A largely forgotten aspect of the Brisbane suburb of Holland Park’s history relates to the American presence in Brisbane during World War Two. The United States Army established the 3,000 bed Holland Park Military Hospital in early 1943, selecting the Glindemann family property as its location. The hospital was known as the US 42nd General Hospital.
Within the context of the present day Holland Park streetscape, the hospital was situated within the area bounded by Nursery Road and Gorban Street and approximately between Seville Park and Logan Road. More than three hundred workers were involved in the hospital’s construction and it received its first patients in June 1943. The Holland Park Military Hospital eventually passed into the control of Australian authorities following the departure of the Americans at the end of the war at which time the hospital was taken over by the 102nd Australian General Hospital. This Australian hospital had previously been located at Ekibin.
The site was eventually developed to provide land for residential purposes. Through this process, and with the relative shortage of materials following the Second World War, many of the huts were moved and used for other purposes in the local community. For example, it is believed that the Mount Gravatt Scout Group Hall was one of the huts which was moved and re-used from the hospital site after the war, with this possibly being the Administration building from either Unit No. 1 or Unit No. 2 of the hospital. It has also been reported that other hospital huts were moved elsewhere including to the St. Agnes Catholic Church grounds and Clontarf on the Redcliffe Peninsula, for use as shops.
Given the large number of huts within the hospital complex, we can speculate that other various old huts around Brisbane may have their genesis within the US 42nd General Hospital at Holland Park.
Brian Randall – Queensland Places Coordinator, State Library of Queensland