Woodside Barracks History

1836 – Inverbrackie Settlement established by a local settler named Payne, used as a rest stop for travellers to Adelaide. Consisted of a pub and church and numerous houses (the pub and church still exist today). The church was used as a school briefly during the late 1830’s. Inverbrackie was populated almost entirely of Scots.

1882-1889 – The Bird in Hand mine was the main source of employment for the residents of Inverbrackie. The mine was flooded by underground streams after gold was discovered. These streams were later used to supply fresh water to the army camp.

1922 – The commonwealth government put 20 pounds to secure the mine for future use, the mine was then purchased in 1926 for 2000 pounds.

1926 – 319 acres of land compulsorily acquired from WW1 Digger, Mr J.T. Murray, a soldier settler. Mr Murray complained as he was the only Australian in the area where many German settlers resided. This would cause much embarrassment as anti-German feeling was still prevalent being only 8 years after the Great War.

1927 – December 15, 2 portions of land totalling 420 acres were purchased from local residents for 33 pounds an acre. This land is the Woodside military area. Units occupying Woodside camp at this time were the 43rd and 48th battalions, and Artillery sub-units. In the following years prior to WWII 13 Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery (RAA), and a Light Horse Unit were located in the area now occupied by the married quarters.

1939 – September 3rd, WWII declared, the 10th and 27th Battalions were called up for compulsory training for 3 months under 3 Brigade HQ. The 43rd and 48th Battalions were called up a short time later.

1939 – Numerous Battalions were raised and trained at Woodside camp. These units were predominantly Australian Imperial Force (AIF) units and they included:

  • 2/43rd, 2/48th, 2/10th, 2/27th Battalions
  • 2/6th, 2/9th Division Cavalry Regiment
  • 2/6th, 2/8th Field Ambulance
  • 2/7th Field Regiment
  • 48th, 49th, 50th, 113th Field Batteries RAA
  • A US Army Artillery Regiment was also located at Woodside for a brief period

The Cairns and memorials for these units are still located in front of the 16th Air Defence Regiment’s Regimental Aid Post and Regimental HQ.

woodside-memorials

1947 – Woodside camp used as an immigrant camp; however Citizens Military Forces (CMF) and Cadet units still paraded here.

Woodside Barracks 1949 
Woodside Barracks 1949

1951 – Woodside camp was home to the 16th National Service Training Battalion upon the introduction of compulsory military service, this scheme lasted until approximately 1956.

1956 – The camp once again used as an immigration camp with the exception of 2 Field Ambulance located nearby.

1956-1963 – Woodside camp used by cadets and CMF.

1964 – 4 RAR raised at Woodside and departed for Malaysia in 1965.

1965 – 10 May, 110 Light Anti-Aircraft (LAA) Battery raised at Woodside, beginning a 42 year anti-aircraft occupation of Woodside which is still going strong to this day. 3 RAR returns from Borneo to Woodside Barracks where they remained until 1981.

1966 – 9th June, 111 LAA Battery returns from Malaysia into Woodside Barracks, they were located in Holsworthy from 1960-1964 and Middle Head from 1957-1960. They occupied the live in lines of 110 LAA Battery who had earlier departed to Malaysia to replace 111 Battery.

1967 – 9 RAR raised at Keswick Barracks, relocated to Woodside Barracks a short time later, then relocated after its tour in Vietnam in 1968.

1969 – 110 LAA Battery returns from Malaysia to Woodside Barracks, the 16th LAA Regiment was then formed. The 1 Division Intelligence Unit and Intelligence Centre were also occupying Woodside camp at this time.

1974 – 1 Division Intelligence Unit and Intelligence Centre relocate from Woodside. 16 LAA Regiment is renamed 16th Air Defence Regiment (light) with the removal of the 40mm BOFORS and the introduction of the Redeye SAM.

woodside-barracks

1975 – Woodside Barracks houses evacuees from Darwin’s Cyclone Tracy.

1983 – Woodside camp redevelopment commences.

1987 – Woodside Barracks totally rebuilt.

1981- Present – 16th Air Defence Regiment the sole occupant of Woodside camp, also the only regular Army air defence unit in Australia.

In 2012 the Regiment was renamed 16 Air Land Regiment.

The entrance to Woodside Barracks 
The entrance to Woodside Barracks
Woodside Barracks 2016 
Woodside Barracks 2016