken to establish a unified military system for the nation.  Prime Minister Fisher invited Lord Kitchener to visit the country and advise the government on the formation of a Citizens' Defence Force with compulsory military training.  Labor politician William (Billy) Hughes' ideas on establishing a compulsory citizens' military force[27] were gaining respectability as this method was seen as the only acceptable and affordable way of achieving desired strengths.[28]  In each State there were some permanent soldiers, a citizen force consisting of volunteers and the militia, but relatively few trained officers.

The daunting task of welding all of the forces in the six States into one army devolved upon Major General Sir Edward Hutton and a Military Board.  Re-organisation in South Australia saw the formation of 16 Light Horse Regiment (South Australian Mounted Rifles); 17 Light Horse; No 1 South Australian Battery AFA; No 1 South Australian Company AGA; 10 Australian Infantry Regiment (Adelaide Rifles) and the South Australian Infantry Regiment.  Rifle Clubs, first formed in 1888, continued under the Secretary for Defence as a reserve to the militia, along with cadets who were in training.[29]

Finding a Site

Following Lord Kitchener's recommendations the country was divided into separate military districts.  South Australia was designated the fourth with an area which extended into New South Wales to include Broken Hill, with the organizational headquarters in Adelaide.  In 1910 these headquarters were still located in the Mounted Police Barracks buildings on North Terrace, but were totally inadequate.  The former Minister for Defence, Senator Pearce, described them as 'miserable little places, unfit to be occupied even by a dog or a pig, let alone by military officers'.[30]

However, finding a better site and more suitable accommodation proved to be a difficult and controversial exercise.  There was no possibility of enlarging the Mounted Police Barracks buildings because there was insufficient land available, and a proposal to enlarge the Torrens Parade ground was viewed unfavorably by the State government because it was considered that the land was too valuable to hand over to the Commonwealth Government.[31]   The South Australian Government offered another small parcel of land adjoining the Parade Ground for £1200 but this was considered too small to be of use.[32]

The difficulty in finding a suitable site proved to be a disadvantage for South Australia because by this time all other States had their military headquarters established.[33]   As part of the new military strategy the Commonwealth government moved to institute a permanent corps of trained horses for the Militia Field Artillery in each State.[34]   Initially two batteries were to be established in Sydney and Melbourne, but it was planned eventually to have one in each State.  South Australia was to have two stables, each containing 50 horses, forage sheds, forge, pharmacy and quarters for housing non commissioned officers and men.  In total the initiative was expected to cost £31,000, of which £2600 was to go to South Australia.  For the year 1910-1911 South Australia's appropriation was £250 which was to be used toward site preparation.[35]

In August 1910 Senator Pearce and King O'Malley, the Minister for Home Affairs, visited Adelaide and together with the Premier, John Verran, and Charles Owen Smyth, Superintendent of Public Buildings, they agreed on a site on the corner of West Terrace and Mile End Road, surrounding the Observatory but situated on part of the Parklands.  This caused such a public outcry, led by the Acting Mayor Lewis Cohen, that the proposal was finally rejected.  The stalemate continued.  On 24 October 1910 Billy Hughes, then the Acting Prime Minister, wrote to the South Australian government suggesting that the Mounted Police Barracks, together with the Destitute Asylum and all the land between them and down to Victoria Drive, be handed over to the Commonwealth for defence purposes.[36]   This proposition too was dismissed by the Premier.

