Holland Park, Brisbane – Second World War Military Hospital

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.

Entrance to the Holland Park Military Hospital, Brisbane, ca. 1945. State Library of Queensland. Negative number: 199281

Entrance to the Holland Park Military Hospital, Brisbane, ca. 1945

View towards Logan Road, Brisbane, through grounds of the Holland Park Military Hospital. State Library of Queensland. Negative number: 69379

View towards Logan Road, Brisbane, through grounds of the Holland Park Military Hospital

View of the Holland Park Military Hospital, ca. 1945. State Library of Queensland. Negative number: 181695

View of the Holland Park Military Hospital, ca. 1945

Unidentified woman standing near the Holland Park Military Hospital on Logan Road, 1945. State Library of Queensland. Image number: 9988-0001-0007

Unidentified woman standing near the Holland Park Military Hospital on Logan Road, 1945

World War II hospital at Holland Park, Brisbane ca. 1944. State Library of Queensland. Negative number: 177684

World War II hospital at Holland Park, Brisbane ca. 1944

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

 

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  1. Jennie Small

    I was very interested as my mother who was with the American Red Cross was based there during the war (prior to going to New Guinea). I have just been looking at all her photos of her time when based there

    • Richard Carr

      Dear Jennie,

      I’m assuming these images would have been especially relevant to you given your Mother’s connection with the site. I’m keen to see anything regarding the site myself as I now live along Glindemann Drive. Have you any images that you would be willing to share via email at all? Anything that shows positioning of the facility and the landscape around? Anything really would be fascinating.

      Cheers.

  2. Richard Carr

    This is very interesting. I live on the site along Glindemann Drive and am interested in any images that may be available/shared by anyone who has them to share.

  3. Darryl Fitch

    My parents moved into this camp when I was about 2 years old. I’m not sure how long they were there but I do remember it. At the time I believe it was being used by the Queensland Housing Commission as public housing. One of the buildings later became the Blessed Martin Depores Catholic School in Seville Road which I attended. The building was situated in the grounds now occupied by the Archbishop Duhig Nursing Home. The school was part of St. Joachim’s parish.

  4. Jan Sari

    This was my great great grandparents land. Conrad and Madelina Glindemann. My Grandparents Jack and Florence Hiddle (née Glindemann) owned the land that the Lynndon bowling green was built and was named after their two eldest children, my Father “Don” and his sister “Lynn”

  5. Pingback: Military Hospital at Holland Park | Sunrise...Travel Talk with Maggi

  6. Dianne McKinney-Smith

    This is very interesting. When I was born, in 1951, my parents were living in one of these huts. On my birth certificate their address was Hut 44, Flat 1, Area 1 Housing Commission, Holland Park. They had 3 boys and when I came along, being a girl, they moved into a bigger house thru Housing commission.

  7. Barbara Tweedie

    As a child I lived in one of the huts in Holland Park with my parents and siblings. We were still living there when my brother Tony was born in December 1948. Our family name was Hansen and we moved from there when the Housing Commission homes were built.We lived at number 6 Craddock Street Holland Park. We lived there until April 1958.

    • Clem price

      Clem Price
      Dear Barbara Tweedie
      New Hansen,
      I lived in the camps from 1948 to 1952,
      My parents, Gloria and Charlie Price and I,
      Lived in hut 75 flat 2 area1, directly opposite
      The very large concrete pad with a barber
      Shop on it, we lived next door to Ursula and
      Leonie Roberts. Barbara, I’m really not sure
      If you are the same person, but I do recall a
      Barbara Hansen I used to play with when I was about 7 years old in the camps.
      In 1952 we moved to 149 Seville road holland park, as our family grew larger we moved to
      Glinderman Drive Holland Park until 1959.
      I quite often do a nostalgic trip around Holland Park. I very much miss the old days of my
      Youth .

  8. Leolo (Lee) Llewellyn

    Housing was scarce in 1945-47. Imagine when my mother and I arrived by train from Bundaberg to join Dad who was in the Army. Somehow the accommodation we were sent to was at “The Camp”. It was a hut (100 ft.), without electricity, water not connected and urinals in a filthy state, having been used by squatters. To cap everything off, our luggage had been mislaid from train! Dad used a fire hose, that he managed to find, to clean the building. He also managed to borrow a camp stretcher from somewhere. My mother sat in the middle of that hut and sobbed. Then as the huts were divided into three “units”‘ we called one of them “home” for over two years, waiting to be allocated a Housing Commission House located at Seven Hills. – Until then, Holland Park SS
    Scholarship Classes. were responsible for my education.

  9. Greta Brown

    Hi Brian, I am interested in finding out more about the second world war and find this a relatively unknown part of our defence of Australia.I don’t think my parents were aware of some of the secret locations of army personel. Do you have any information about a message intercept depot in Victoria Park, Brisbane. I believe there was a bunker there where a fairly moderate sized workforce were located.

  10. Robert Breslin

    I sold papers there end of 44and 1945 Ilived at Rita street Holland Park I was 11years old the Americans were very good tippers

  11. Jaymaya Cahill

    Hi I’m trying to chase up a hard copy of a book that was supposedly published about the history of the Holland Park Military Hospital for a dear woman who was the child of one of the US men who worked on the Hospital . If anyone could even point me in the right direction that would be hugely appreciated

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