278,254 Pages

Irwin Barracks
Karrakatta, Western Australia
Type Military base
Coordinates Latitude: -31.9655
Longitude: 115.7985
Built November 1948 (November 1948)
In use 1948 – present
Controlled by Australian Army
Garrison 13th Brigade

Irwin Barracks is an Australian Army base located in Karrakatta, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. It occupies a 62 hectare site on the western side of the Fremantle railway line.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

The barracks were originally named the Irwin Training Centre[2] on 5 December 1948 in honour of Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Chidley Irwin, the first military commandant of Western Australia (1829–1833).[3][4]

Prior to this the area was known as Karrakatta Camp and was set-aside as a military training area by the Western Australian Colonial Government in 1895. The site was used for short camps (in tented accommodation) and courses for Militia and School Cadet units[5] until the beginning of World War II. In 1896 a rifle range was constructed at Karrakatta[6] and equipped with seven sets of Jeffries patented "Wimbledon" targets – only the fourth range in the world so equipped. The range replaced the original rifle range located at Mount Eliza,[7] which was used by all metro-based troops including the Western Australian contingents, which trained at Karrakatta camp for the Second Boer War (1899–1902).[8][9] On 6 October 1898 completion of buildings for use as magazines for storage of powder and ammunition for Perth No.1 Battery were completed.[10][11] The buildings were constructed of local coastal limestone with slate roofs. These buildings have walls 2 feet 3½ inches thick and floors of concrete lined with timber flooring. They still exist within the Barracks.[12] The magazine buildings are included on the Commonwealth Heritage List as evidence of colonial defence infrastructure.[10]

Following Federation, the site was transferred from the State of Western Australia to the Commonwealth for A£750.[10] The site formed part of the 5th Military District and was also used for the training of citizen forces (militia) under the Commonwealth.

In 1913 the range was formally closed as it was deemed "unsafe",[13][14] following the earlier death of an army cadet in November 1909,[15] with the range relocated to a new site in Swanbourne. The camp was modernised and expanded during World War II, housing various units, as well as 1,000 Italian prisoners of war. After the war the camp served as an accommodation centre for former members of the Polish forces who had elected to migrate to Australia. In mid-1948 the camp was chosen to serve as a training camp for the Citizen Military Forces, and on 5 December 1948 it was ceremonially renamed the Irwin Training Centre. Most of the original wooden buildings were replaced by modern brick buildings during the 1950s and 1960s, though the last wooden buildings were not demolished until the 1980s.[16]

Current[edit | edit source]

Irwin Barracks is the headquarters of 13th Brigade, an Army Reserve formation of the Australian Army.[1]

The 13th Brigade currently consists of the following units:

The barracks also house:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Welcome to Western Australia". Defence Community Association. 2011. p. 7. http://www.defence.gov.au/dco/documents/Wel_Western_Australia_2011-2012_Screen.pdf. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  2. "No Title.". Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 14 February 1949. p. 17. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47645070. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  3. Mossenson, David. "Irwin, Frederick Chidley (1788–1860)". ADB. ANU. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/irwin-frederick-chidley-2263. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  4. "Renaming Camp". Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 6 December 1948. p. 6 Edition: 2nd Edition. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47147144. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  5. "Military - The Karrakatta Camp". Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 10 June 1903. p. 1 Edition: Second Edition. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article83910950. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  6. "General News - Rifle Shooting". Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 12 June 1896. p. 8. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66531654. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  7. "Local and Domestic Intelligence.". Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 6 August 1862. p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article69135671. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  8. "Kit inspection for Lighthorsemen in camp at Karrakatta training for the Boer War". 1900. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/157661377. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  9. "At Karrakatta Camp". Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 2 February 1901. p. 28. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article33199872. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Army Magazine Buildings Irwin Barracks, Brallos Pass, Karrakatta, WA, Australia". Australian Heritage Database. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahdb/search.pl?mode=place_detail;search=place_name%3Dirwin%2520barracks%3Bkeyword_PD%3Don%3Bkeyword_SS%3Don%3Bkeyword_PH%3Don%3Blatitude_1dir%3DS%3Blongitude_1dir%3DE%3Blongitude_2dir%3DE%3Blatitude_2dir%3DS%3Bin_region%3Dpart;place_id=105215. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  11. "Public Buildings". Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 7 February 1899. p. 7. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3220718. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  12. "Stone magazine buildings at the Irwin Training Centre, Karrakatta W.A. : report". Dept. of Works. 1968. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/18614126. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  13. "Rifle Shooting". Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 14 July 1913. p. 10. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26879568. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  14. "Karrakatta Rifle Range". Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 31 July 1913. p. 9. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26881123. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  15. "Tradegy at Karrakatta". Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 1 November 1909. p. 7. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26241160. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  16. Galliott, Ray (October 2011). "What's in a name? : Irwin Barracks history". Royal Australian Artillery Association of Western Australia. pp. 4–5. http://www.artillerywa.org.au/archives/2011_3.pdf. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Birch, Helen; City of Nedlands Library Service (2005). A Guide to Historical Military Sites in the City of Nedlands. Nedlands Library Service. 

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.