Dogs Cause Only Black-Out Casualty Highgate Hill 1941

Dogs Cause only blackout casulaty Brisbane 1941

Courier-Mail 18th August 1941 (TROVE)

Preparing for Sunday night blackout tests at South Brisbane August 1941

Preparing for Sunday night black- out tests at South Brisbane August 1941. State Library of Queensland

By August 1941, the situation in the Pacific had escalated to the point that it was felt necessary to prepare Australian cities for possible air raids. The necessity for blackouts had been seen in Britain during the blitz in 1940 and 1941. The first blackout test in Brisbane was held in August 1941, and involved the south side only.

Air Raid Warden testing new equipment in Brisbane October 1942
A Brisbane air raid warden with gas detection equipment in 1942 (State Library of Queensland)

 

A Civil defence organisation was established in Australia with volunteer wardens. The National Security Act included provisions for prosecution of those flouting the blackout regulations.

The Pacific war commenced four months later in December of 1941 with the bombing of Pearl Harbour and the invasion of Malaya by Japanese forces. The first air raid on mainland Australia took place at Darwin in February 1942.

Air raid shelters appeared around Brisbane. They were designed to be used after the war as bus shelters and a number still serve that purpose.

Air raid shelters in Elizabeth Street 1942

Air raid shelters in Elizabeth Street 1942 (State Library of Queensland)

Women in an air raid shelter in Brisbane 1942

Inside one of the Brisbane air raid shelters (State Library of Queensland)

One of the surviving air raid shelters is in a park on Annerley Road, Dutton Park.

air raid shelter dutton park

A surviving air raid shelter, Annerley Road Dutton Park.

My father told a story of how as a 13 year old schoolboy at Junction Park State School, he and his classmates were put to work at digging slit trenches. They far preferred this to sitting in a classroom!

Cadets in a trench in Brisbane Queensland during World War Two
Cadets in a trench in Brisbane Queensland during World War Two (State library of Queensland)

 Brisbane’s first air raid alert occurred on 20 August 1942. This was however a false alarm triggered by an unidentified American aircraft. Luckily Brisbane was never subjected to an aerial bombardment.

For a description of how wars have impacted Highgate Hill, a microcosm of Australia, please see another of my posts, Lest We Forget – Highgate Hill.

 

One thought on “Dogs Cause Only Black-Out Casualty Highgate Hill 1941

  1. Pingback: Lest We Forget – Highgate Hill | Highgate Hill and Its History

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