Civil Construction Corps (CCC) Staging and Transit Camp, and 11th Australian Base Workshop Camp
- Military camp
- Brisbane City
Hatton Street, Salisbury 4107
Located between Lillian Avenue, and Bidder and Regis Streets at Salisbury, it was one of three Civil Construction Corps camps established in Brisbane in 1942. The Salisbury CCC Camp was completed in early 1943. As it housed Brisbane’s CCC Zone Headquarters Offices, the camp had barracks rather than tented accommodation for its civilian labour force. The Salisbury CCC Camp provided the workforce for the construction of Australian and US Army, RAAF and USAAF and Commonwealth defence works across Brisbane’s southern suburbs. The site was later occupied by the 11th Australian Base Workshop.
The Commonwealth Government formed the Civil Construction Corps (CCC) on 14 April 1942 for the purpose of organising civilian labour for the construction of defence works. Civilian men could either volunteer or be drafted into the CCC.
During the latter part of 1942, as a result Brisbane being chosen by General Douglas MacArthur to be the headquarters for the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and it’s subsequent development as a major Allied supply base, much building work was undertaken. Most of the projects were under the direction of the Allied Works Council (AWC) that used a combination of the CCC and private building contractors to undertake each building project. There were three CCC Camps in Brisbane, at Chermside, Bulimba and Salisbury.
The Salisbury CCC Camp was the last to be finished, being completed in early 1943. It accommodated workers employed on local building projects as well as being a staging camp for men enroute to other areas. Unlike the Chermside and Bulimba CCC Camps that housed its workforce in tents, the Salisbury CCC Camp had 30 timber dormitories that had beds for 20 men therefore housing a total of 600 men. It also had two large (120 ft x 23 ft) buildings, timber kitchens each with separate pantries, storerooms and meat-houses. After-hours entertainment were available from a single recreation hut and also from a canteen. All buildings had flyscreens. The reason for the Salisbury CCC Camp having better facilities than the other CCC camps was that it also housed the CCC Zone Headquarters Offices for the Brisbane area. The dormitory accommodation was a requirement for housing the administration staff that worked at the CCC headquarters.
Though not as close to public transport as the Rocklea War Workers Hostels or the Moorooka Cottage Project, the CCC Camp only half a mile walk from the Salisbury railway station, and a little further away from the Salisbury tram terminus.
The civilian workers from the Salisbury CCC Camp were employed on local area projects built for the Australian and US Army, the RAAF and the USAAF and for the Commonwealth Government. These include alterations to Rocklea Munitions Works in 1943; additions to the joint USAAF and RAAF Archerfield air base, the Rocklea Commonwealth Marine Engine Works, the Moorooka RAAF engine overhaul workshops, the US Army’s Camp Darra, Camp Freeman (Inala) and Camp Columbia (Wacol).
A 1944 Commonwealth War Expenditure Committee examining the AWC reported on of the conditions under which men of the CCC lived and worked. The Committee recognized that the Armed Forces had placed a severe drain on available manpower and the AWC’s labour pool was limited. “The big majority of the men available had had [sic] no previous experience of, and were totally unaccustomed to, the living conditions associated with the work to be performed. A large number of the men were conscripted from the southern States and separated, in many instances for the first time, from their families. They had to work and live under conditions that were a severe test even to men accustomed to them. The fact that they survived and completed their tasks is to their everlasting credit…".
An August 1945 plan of the site shows more buildings than a March 1943 site plan of the CCC Transit Camp, and is labelled “11th Australian Base Workshop Camp Area, Salisbury".
S.J. Butlin & C.B. Schedvin, War Economy 1942–1945, (Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1976).
National Australian Archives, File Series: BP262/2, Item: 9178, Joint Parliamentary War Expenditure Advisory Committee visit to Queensland, October 1944.
National Archives of Australia, Item Barcode 1672980, 'Salisbury - Sewerage and Sullage Pipe Lines Civil Construction Corps Transit Camp, Parish of Yeerongpilly, County of Stanley', 1943.
National Archives of Australia, Item Barcode 3280185, '11 Australia Base Workshop', 1945.
'11th Australian Base Workshop AEME Camp at Lillian Ave, Salisbury and workshop at site of former Rocklea Munitions Factory in Brisbane During WWII.' http://www.ozatwar.com/ausarmy/11australianbaseworkshop.htm