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03 - Oliver Hill Battery - No.1 Gun Entrance

Oliver Hill Battery - H1 Gun

9.2in Mk X Gun

The entrance tunnel is in close proximity to the railway line, providing direct access for receiving supplies of cordite and shells for the magazine.

The tunnel leads to the Casualty Clearance Station, before providing access to the underground Magazine containing separate rooms for the Cordite and Shell Store (located under the concrete space behind the gun) as well as the extensive tunnel network.

04 - Oliver Hill Battery - No.1 Gun Hatches & Vents

Hatches & Vents

TBC

05 - Oliver Hill Battery - 9.2in Mk X H1 Gun

9.2in MkIV H1 Gun

Built in 1902 by the Royal Gun Factory, the two 9.2in MK IV guns destined for Oliver Hill, were delivered to Rottnest Island in 1937.

 

The Royal Gun Factory formed part of the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, South London and is believed to have started production in 1716 with the construction of a foundry. They were previously called the Royal Brass Foundry, until they changed their name to the Royal Gun Factory in 1855. Collectively, they appear to be referred to as the Royal Arsenery, amongst a collection of other companies. All Royal Arsenal operations ceased to exist sometime in 1994 (Clive Holden).

14 August 1933 – Military experts recommend the Commonwealth Government to purchase a number of 9.2” guns to install in strategic locations around the country. It is being considered by Sir George Foster Pearce (1870-1952), Minister of Defence. Upon the budget being presented to the Federal Cabinet in September, a decision shall be made, due to an estimated cost of £5,000 per gun, with further costs of £25,000 for the gun mounting, special concrete foundation and associated equipment. At this stage, it appears that locations in Sydney, Newcastle and Fremantle are being considered for the guns (9.2 Inch Batteries, Daily Mercury, p.10)

 

March 1934 – Sir George Foster Pearce, Minister of Defence, announces plans to purchase two 9.2 inch guns at a cost of £35,000 (Oliver Hill Battery Rottnest Island – Conservation Management Plan).

 

1936 – Both 9.2 guns are relined and the breech mechanism is replaced with the latest model (The Aiming Post 4-99)

February 1937 – The 9.2” H1 gun for Oliver Hill arrives in Fremantle Port on board the MW Wairangi (Fremantle Fortress – Rottnest Island WW2 Coastal Defence Facilities) with weighing 28 tons (Heritage Council of Western Australia – Register of Heritage Places).

 

18 February 1937 – The H1 gun is delivered to Rottnest (Rottnest Island Authority – Oliver Hill Battery Conservation Assessment).

 

1938 – The 9.2” H1 gun barrel is installed on MK 7 mountings. It was originally supplied to the Royal Navy for use with Hong Kong’s fleet, before being transferred to the British Army in 1910 for use in defending the Portland Harbour (Fremantle Fortress – Rottnest Island WW2 Coastal Defence Facilities).

 

21 November 1938 – Both 9.2” guns are proofed (Heritage Council of Western Australia – Register of Heritage Places).

 

1939 – Both 9.2” guns are fitted with fire control equipment and searchlights are installed (Heritage Council of Western Australia – Register of Heritage Places).