1st Australian Camp Hospital

Military camp
North and Cape York

near Sherard Osborne Point Road, Horn Island 4875

Due to an influx of troops and airmen into Queensland and the establishment of their camps in 1942–1943, some thirteen smaller camp hospitals were constructed. They were much more primitive than the larger general hospitals.

The 1st Australian Camp Hospital was formed in April 1942 at Reid River, west of Townsville, arriving to Thursday Island on 1 November. Here they assisted the 6th Australian Camp Hospital nurses, until moving to Horn Island on 4 January 1943. The staff consisted of nine nurses, a doctor and medical orderlies.

The hospital itself consisted of a hospital theatre, mess hut, nurses living quarters and a ward housing 36 beds. The ward itself was a canvas tent, with wooden floor boards and gauze sides with tent flaps, while all other buildings were wooden and camouflaged within the trees. After nursing wounded from New Guinea, aircraft and other assorted accident victims, burns, illness, and a myriad of tropical conditions, the unit was disbanded on 10 August 1944, with the 105th Australian Light Field Ambulance taking over.


Vanessa Seekee Torres Strait Heritage