Sunday, 25 October 2015

Adelaide River NT

Continuing on our holiday up the middle of Australia.
We stayed at Alice Springs you can view my last 2 posts from 2014 [ here ] [  here ] plus photos which are similar to this years.
We did however go to a Truck and Car museum this year.

Then onto Adelaide River in the Northern Territory.  A population of about 240 people.

Adelaide River was first settled by worker who arrived in the area to construct the Overland Telegraph Line.  During construction, the discovery of  'gold' at Pine Creek (a town below) in 1872 had a major impact on the settlement.

Adelaide River played a central role in the defence of Australia during the second world war. 
In 1939, the town was designated as a rest area for personnel serving in Darwin, Northern Territory.
Military activity around the area increased significantly following the first Japanese air-raids on Darwin on February 19, 1942.

The immediate aftermath of these attacks led to a mass-exodus of the city's civilian population toward the south, an event that would become known as the Adelaide River Stakes.  The allied response was significant increase of forces to rebuild and greatly expand defences in the region. 
A military airfield was built in the town close to the railway station, along with several others in the surrounding district including Coomalie Creek and Pell.  In addition an artillery and weapons range was esxtablished at Tortilla Flats, between Commnaolie Creek and Adeliade River.

The town became an important tactical supply and communications base for all branches of the armed forces.  In August 1942, the Adelaide River War Cemetery was established. Photos below.

While there were numerous bombing raids on the surround outstations and facilities throughout 1942 - 1943, Adelaide River itself was bombed only once, in the early hours of November 12, 1943.  This was the last Japaanese air raid on the Northern Territory.  At the hight of hostilites, there wee up to 30,000 Australian Army and United States soldiers based near the town. 

An ammunition dump, including a spur railway line, was established at Snake Creek, not far to the north.  Whilst the facility became operational towards the end of the war, it was too late to be useful in the war effort.  Additional rail sidings were built at the town station to serve ambulances or 'hospital' trains that brought wounded personnel to the field hospitals in the area.  In addition to many transient units, the 107th Australian General Hospital and 119th Australian General Hospital were set up within Adelaide River.   Taken in part from Wikipedia.








32 comments:

  1. Fascinating. Amazing how much of any country is shaped by war.
    The Cemetery looks a beautiful place. And very green (which surprised me).

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    1. The cemetery was immaculate. Most War ones are that I've seen in Australia.
      I suppose the water comes from Adelaide River or bore water. Will have yo look it up.

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  2. I always find war cemeteries very moving and poignant places to visit - the loss of life in both wars was huge.

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    1. It was indeed. It's a sad place, those that are buried there mostly likely had great suffering, of course some none. Most are so young, that's another sad part.

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  3. On one of the NCIS television shows recently, it was mentioned that a US Marine's last duty station had been at Darwin. So, is there really a US Naval (or just Marine) base around Darwin, or was this just artistic license employed by the script writers?

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    1. There has been established a joint Australian/USA) jungle training base and air force base up in the Northern Territory at Timber Creek (army/marines) and Tindal (Air Force). These are under the control of the Australian Defence Force. Also training at these bases for joint exercises are NZ, Indonesian, Singaporean, Philippine and Thai military personnel. It is all naturally a restricted zone. The US rotates 2,500 marines on a time basis. Naturally reporting is of a limited nature. My two nephews who are both Majors have trained here and don't naturally give out much information.
      So what you read was NOT artistic license.
      C F Huggins

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    2. That true Jerry what Huggybear has written. Always something going on in Darwin where countries mentioned are doing excerises....

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  4. Margaret the cementery looks nice and it completely diffferent from European..It is well-maintained..

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    1. Every War Cemetery i have visited in Australia are lovely and well looked after.
      Many buried there as so young..
      Even where i live on this island, the War Cemetery is well maintained.

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  5. We visited it very early in the morning and it is the nicest cemetery I have ever been to.

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    1. I can imagine that. Certainly worth visiting when passing through and it's solely a War one..

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  6. this silly American was unaware there were attacks on your mainland in wwii...huh

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    1. Well we all can't be expected to know all :) you would know doubt be surprised regarding the Wars and Australia with the USA...on our East Coast in Cairns/Townsville there is also history.

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  7. Very informative report, Margaret.
    I was unaware that Adelaide River was so far north - just 114 kms south of Darwin. That would account for the greenery of the war cemetery. One must commend the Australian War Graves Commission for their wonderful work with our war cemeteries - the one at Gallipoli, at Lae in PNG (which is magnificently maintained) and countless others in the Middle East, North Africa and S. E. Asia. The cost of maintenance is extraordinary but I don't think anyone could begrudge one cent that is spent.
    Re: R. Mac Wheeler: The Japanese Imperial Airforce attack on Darwin in WW2 was heavier on such
    a small naval base than was what employed against Pearl Harbour. A very interesting statistic!!!!
    Cheers
    Colin

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    1. Oh dear - I missed out on the war cemeteries in France, Belgium and other parts of
      Europe.
      Colin

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    2. A stone throw really is the distance from Darwin....the Croc infested Adelaide River not that far away either..
      War Graves if Australia do a magnificent job keeping all War Graves in Australia up to scratch...

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  8. You are now in parts where I never been, post lots of photos.
    Merle.............

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  9. I can't imagine how difficult times were back them. We have no right to complain, not a single bit. Can you imagine being the first to settle a location?

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    1. We don't really need to complain but we do because we live in a different world to back then.
      Imaging the first settler, hot, humid, wildlife, vastness, not much vegetation and no water...at the Top End...mind boggling as to where they would have begun..

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  10. All this time I thought Adelaide River was just a river. (or me (*~*)
    I'm so insular.

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    1. As far as I am aware, Adelaide War Memorial is not that publicised. From memory our first visit there we saw this side road and headed up it, came across the Memorial!

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  11. I can't get over how we were not told much about what happened up there during the war. Interesting facts.

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    1. Neither can I, Diane. There is a lot about our country that we do not know, even though you have travelled many parts of it as I have.

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  12. After one week of absence as a result of a trip , I turn to your blog for knowing something more of your country.

    Kisses

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  13. Lovely cemetery, Margaret, and it is well taken care of. Two cemeteries here in Montreal come to mind, as they are very well maintained, and my parents are buried in them. Yes, my parents are not buried in the same plot; in fact, they are buried quite far from each other, about 30 to 40 minutes drive. Mount Royal Cemetery is gorgeous and this is where my mother is buried. It also has plots of victims of the Titanic in 1912. The Field of Honour is where my father is buried, a veterans cemetery. I have shared photos of them on my blog and if you are interested in seeing them, please feel free to do a search on my blog for the names of these cemeteries. :)

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    1. I shall take a look at your blog to see if I can find.
      Sounds very interesting those two cemeteries.

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    2. Hi Margaret, thanks so much, I just saw your question on my blog. At the top left of our blogs you will see an orange and white B...this is Blogger. Then you will see an empty box. At the end of the empty box you will see what looks like a magnifying glass. You need to go to my blog and find this, then type in that box what you are looking for, then click the little magnifying glass to do a search on my blog. It is a really handy feature! You can do this on any blog, including your own. Since what you will be looking for is on my blog, you have to go to my blog. I hope this helps. Thanks so much. :)

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    3. Thank you, I know where you mean, I totally forgot about that search thing...

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