Then late in 1910 a 44 acre triangular section of land situated between the main eastern railway line and the Bay Road was offered for sale by the firm of Hosking and Ryan.  This appeared to be a suitable site, being adjacent to the railway line and close enough to the city.  Only the price was of concern.  The Commonwealth government authorised a purchase price of up to £170 per acre but the South Australian government was unable to acquire the land at this price and the site was passed in at auction.  However, the State government was able to take an option on a portion of the site.  Eventually the Commonwealth agreed to pay the asking price of £220 per acre for 17 acres of block 9 and £200 for block 10, (Section 6, Hundred of Adelaide) but limited the purchase to a total of 30 acres.  This involved dividing lot 10 which the seller, the South Australian Company, was at first unwilling to do, but a buyer was found for the remaining portion and the sale went through on 12 December 1910.  In a letter to the Chief Secretary, Adelaide, Hosking and Ryan noted that they ‘Regret [ted] Commonwealth did not feel disposed to purchase 44 acres'.[37]  (See Fig. 4)

Structure of Forces

Following the passage of the Defence Act in December 1909 the government introduced a universal training scheme, based on the Swiss model, which provided for compulsory training for junior and senior Cadets aged between 12 and 18 years, and for adult training for two years.  This training consisted of the equivalent of 16 days training a year except for specialist corps whose members undertook 25 days training.  Then for six years following the training members of the forces had to report for a registration day once a year.[38]

With the commencement of compulsory military training on 1 January 1911 further changes were made to the structure of the military forces.  74 Battalion (Boothby) was raised as part of the South Australian Infantry Regiment in an area which stretched from the Victorian border to Unley.  Its headquarters were established in the relicensed Unley Inn and then in Thomas Street, Unley.  Colonel Dollman, the first commanding officer of this unit, was also Mayor of Unley.

Other units included 78 Infantry Regiment (HQ at Southwark); Field artillery was 13 Battery which later became 34 Battery; and 1 South Australian Coy AGA became 10 Battery Garrison Artillery Fort Largs.  The Light Horse regiments changed - 16 into 22 LH, 17 to 24 (country) and 23 in Adelaide.[39]

While these negotiations and changes were taking place the headquarters staff continued in their cramped quarters in the Mounted Police Barracks until in 1912; as an interim measure, they were found better accommodation in Selbourne Chambers in Pirie Street, Adelaide.[40]   Lieutenant Colonel Edward Glennon, an architect and engineer, who was the senior Military Clerk of Works and assistant to the Commandant, was one of the people who moved into the new offices in Pirie Street.  He was transferred from Melbourne to Adelaide to assist with the design and construction of the new Barracks.[41]   Keswick was used as a remount depot during the 18 months, while the planning and construction of buildings took place.[42] 

Building on the site commenced in mid-1912 and was completed by late-1913: much of this remains.  (See Fig. 5)  The General Headquarters building (32) on the northernmost corner of the site was the most imposing and further to the west, along the Bay Road, was built a large barracks (54 & 64) with separate kitchen (56).  Nearby were built a gymnasium (134), the Quartermaster's store (136), two large stables (76 & 80), a saddler and wheeler shop (114) a barn, a shoeing shed and stables for sick hoeses (112).[43]   Brownhill Creek, which formerly wound across the land, was straightened and routed through a concrete channel which promoted conflict with the Unley Council in 1913 when extensive flooding of the area was blamed on the inadequate sized drain.  The drain continued to cause problems for some years.[44]  (See Fig. 6)

World War I

The raising of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and the commitment of Australian troops to World War I resulted in an escalation in military activity throughout Australia.  As a consequence, the Keswick Barracks became a hive of activity.  Many new buildings were erected, some of which were permanent structures, while many were of a more temporary nature.  (See Figs 7 to 10)

With many servicemen returning from overseas and requiring hospital treatment and rehabilitation, the barracks, (Buildings 54 and 64) were converted for use as a hospital and became the 7 General Hospital.  (See Figs 11 and 12)  Many additional buildings were erected nearby to provide the necessary facilities.  These included the building of a separate operating theatre, an isolation block, additional wards, nursing quarters, an artificial limb factory, curative workshops and an X-ray room: these were temporary structures of corrugated galvanised iron which could be erected quickly and were later replaced with more substantial buildings.  With the end of hostilities the hospital became a Repatriation Hospital and continued as such until the Daws Road hospital, built for the wounded of World War II, was converted to a Repatriation Hospital.  (See Figs 13 and 14)

The Curative Workshops were erected by the Red Cross for the use of military patients and were handed over to the Department of Defence by Lady Galway, wife of the Governor, on 23 September 1918.  The same day the Governor, Sir Henry Galway, opened the Artificial Limb Factory which was located at the rear of the Drill Hall which stood behind the main headquarters building.  The Workshops included equipment for fitters, carpenters, bootmakers and repairers, basketmakers, leatherworkers and office workers.  The men were able to learn a trade and many articles ranging from tables and cupboards, boots and shoes to leather handbags were manufactured.  Some men learned to type.  The Prince of Wales visited the shops on 15 July 1920, during his stay in Adelaide.

