Dig un­cov­ers camp’s past

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

FIELDWORK by an ar­chae­ol­ogy team from UWA over the past week was just an­other step in piec­ing to­gether the his­tory of a World War II army camp on Hope Road, ac­cord­ing to Bibra Lake Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion (BLRA) pres­i­dent Chris­tine Cooper.

Doc­u­ments ob­tained by the BLRA from the Aus­tralian War Me­mo­rial in Can­berra show the site was home to the head­quar­ters of the 116 Light Anti Air­craft Reg­i­ment from Jan­uary 1943.

The Aus­tralian Women’s Army Ser­vice also had women who served at the site per­form­ing a range of du­ties, in­clud­ing driv­ing trucks, ad­min­is­tra­tion work and in­tel­li­gence work to help with the pro­tec­tion of WA.

Un­til Ms Cooper and the BLRA brought the camp to the City of Cock­burn’s at­ten­tion in early 2015, it had been vir­tu­ally forgotten.

A UWA ar­chae­ol­ogy field school led by lec­turer Sven Ouz­man sifted through the site last week, aim­ing to de­ter­mine the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sig­na­ture of the war camp and con­sider ev­i­dence of in­dige­nous occupation prior to that.

Ms Cooper said the re­search should pro­vide de­tails about ex­actly what the camp was used for.

“It’s a great op­por­tu­nity for us to dis­cover more in­for­ma­tion about the site but also for stu­dents to work in a lo­cal his­tor­i­cal area,” she said.

Dr Ouz­man said a mil­i­tary-re­lated but­ton and a path were among many Main pic­ture: Matt Jelonek

dis­cov­er­ies that would be stud­ied.

“Records are of­ten writ­ten af­ter the fact, so we’re look­ing at the pri­mary ev­i­dence on the ground,” he said.

He said all arte­facts would be doc­u­mented be­fore a report was com­pleted by the end of the year

Con­tact the BLRA at bibralak­[email protected] gmail.com.

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Above: Danielle Kelly, Chris­tine Cooper, Jil­lian Bar­taux, Shel­ley Kee­ley and Olivia Pisano. Right: Some of those sta­tioned at the camp.

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