Oliver Hill Battery - H2 Gun
9.2in Mk X Gun
Built in 1901 by the Royal Gun Factory, the two 9.2in MK IV guns destined for Oliver Hill, were delivered to Rottnest Island in 1937.
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).
End 1937 – The 9.2” H2 gun for Oliver Hill arrives in Fremantle Port on board the MW Karamia (Fremantle Fortress – Rottnest Island WW2 Coastal Defence Facilities).
Accessible through the door and down the stairs, the small room at the bottom offers a rest area for the gun units.
A number of air vents, a few which have since been sealed, are for the Shell Store below. The H1 Gun Shell Store is referred to as a Magazine, like many of the batteries that form part of the Fremantle Fortress.
The Shells and Cordite had to be stored separately for safety, particularly the cordite which was sensitive and had strict handling policies as light and charge sources could cause sparks or flames.