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The Experience of War at Sydney - 1939 to 1945

Outbreak of War

At the outbreak of World War 2 in 1939 the RAN Armament Depot, Sydney comprised the main depot at Spectacle Island and the sub-depot at Newington. Spectacle Island was still storing substantial quantities of the less hazardous ammunition types, particularly cordite, and the explosives laboratory was still in use (it was not to finally close until 1957). A steady building program had been undertaken at Newington through the twenties and thirties to enable the more dangerous explosives to be moved there from Spectacle island. Other storehouses had been constructed to meet specific needs arising from the shipbuilding program. For example, building no. 33 was constructed during the late twenties for the storage of the bomb outfit of the seaplane carrier HMAS Albatross. Some work had also been undertaken as depression relief projects, notably the excavation of hill slopes to create sites for explosives storehouses.

For further detail on the facilities at Newington in the build up to the war visit the RAN Armament Depot Newington in 1937 page.

Before the entry of Japan into the war many ships of the RAN were serving off the Australia station and ammunition reserves for these ships were sent overseas. When HMAS Australia went overseas the Admiralty required her reserves shipped to the United Kingdom but when the ship returned to Australia her reserves at first did not. This was to present major operational problems as at one stage the only reserve of 8-inch semi-armour piercing (SAP) shell available to both the RN and the RAN east of Suez was the remnant of the RAN reserve at Sydney. Eventually HMAS Australia's reserves were returned but it was fortunate that there were few surface ship actions at that time.

Shell handling

Male employees storing 6 inch naval shells in a shed on the wharf before they were loaded onto HMAS Sydney. These shells probably include those which sank the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni during the subsequent tour of duty of HMAS Sydney in the Mediterranean. From the collection of the Australian War Memorial. (http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/001645)

(Note: the original AWM caption for this photo says that the shells were 8-inch, however HMAS Sydney did not have 8-inch guns. Comparative measurements, and the fact that the shells are a one-man lift, strongly suggest that the shells are 6-inch calibre)

The Building Program

By August 1940, a major building program was well under way at Newington to permit the removal of all explosives from Spectacle Island. At this time the threat to Australia was still somewhat remote and the security requirements were sufficiently relaxed that details of this program could be published in the daily press.

The entry of Japan into the war in December 1941 and the loss of the Singapore Naval Base the following month quickened the pace of expansion. With the RN Eastern Fleet base in Ceylon under threat, the Admiralty decided to relocate the gun and ammunition reserves for the Fleet to Australia, and these were soon on the water. Later, in August 1942, Admiralty asked for the provision of a further 5,000 tons of explosives storage.

(Note: the tons referred to in this context are shipping tons, which are a measure of volume. 1 shipping ton equals 40 cubic feet (US) or 42 cubic feet (UK). This is approximately equivalent to a modern standard Defence unit load, with a volume of 1.21 cubic metres and a weight of 1 tonne)

"Confidential

At the request of Admiralty in February 1942, arrangements were made to store at Sydney approximately 5,000 tons of explosives as a reserve for the Eastern Fleet. This ammunition has been received and is stored partly at Homebush and partly at Newington; both of these depots are served by land and water transport, being situated on the Parramatta River. Homebush was originally the N.S.W. State Brickworks and The Kilns have been converted into Explosive Storehouses, the nature of ammunition kept at the Establishment being as follows:-

Q.F. Cartridges (separate and fixed)
Shell (6-inch and below)
Fuzes, Tubes and Small Arms Ammunition
Pyrotechnics
Detonators
Practice Projectiles

In addition to the ammunition at Newington and Homebush, a comparatively small quantity of B.L. cartridges, and S.A.A., is stored at Spectacle Island, but it is intended to transfer this to Newington immediately suitable storage space becomes available at the latter Depot. Also, at St Marys (25 miles west of Sydney) 10-50 ton Explosive Stores for depth charges etc. are now in course of construction.

In August 1942, Admiralty asked that further provision be made for ammunition stowage at Sydney - to the extent of 5,000 tons. Suitable land adjoining Newington Magazine Area has been acquired and work of construction of the necessary buildings has commenced. In this new area B.L. Magazines, Explosive Storehouse for Q.F. ammunition, Shell, Warheads, Depth Charges and Bombs, Fireworks, S.A.A., Fuzes and Tubes, together with Laboratory and Cordite Test Rooms, Offices, Mess rooms and other miscellaneous buildings will be erected.

