Constructing Leighton Battery
1 March 1945 – The estimated cost to complete Leighton Battery including the workshop & store, command post, guns and supervision was put at £22,130. This was later amended five days later to £23,783 (NAA: PP280/1, M1943/44/160).
27 April 1945 – Fears of exceeding the £50,000 budget for the construction of Leighton Battery is growing, as 80% of the total approved amount has already been expended (NAA: PP280/1, M1943/44/160).
21 May 1945 – A small bulldozer is now backfilling the emplacements at £5 a day. The work is thought to be beyond the capabilities of the machine and a request for a second bulldozer is made (NAA: PP280/1, M1943/44/160).
20 June 1945 – A drawing supplied that was prepared for the Bondi Battery, could serve as a guide in the preparation of suitable designs to increase the ammunition storage space. From the drawing, it can be observed that a far greater number of shells than cartridges can be stored. The reduction of space for cartridges was the result of a decision made by the Army after construction had begun, to provide racks in liey of the box storage originally contemplated (NAA: B6591, D8063).
6 July 1945 – A privately hired D2 Tractor with a blade attachment was hired to help backfill the emplacements, as it was seen to be the most economical method of performing the work. The Council was said to own three HD7 and one D6 tractors that were equipped with blades which could be made available although at the time of communications, one of the DH7 was undergoing extensive overhauling and would not be available in time for use (NAA: PP280/1, M1943/44/160).
27 July 1945 – Each gun is to have two diesel engines:
Provides the power to operate the equipment with the engine directly coupled to the hydraulic system
Drives the compressor and air system of the gun
The engines are already installed at Leighton. Each battery is provided with two petrol electric generating sets:
Provides the power for operating the instruments
Alternative power for the additional power station.
Two 1-Phase engines were delivered to Leighton but since returned as the correct type required is the 3-Phase (NAA: K1214, 9/2/43).
World War 2 ENDS
on Sunday 2 September 1945
Movietone Special: Peace: Australia Celebrates (1945)
5 September 1945 – A telegram from Melbourne states that funds have now been exhausted. The CRE can’t do anything about it as a request needs to be put forward to Cabinet. The gun emplacements at Leighton are complete other than the stairs (NAA: PP280/1, M1943/44/160). The Army have know for some time they were exhausting their funds (NAA: B6591, D8063).
6 September 1945 – Position funds are being reviewed by Cabinet, endeavouring to obtain interim requisition but doubtful whether it will be approved (NAA: B6591, D8063).
7 September 1945 – Internal communications between the Acting General and Director of the Department of Works states that an over expenditure of £3,000 has occurred. Expenditure to date is requested (NAA: PP280/1, M1943/44/160).
8 September 1945 – A further telegram states that no additional funds are available. The Public Works Department have been notified. Construction work is to cease immediately and the site is required to be in a tidy condition. The actual cost to date is not yet obtainable but has been requested and until then, the exact financial position is unknown (NAA: PP280/1, M1943/44/160).
November 1945 – A meeting of the War Cabinet deferred the completion of the battery so materials could be directed to more urgent projects. The guns were almost operational at this time but hadn’t yet been proofed (The Coast Defences of Western Australia).