Most of the buildings erected during the period of World War I were temporary structures demanded by the emergency.  The only ones to remain are those that were built as ordnance stores.  The most significant of these include ordnance stores (Buildings 1 and 6) the armory (Building 8) a fuse store (Building 9) and stores (Buildings 19 and 90).  (See Figs 15 to 17)

End of Universal Training

Defence spending declined greatly in the decade after World War I and little of significance happened at Keswick.  Universal training was abandoned immediately after World War I by a nation that had become sick of war.  The rationale behind its abandonment was, according to the Defence Minister, that conscription was 'not essential for raising and maintaining an effective defence force'.[45]

The depression which afflicted Australia during the 1930s also resulted in a dramatic reduction in defence spending, from £7,386,000 in 1927-28 to £3,160,000 in 1932-33.  However, once there was evidence of an economic recovery, the ominous political situation in Europe encouraged a gradual increase in defence spending until the outbreak of World War II in 1939.[46]  A great many other buildings were constructed at Keswick during this period.  The most significant of these were associated with the development of the Repatriation Hospital (Buildings 46, 48, 52, 60, 66 and 68) the provision of permanent married quarters for senior officers (Buildings 40 and 42) and the headquarters for the 49th Field Battery (Building 82) and the Sergeants' Mess (Building 160) on the opposite side of the Parade Ground.  (See Fig. 18)

The development of the Militia was another key initiative at this time.  In 1930, under the supervision of the Scullin government and based upon a plan devised by the Defence Council, the Militia was formed:

The plan called for a voluntary militia of 35,000 men which would form, along with the depleted permanent force, the nucleus of Australia's Defence Force.  The Militia was based upon the units of the first Australian Imperial Force, with the exception that five infantry battalions and two light horse regiments were abolished by linking pairs of units.  In addition it was planned to form a senior cadet force of 7,000 youths.[47]

The Militia was formed solely for home service within the Commonwealth.

Later, in March 1936 a suggestion was made that compulsory training be resumed.[48]   The Base Commandant at Keswick, Brigadier A.M. Martyn, stated that it was unlikely there would be a resumption of compulsory training until the voluntary system had been given a more thorough test: recruitment had fallen probably because of the improved economic situation.  While by 1931 the size of the Militia Australia-wide stood at 26,000 (rising to 35,242 by September 1938)[49] in South Australia in 1936 the voluntary Militia consisted of only 2130 men.[50]

By the middle of 1937 numbers in the Militia had fallen to 2119, which were 345 short of the designated number for South Australia.  In July 1937 it was announced that an intensive campaign to raise the strength of the Militia was to be undertaken.  Inducements included increased pay rates (from five to eight shillings a day when in camp), special provisions were granted to Commonwealth Public Servants, efficiency grants of £12 were given to volunteers completing three years service, smarter tailored uniforms 'based on the service dress type with distinctive colour patches and distinguishing unit badges' replaced the ill-fitting ones and distinguishing badges were issued to volunteers to wear on their civilian clothes.[51]   Periods of training remained the same - six days per year, home service and six days in camp.  Voluntary camps and bivouacs at weekends would be introduced.[52]   Consequently, as a result of the intensive Australia-wide campaign, by March 1939 South Australia had enlisted 2650 in the Militia, although this was still 80 short of the required quota.[53]

Under the voluntary system units trained on different nights of the week in the Drill Hall.  Each unit had a regular officer as Adjutant who belonged to the Australian Staff Corps or the Australian Instructional Corps.  Brigadier Martyn was keen to introduce more sporting activities into the curriculum and was instrumental in reviving boxing and wrestling training.[54]

Additions were made to the wood and iron Drill Hall in the 1930s when a brick building (Building 34) was constructed on the end facing Anzac Highway.  This addition included offices downstairs and messes upstairs.  A gallery at the rear of the hall was used for training Army signalers.

