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16 - Oliver Hill Battery - Tunnels

Oliver Hill Battery - Tunnels

A big shoutout to Rottnest Guide Gary for an awesome tour of the tunnels with his extensive knowledge of its history. Defo made my day!

20 - Oliver Hill Battery - Engine Room.JPG

Oliver Hill Battery - Engine Room

The Engine Room, particularly in the beginning on draft-versioned maps, was referred to as the Power Station.

It generated electrical power to run both guns and contained two 180 Horse Power Ruston Hornsby Engines driving 415 volt DC generating equipment. The power was distributed via a number of cables routed through the tunnels which connected to the H1 gun emplacements and below the surface of the ground to the H2 gun emplacements (2)

Ventilation was provided by a number of exhaust and ventilation shafts on the surface above.

In 1939, it was operated by the permanent sappers attached to the army's 5 Frt Coy, who were based at the Barracks (1).

As a result of re-structuring Fremantle Fixed Defences in June 1940 which saw the mainland army units seperated from Rottnest, the permanent fortress engineers became integrated with both the full-time and part-time sappers attached to the 35 Frt Coy. Those assigned to the island, were integrated into  Rottnest Frt Coy and those on the mainland became the Fremantle Frt Coy.


(1) Sappers in the West - Graham McKenzie-Smith, p.58

(2) Rottnest Island Fortress - R Glyde.

09 - Oliver Hill Battery - Tunnel Passage Exit.JPG

Oliver Hill Battery - Tunnel Passage Exit