Point Peron K Battery
It never ceases to amaze me every time I go to Point Peron (only five or so times as yet) there is always something new to see. Many of the amazing historic ruins lie forgotten in the bushes, most accessible by somewhat well-worn trails, which allows for minimal damage to the bush environment.
Despite years of neglect (and before we know it, a century will have passed), the only way to see them is to step of the pathways or risk never seeing them. Particularly as very little appears to be done to care and restore what remains, whilst they continue to erode away with time, weather and associated damage.
I was amazed on a recent occasion to see a set of stairs I'd never seen before. They were in fairly good condition and led to five small buildings that may have once been cottages, where the well and artesian bore lie. Two of the buildings were in existence prior to 1926. One of the buildings, where a drainage hole is visible in the bushes (perhaps from a toilet), an old oven door remains in or near its location. It is the same type of oven door that can be found in the bushes near what appears to be the mess hall, north east of the barracks nearby. Perhaps this was where the Officer Barracks were located.
The closest map I can find to a blueprint of Camp K Battery is a drawing dated 26 February 1943. The document is titled Point Peron Camp Block Plan and stamped with the approval of the GOC Western Command's Major-General Allan J Boase.
GOC - General Officer Commanding
The Western Command was previously called the 5th Military District and was an administrative district of the Australian Army. Forming shortly after the Federation of Australia in 1901, this District covered Western Australia, with the exception of the Kimberley region and their headquarters were located at the Swan Barracks in Perth. The name changed to the 5th District Base shortly after the First World War and then became the Western Command in October 1939 when the army moved towards a geographic command structure. In April 1942, they were reorganised as the III Corps before once again re-forming as the Western Command in June 1944.
None of the ruins in my following photos exists in these original plans, nor is there any mention of the water tank, well or artesian bore. Perhaps the latter is not much of a surprise due to the land's assets only being fully explored during construction works.
The buildings that were constructed to form Camp K Battery also differs quite extensively from the blueprint, with more buildings visible on later satellite imagery, those proposed being constructed in somewhat inaccurate locations (albeit still in close proximity to what was originally drafted up) and some constructed in slightly differing shapes and sizes.
These sketches formed part of documents that have been made available from the National Archives of Australia.
01 - February 2023
02 - February 2023
03 - February 2023