When war broke out in 1939 there were few regular soldiers; mainly NCOs and WOs and a few officers.  Many of the volunteers enlisted for the 2 AIF.[55]

The extensive building programme carried out during the latter years of the 1930s meant that the Keswick Barracks had largely taken on its modern appearance, with permanent structures replacing many of the temporary buildings that had remained from the time of World War I.  Most of the significant buildings were constructed prior to World War II.

Keswick in World War II

Australia's involvement in World War II resulted in a great increase in activity at the Keswick Barracks.  As well as the enlistment of many volunteers into the 2 AIF many more men with no military training enlisted and all had to receive some basic training.  Wayville Showgrounds was requisitioned and used as a recruitment centre.  The new troops were issued with palliasses and bedded down in the animal stalls or anywhere else that was available.  The Ordnance workshop was also situated at Wayville while the general workshop remained at Keswick.  In 1942 this unit became the Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (AEME), the permanent army workshop, which later achieved the prefix Royal (RAEME).[56]

To cope with the increase in personnel on the Barracks, temporary buildings were erected on practically any spare ground until the area was filled with a conglomeration of buildings of all shapes and sizes.  Long wooden huts with a verandah, known as Sidney William huts, 20' x 60', were placed alongside the Parade Ground.  These were used for officers' quarters, for enlisted men, messes, stores and offices.  Cold in winter and hot in summer they were not the most popular type of accommodation.[57]   So many personnel were on the site that some officers lived in their working rooms.  Prior to World War II there were few living quarters; probably less than 100 were accommodated in single men's quarters with a few officers elsewhere.  In complete contrast to this, between 2000 to 3000 people lived in the Barracks during the war.[58]   (See Fig. 19)

Flagstaff House (Building 40) which was built in 1936 for the Commandant was not used in the early 1940s as he chose to live in the South Australian Hotel.  Instead, it was used as an officers' mess while the house next to it, on the southern side (Building 42), was the home of the Medical Superintendent of the Repatriation Hospital.

Temporary buildings were erected for the Garrison Battalion and later Garrison Brigade.  This unit consisted of some World War I veterans and volunteers enlisted to guard vital assets such as the cable station at Grange, the radio mast at Rosewater, ammunition depots in various locations and general security duties.  The Garrison Battalion also manned the guard on the gates into the Barracks.[59]   The changing of the guard at 1 pm each day was performed with some ceremony - the new guard marching to the gates accompanied by the Band.[60]

Mixtures of units were stationed on the site.  These included Remounts, Ordnance, RAEME, Signals, Infantry Brigade HQ and Cavalry Brigade HQ, HQ Staff and some civilian staff, 6 Cavalry Field Ambulance and 3 Field Ambulance, Field Squadron Engineers and Field Company Engineers.  Many of these were housed in small buildings dotted around the perimeter of the site.[61]

The accommodation shortage was so acute that the Army requisitioned several houses opposite the Barracks on Anzac Highway and these were used as offices.  The 6 Brigade HQ was in No 11; Unit HQ of the 27 Battalion occupied another.[62]

The advent of women into the services meant that special accommodation had to be found for them and they were housed in barracks behind the hospital alongside the Parade Ground built originally in the 1930s as accommodation for the nurses (Building 60).  The Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) was formed in August 1941.  The women worked as transport drivers, in signals and ordnance, as store clerks and performed office work.

The Detail Issue Depot (DID) was situated in the southern corner of the Barracks.  The Australian Army Service Corps collected and distributed all foodstuffs for all units in South Australia.

