Water tank bases (4)

Supply facility
North and Cape York

Off Airport Road, Horn Island 4875

The logistical problem of the lack of water on Horn Island was so severe that men were rationed to one canteen of water a day. To rectify this, the 17 Australian Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers, began construction of twelve 95,000 gallon wooden water tanks on 14 May 1943. Grouped into sets of four, they were situated near the wharf (today in Wasaga Village), halfway to the airport, and a third set near Vidgeon Creek, all being supplied by a pipeline from Vidgeon Creek. The tanks were octagonal with 20 foot sides of sheet iron lined T & G timber, jointed into an eight inch reinforced concrete base. The supporting framework of local hardwood and the prefabricated sides were bolted together with bolts made up from steel rod. The trick was to ensure that all joints in the iron were watertight and the bottom seal was in place. Work was completed on 1 September 1943, with 18 tonnes of concrete used to pour the bases, which today remain tangible evidence of these water tanks.


Vanessa Seekee Torres Strait Heritage