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What were the main causes of World War 2

The Bickley Battery Project

World War 2 erupts on 1 September 1939, igniting fear and panic in millions around the world.


For many, who haven't experienced the impact and trauma of World War 1, which left an estimated 16 million people dead (both soldiers and civilians), the fear of the unknown is terrifying on an unprecedented level.

The number of troops stationed at Rottnest needs to increase as a result. On 7 May 1940, construction of the hutments to temporarily quarter personnel working at the Battery are complete (AWM52 4/18/5/3), conveniently located in close proximity to the guns.


Meanwhile, Kingston is being stripped to increase the numbers the Barracks can accommodate, although it would mainly house the "administrative personnel, Fire Command Staff and a Coast Artillery Gunnery School" (The Coast Defences of Western Australia).


Less than two weeks later, Rottnest Island is declared a prohibited place under National Security (General) Regulations (AWM52 4/19/7/9). All women and children were sent back to the mainland, in order to free up accommodation for the Australian Womens Army Services (AWAS).


Fifty AWAS personnel are sent over to the island and although some are assigned to Bickley, most will go operate the underground plotting rooms at the Oliver Hill.

In 1942, there were approximately 2,500 military personnel stationed at Rottnest Island. The war showed no signs of ending.


1. AWM52 4/18/5/3 - [Unit War Diaries, 1939-1945 War] CCD [Commander Coast Defences] Western Command, January 1940 - December 1941, appendices

2. AWM52 4/19/7/9 - [Unit War Diaries, 1939-1945 War] Fremantle Fixed Defences, September 1943

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