The Engineer Stores Service began early in World War II and the role of the Depot was quickly expanded to provide engineer stores support for the State.  In the latter part of the war and early post war period the Depot was operated by the 29 Maintenance Platoon at Keswick.  In 1950 there was some re-organisation and the Depot was staffed and operated by 23 Construction Squadron. 

The role of the CCESD was to provide Engineer Stores Support to Central and Northern Territory Command and to support 23 Construction Squadron in its role.  The Squadron maintained all the Army installations in the Command, including the operation of the Sewerage Treatment Plant and the local water supply system from the 'Bird-in-Hand' Mine for the whole of the Woodside area.  The Squadron was also involved in new work projects, including the construction of a new Supply Depot at Hampstead and the CMF Training Camp at El Alamein.  Because of these extensive projects the demands for stores was heavy and the Depot maintained a large range.  About half of these stores were kept at Keswick with the remainder placed in various other locations around Adelaide.  In 1954 the CCESD moved to Warradale. When the Construction Squadron was disbanded in 1959-60 and the Department of Works assumed responsibility for all construction, the role of the CCESD was reduced to general support for the Command.[63]

Southern Command

Early in World War II, in order to improve control and training, the home defence forces were divided into four Commands - Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western - although the Northern Territory being particularly vulnerable had a special organisation.  After the war, in March 1946, the command organisation and military districts were restored.  In 1950, South Australia was designated Central Command and administered itself.[64]

From 1 November 1973 the headquarters of the South Australian area military forces at Keswick were redesignated 4th Military District, 4 Field Force Group.

From 1946-48 regular meetings of artillery officers and senior NCOs were held at the Artillery Depot at Keswick where instructional discussions took place.  These people formed the nucleus of the new unit 13 Field Regiment CMF which was raised in April 1948.  Lieut-Col G.E.H. Bleby was the commanding officer of the Regiment.  General recruiting commenced in July 1948 when 22 ORs were enlisted and 14 officers appointed at Keswick.  Further recruitment was conducted with a depot opened at Fort Largs to attract young men from the Port Adelaide district.

The National Service Training Scheme was begun during 1951 and more recruits came to the Regiment.  As well as pursuing the usual military training with annual camps where field firing was practiced, the regiment also carried out certain ceremonial functions.  For instance, on 7 February 1952 the Regiment fired a 56 gun salute to mark the funeral of King George VI.  The next day a 21 gun salute was fired to acknowledge the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne.

Many National Servicemen trained with the Regiment but when compulsory training for 18 year old males was modified in 1959 the strength of the Regiment fell to 29 officers and 257 other ranks.[65]

Post War Development

The physical development of the site has continued during the post war period.  Most of the temporary structures have been removed and some more permanent structures have been built.  (See Fig. 20)  In January 1967 an acre of land fronting Maple Avenue was purchased for $78,000 and a further lot with the same frontage was purchased in 1970 for $10,000.  This brought the total area of the Barracks to 32 acres.[66]  (See Fig. 21)

In 1952 the Army HQ Field Survey Section (Central Command Detachment) was established and located in the drill hall at Largs.  This was later changed to Central Command Field Survey Section and relocated to Hampstead in 1953 and then to Keswick in 1954.  In 1970 the unit was redesignated 4 Field Survey Squadron with its task being to carry out field surveys, stereo plotting from aerial photographs and compile topographical maps. A new building to house the unit was built in 1973.[67]

The present Officers' Mess (Building 181), opened in 1959 and provided accommodation for 21 officers; this was increased to 42 in 1972.  Accommodation is available for permanent officers in residence and also long term students and officers visiting or in transit.  Work to extend the kitchen and dining area was completed in 1977 and the building was modified again in 1991.

The present Sergeants' Mess (building 186) was opened in 1962; additions to it in 1972 gave it increased accommodation capacity:[68]   It was extended again in 1992.

Recreation facilities provided at Keswick include two squash courts and four tennis courts.  There is a dry canteen and Soldiers Club.  The well kept lawns and gardens provide a pleasant atmosphere.


