Australian Red Cross Convalescent Home

Glenroma Homestead

Brisbane City

10 Laurel Avenue, Chelmer 4068

'Glenroma' was a large, Federation home with river frontage built at Chelmer. In March 1941, the Australian Red Cross bought the property. It underwent building alterations while a dormitory was added to the site to enable the Red Cross to operate 'Glenroma' as a medical facility. Specifically it became a convalescent home for Australian servicemen who had been released from the various military hospitals dotted around Brisbane.


In March 1941, as Australian casualties began to return from the Middle East battles, the Australian Red Cross (Qld Chapter) searched for a suitable site in Brisbane for a convalescent home. The Red Cross purchased the grand old home 'Glenroma' from Mr. Harding Frew.

'Glenroma' was located in Laurel Avenue at Chelmer, close to Chelmer Railway Station. The Red Cross reserved accommodation in the house for returned soldiers, sailors or airmen. Initially only soldiers serving overseas in the 2nd Australian Imperial Force (AIF) would have access to 'Glenroma' but after the outbreak of the Pacific War and the subsequent sending of Australian Military Forces (AMF or the militia) to Papua, New Guinea, New Britain, New Ireland and Bougainville, the house would have admitted convalescing militiamen.

Apart from the existing 15-room house, a dormitory building accommodating 50 men was built on the site. The house had to be altered to provide extra bed space. It was situated on 3.25 acres of land that sloped down to the banks of the Brisbane River. 'Glenroma' was surrounded on three sides by wide, open verandahs and had shady gardens in both the front and back yards, In a 1941 journal article, such features were believed to create “an atmosphere of warm sympathy and friendship consistent with the humane service it will provide” to its recovering military patients.

'Glenroma' was administered by the Queensland Chapter and overseen by the advisory committee of the Red Cross. As the Home held medical patients, it was staffed by trained medical assistants and local women drawn from the Red Cross’s Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs).


Architecture & Building Journal of Queensland March 1941, p.17.