Cabarlah Staff School
Defence Force School of Signals, Electronic Warfare Wing, Borneo Barracks
- Training facility
- Darling Downs
West side of New England Highway (just north of Barracks Road), Cabarlah 4352
During World War II the Staff School at Cabarlah was used by the First Australian Army’s Military Tactics School, Administration (NCO) School, Gas School and Transport School. The former Staff School is located on the New England Highway, on the left hand side about 3km past Highfields (heading north from Toowoomba), between Barracks Road and Meringandan Road.
The First Army was formed under Lieutenant General J.D. Lavarack in April 1942, with its headquarters in Toowoomba, and it initially included the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 10th Infantry Divisions (Militia), 1st Motor Division (Militia) and the 7th Division 2nd Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF).
By the end of April 1943 the First Army included the 4th Division (Militia), the 3rd Armoured Division (formerly 1st Motor Division) and the Torres Strait Force. A 1943 plan of the Staff School shows it was arranged around three streets in a rough pitchfork pattern, west of the Toowoomba-Crow’s Nest Road. Quarters for Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) personnel were located off the northernmost street.
Today the site functions as Borneo Barracks, home to the 7th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare), and the Defence Force School of Signals, Electronic Warfare Wing. The World War II buildings have been replaced, but the old street layout remains intact.
Pearce, Howard (contributing author).
McCarthy, D. 1959. Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Series 1 - Army. “Volume V - South-West Pacific Area - First Year: Kokoda to Wau."
Dexter, D. 1961. Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Series 1 - Army. “Volume VI - The New Guinea Offensives."
Charlton, P. 1991. South Queensland WWII 1941–45, Boolarong, Brisbane.
National Archives of Australia, Folder C Folio 4. Cabarlah Staff School - Site Plan [1/C/6], 1943.
National Archives of Australia, Folder C Folio 3. Cabarlah Training Camp - Site Plan [1/C/6] 1943
Australian War Memorial Photographic Collection
State Library of Victoria Photographic Collection