Many South Australian units were identified with the Keswick Barracks.

Between the wars 3 Field Ambulance was raised in South Australia as a CMF unit and during World War II the unit served in the South West Pacific.  The present unit (1977) was raised at Keswick in 1949 and remained there until moved to Warradale in 1960.[69]

The citizen military units were re-organized after World War I in such a way as to preserve the identity of the AIF and the 74 Battalion became the 27 Battalion (South Australian Regiment) made up of 1 and 2 Battalions amalgamated on 27 December 1920.  In 1929, after the compulsory training scheme was abolished, the unit was once more re-organized under the new voluntary system.  Headquarters remained at Keswick with A Company at Unley, B Company at Keswick and Glenelg, and D Company (MG Company less one platoon) at Keswick.[70]

The 48 Field Battery was another unit with close links with Keswick.  This unit was formed at Unley in 1920 and was commanded by Major H.J. Copley who had served as a Light Horseman but had then transferred to the 2 Divisional Artillery during World War I.  Under his leadership the Battery gained a good reputation having 'that little bit of elan and superiority, so needed by horse artillery', while the gunners 'were harder working, more professional in their outlook and keener to reach the high standard set by the 13 Fd Bde AFA'.[71]   The Battery was quartered at Keswick in the gun park which had originally been built for No 2 Section 3 Battery Royal Australian Field Artillery.  This gun park was situated where the 13 Field Regiment RAA later housed vehicles and stores and, later still, 4 Field Survey Squadron had its transport compound.[72]

While horses continued to be used for Battery work in the 1930s advances in mechanization continued to evolve.  In 1936 the 48 Field Battery used borrowed equipment to demonstrate the advantages of mechanization in modern warfare at Woodside where some 900 men were in camp over the Easter weekend.  Soon afterwards a directive from the Department of Defense authorised the mechanisation of one battery in each State; in South Australia this was the 48 Battery.[73]   In 1936 the Battery was moved to the Torrens Training Depot where it remained until 1939, sharing the facilities with the 10 Battalion.  In July 1939, 51 Battery was re-formed at the Torrens Training Depot and took over all of the 48 Battery equipment, stores, personnel and the Battery Commander.  A new 48 Battery was raised under the command of Captain V.S. Kneebone and moved back to Keswick in December 1939 where again it shared accommodation and facilities with 13 Field Brigade.[74]  A 'house warming' party was held there on 29 December.  According to one report the new Artillery Depot at Keswick was for Brigade Headquarters for 48 and 49 Batteries.[75]

A blow to the pride of the Battery came in December 1941. Following the entry of Japan into the war the 13 Field Regiment was warned to be ready to be sent overseas, but the 48 Battery was not to go with the Regiment.  Instead, arrangements were made to transfer men to other batteries and other men, the under age or unfit, were transferred to the 48 Battery.  Early in 1942 the 13 Training Troops, which had AIF status, transferred its remaining three officers and approximately 50 men to the Battery.  Friction between the old gunners and the new men caused problems for the officers, but in time the two groups learned to work together.  The Battery was involved in maintaining gun sites placed along the beach front and was moved to the Birkalla Polo Ground before being sent to Victoria in mid 1942.  Further moves to NSW and Queensland followed and in April 1943 the Battery was sent to New Guinea.  The 48 'guarded its independence jealously' as a sub-unit of 13 Field Regiment.[76]

The 49 Battery, the oldest with direct links with A Battery South Australian Field Artillery formed in 1877, was part of 13 Brigade.  A Battery became No 1 South Australian Battery AFA in 1907, 13 in 1911, 34 and 18 in 1918 and 49 in 1921.

The 18 and 23 Cavalry regiment, part of the 6 Cavalry Brigade, was re-organized at Keswick during 1918-1920.  This consisted of the Adelaide Lancers (18) and the Barossa Light Horse (23).  In 1936 the headquarters of the 18/23 Light Horse was transferred to the Unley Drill Hall.

