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04 - Bickley Battery - F1 6in Mk XL Gun

Bickley Battery - F1 6in Mk XL Gun

Construction of the two 6-inch gun emplacements was part of the £8,471 contract awarded to Leederville/West Perth-based Todd Brother Builders, which began in September 1937.

Being largely that of close defence weapons with a range of 16kms, the 6-inch BL Wire Mk XI naval guns were set up to protect the South Passage shipping channel between Rottnest and Carnac Islands, as well as areas within the Fremantle Port's boundary. Built in 1904, both guns came from "First World War Naval ships, HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Brisbane". They would fire armour piercing projectiles weighing an approximate 45kg.

Planning for the Bickley Battery had originally included three 6-inch guns, with the third gun to be a reserve. Due to a number of reasons including a lack of 6-inch guns available at the time, only two were installed (The Coast Defences of Western Australia).

Whilst the gun emplacements were being constructed at Bickley, both 6" Mk XI guns were mounted on semi-portable platforms at Swanbourne, due to the growing political concerns emerging from Europe at the time (The Coast Defences of Western Australia)..

Construction of the Bickley Battery was completed in April 1938. Both guns (#2286 and #2290) were transported to Rottnest for a permanent installation on Pedestal MkVI/PV6 mountings in September but weren't fully operational until they were proofed on 25 July 1939 (Oliver Hill Battery Conservation Assessment). Bickley Battery was officially recorded as being completed in December 1939.

The battery was placed into long term storage in 1946. Both 6-inch guns were removed in 1963 and "sold for scrap with most of the underground equipment also being removed" (Oliver Hill Battery Conservation Assessment).


Oliver Hill Battery Rottnest Island: Conservation Management Plan. Completed on behalf of the Rottnest Island Authority by Palassis Architects (December 2005).

Oliver Hill Battery Conservation Assessment for Rottnest Island Authority - GB Hill & Partners Pty Ltd (November 2005)

The Coast Defences of Western Australia 1826-1963: A Study by R. K. Glyde for personal use (Printed 1991).

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