From the establishment of Keswick in 1912 until the outbreak of World War II in 1939 the cavalry regiment based there trained both horses and men for service in war.  A riding school, an open area with sloping wooden sides and a tan bark floor, was built at the southern end of the site near Building 134.[77]   Alongside the riding school were the stables (No 76 and No 80).  Building 112, now the detention cells, was the veterinary hospital with a dispensary.

The 4 Military District Ordnance Depot was established in 1902 under the command of the Senior Ordnance Officer who was given an honorary military rank.  As with the other military offices, the depot was situated on North Terrace until Keswick was built.  The Depot consisted of the Senior Ordnance Officer, five clerks and 10 storemen - all of whom were civilians - at the beginning of World War I.  Late in 1915 new sheds were erected on the eastern side of the Barracks.  With the suspension of compulsory training in 1929 the Depot found itself overstocked with clothing and equipment.  Some of this was stored and some clothing dyed and sold.  The reduction in defence spending during the Depression of the 1930s also resulted in a reduction in staff, with casual labour employed during the busy times of the annual camps.

Renewed hostilities meant renewed activity for the Depot.  During the war the Ammunition section was removed from the Depot and located elsewhere.  Premises for the storage of military equipment were scattered throughout the city and suburbs but with the end of the war these premises were returned for civilian use and the thousands of tons of remaining stores were transported for storage at Wayville Showgrounds.  With demobilisation there was more work than the staff could comfortably handle.  Consequently, a separate disposal section was formed to deal with the enormous amount of stock, spare parts and vehicles being returned.  Much of the surplus stock of khaki material was sent overseas.  It was not until 1949 that the task of clearing the entire surplus was completed.  In 1950 the 4 BOD (the name changed in 1948) was staffed by nine officers, 54 ORs plus 1 and 45 civilians. In 1950 a new site at Smithfield was acquired as well as a factory on Payneham Road.  Following this the Keswick Depot was completely re-organized.[78]

On 31 May 1973 4 BOD ceased to exist and on 1 June 1973 41 Supply Battalion was raised.  This amalgamated 4 BOD, 5 CAD, DADOS, Camp Commandant, 4 Sup Dep, and CCESD.  The role of the unit was to receive, maintain, issue and account for ABC vehicles, associated store and auto spares, technical store, clothing and equipment, accommodation stores, publications and stationery, raw materials, engineering stores, medical and dental, foodstuffs and POL.  Most of these were handled at Keswick in 21 buildings mainly of wood and iron construction.  At that time (1973) staff consisted of eight officers, 39 ORs and 51 civilians.[79]

The Keswick Barracks has undergone continuous change, although this has been more rapid and complete at some times more than others.  All of the significant buildings constructed prior to World War I remain and they are complemented by many substantial buildings that were built during the war.  The next major building boom took place during the latter years of the 1930s when the increasing likelihood of another major conflict prompted the government to upgrade military establishments around Australia.  Many of the most significant buildings from this period remain.  The Barracks saw a great deal of activity during World War II, but much of the construction was characterised by temporary structures.  Few of these survive.  The period since World War II has seen the removal of most of the temporary structures and the construction of modern accommodation.


Australian Archives

AP 563/9 1008/6/20; AP 563/9 Dkt CL2000/A230

Department of Interior, Dkt AY 1125; 53/214A; AY 1103; AY 571; AY 53/503A

D492/33 128/1S/5

D1051, Drawer 2-6, Drill Hall Bag HD

DK 119/1/21

Keswick Files 919/28$/14; 919/C28/20; 919/C28/21; 919/C28/4

Plans:    16. 5.1912    30. 7.1912   15.12.1915    29. 3.1916      1. 7.1918    26. 9.1918

             26. 3.1919   18.12.1919    27. 2.1922    27. 7.1933  March 1935    Sept. 1935

             24. 6.1936    13. 7.1936    13. 8.1936    15. 2.1937    17. 9.1937   29.10.1937

             10. 2.1938    17. 2.1938    14. 6.1938   14.11.1938    5.12.1938    21. 1.1939

             14. 4.1939    6.10.1939   13.11.1939    13. 5.1940    9.10.1940      3. 4.1958

             19. 1.1971

RAFA Depot Plans:  1913; 11.11.1913; 2.7.1915; 17.1.1919; 6.10.1939     

State Records


GRG 24/6/217/1908; 24/6/199/1878

Newspaper Cuttings Book Vol 3

South Australian Parliamentary Papers

Commonwealth Records

Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates 

Commonwealth Parliamentary Papers

Journals and Newspapers


South Australian Register

Papers held at Keswick Barracks Library

History of Army in Australia

History of Central Command Engineer Stores Depot

History of the 4 MD Ordnance Depot - Peacetime

History of 13 Field Regiment 1948-54

Newspaper Cuttings Book 1936-1939

Plans held at Keswick Barracks

KB 18.12.1916;  June 1928;  5.12.1938; 3.8.1959;  27.3.1969;  KB/-/029 23.4.1940; KB/28/141; KB/33/087; KB/33/83A; KB/34/149; KB/36/077/A-C 28.5.1936; KB/38/133/A-C;  KB/55/124;  KB/84/137  


Brasse, L.,                               Conservation Analysis of the Headquarters Building and an Outline Heritage Survey of Keswick Barracks South Australia, Australian Construction Services, SA/NT Region, undated

Dept of Defence (Army)        'Headquarters 4th Military District; Facilities Review', May 1989

Diamond, I.A.,                        'Aspects of the History of the South Australian Company; the First Decade', MA Thesis, University of Adelaide, 1955

Hellyer, Lieut-Col G.,             'The Development of the Australian Army and Navy between Federation and World War I' in Defence Force Journal, No. 28, May/June 1981

MacCallum,                             'The alleged Russian Plans for the invasion of Australia, 1864' in Journal of The Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 44

Popple, J.,                                'The Australian Militia 1930-39' in Defence Force Journal, No. 33, March/April 1982

Verney, Guy,                           'The Army High Command and Australian Defence Policy, 1901-1918', PhD Thesis, University of Sydney, 1982

Winter, Captain P.,                 'Accounting for Compulsory Military Training in Australia to 1914' in Defence Force Journal, No. 60, September/October 1986

Zwillenberg, H.J., 'Citizens and Soldiers:  The Defence of South Australia, 1836-1901', M.A. Thesis, University of Adelaide, 1970

Mortlock Library of South Australian

Brook, D.N. (Ed),                   South Australian Artillery, 1840-1966, Central Command Royal Australian Artillery History Committee


Barrett, Charles (Ed),              The Australian Junior Encyclopedia Vol I, Georgian House, Melbourne, 1951

Barrett, John,                          Falling In   Australians and 'Boy Conscription' 1911-1915,   Hall & Ironmonger, Sydney, 1979

Brook, David (Ed),                 Roundshot to Rapier Artillery in South Australia 1840-1984, Investigator Press, Blackwood, 1986

Doak, Frank,                           Australian Defence Heritage, Fairfax Press, Sydney, 1988

Finniss, B.T.,                           The Constitutional History of South Australia to 1857, Adelaide, 1886

Norris , R.,                              The Emergent Commonwealth,  Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1975

Pike, Douglas,                         Paradise of Dissent; South Australia, 1829-1857, Longmans, Melbourne, 1957

Robertson, John,                     Australia Goes to War,  Doubleday, Sydney, 1984

Tanner, T.W.,                          Compulsory Citizen Soldiers,  Alternative Co-operative Ltd NSW, 1980

Traite, Molly (Ed)                   History of Nursing in the Army in South Australia 1898-                                           1965:  6 and 100 Years of Nursing 

Younger, R.M.,                       Australia! Australia! March to Nationhood,  Rigby, 1977


Major Maurice Hurford (Ret) 27 April 1992

Major A.F. Puddy (Ret) 28 April 1992

Mr Russel Hicks

Mr Tony Kaukas

Article written by Peter Donavan