The wharfage at Homebush is complete with two 2-ton electric cranes and at Newington two electric cranes are also in use on the wharf; this latter (200 ft.) wharf, however, is being extended by 100-ft. and a third crane will be installed. ...
(ASO letter of 7 May 1943)"

Aerial photographs of Newington taken in January 1942 show clearly the extent of the depot at that time. Essentially, the buildings served by the 2-foot gauge tramway were in place, as was the proof area. Building No. 18 was under construction. Buildings Nos. 44 and 48 appear to be covered by camouflage netting. The last building heading south along the "concrete road" was no. 49. Laboratories A, B, C and D were also in place. The area which was later to be occupied by the US Navy appears as the Carnarvon Golf Course and the southern end of the ultimate depot as paddocks and salt marsh with isolated suburban houses on fenced allotments.

Camouflaged building at Newington in 1942

Camouflaged Storehouse (Between 2 Storehouses on the Right) in the Railway Cutting at Newington, January 1942

As mentioned above, the Admiralty stores were at first accommodated in whatever spare space was available at Newington and by the acquisition of the Homebush State Brickworks. The brick kilns, mixing sheds and other buildings were converted into explosive storehouses and laboratories. By good fortune the brickworks had direct road access to Newington via the Homebush Abattoirs; it was also served by a spur line from the main standard gauge NSW railway system. An internal narrow gauge railway ran between the main line spur, the brickyards and the brickyards wharf on Homebush Bay. This wharf was 150 foot long and was served by two 2-ton electric cranes.

The ammunition stored for the Admiralty included gun projectiles and cartridges up to 15-inch calibre (i.e. battleship ammunition), torpedo warheads, depth charges, bombs and smoke floats. Nine 15-inch gun bodies were also being stored "on selected sites on the harbour front" (Admiralty House, Clark Island and Snapper Island), as well as two spare 15-inch breech mechanisms which were on Spectacle Island.

15-inch gun barrels on Clark Island, 1949

Royal Navy 15-inch Gun Barrels on Clark Island, 1949

About this time large parcels of land lying to the south and south-west of the pre-war depot were requisitioned under the National Security Regulations to permit construction of additional storehouses and laboratories which when constructed were run as sub-depots of Newington, as was Homebush. These were sometimes referred to as the Auburn and Homebush depots; likewise the USN Magazine was referred to as the Carnarvon depot.

The construction during the latter part of the war comprised the USN Magazine, i.e. those buildings in the "bull ring" and the adjacent areas between Jamieson and Holker Streets and the "Burma Road" and the buildings along the "Concrete Road" and adjacent areas.

The storehouses along the Concrete Road were large earth-covered box magazines whilst the laboratories were of timber frame and asbestos-cement cladding.

Handling Explosives Freight

At the beginning of the war (1940) the Minister had delegated his powers under Section 66 of the National Security (General) Regulations to the naval officers in charge at the various ports. This allowed the Navy to override State legislation prohibiting the working of explosives at wharves. By mid-1942 large quantities of explosives arriving in the Port of Sydney by freight ships were being discharged directly over the wharves.

On 30 October 1942, a meeting was held between the Armament Supply Officer, Mr W.M. Hine, Mr Rounserville of the Munitions Department and Lt. Col. Woodbridge, the Army's Assistant Director of Ordnance Services for the purpose of clarifying which explosives should not be discharged direct from ships on to wharves. This meeting resulted in agreement that high explosives in bulk and any material which might be considered to be of a particularly sensitive nature, together with certain chemical munitions, should not be loaded or discharged at a wharf.

In a letter (C.R. 225/1/547) of 16 February 1944, the Rear Admiral in Charge, Sydney described the procedures involved in the Port of Sydney as they stood at that time.

"2. PEACETIME PROCEDURE

... under State Regulations administered by the Maritime Service Board, no vessel with ammunition or explosives on board is allowed to proceed past the explosive anchorage at Rose Bay, discharge being effected into lighters during daylight hours only. Naval ammunition is taken by lighter to Spectacle Island or Newington; commercial explosives are taken by lighter to Bantry Bay, Middle Harbour.

3. Vessels to load explosives complete loading ordinary cargo at the wharf and then proceed to Explosive Anchorage, Rose Bay, to take on board explosives ex lighters before departure.

4. WARTIME PROCEDURE

Shipowners and Agents, on receipt of advice that a certain vessel has on board ammunition and explosives consigned to Australian, American or Netherland Navies, immediately furnish the Sea Transport Officer with details, in writing, of the ammunition and/or explosives, with a request that the vessel be allowed to berth and discharge at a specified wharf. A similar procedure is adopted when permission is sought to load ammunition and explosives at a specified berth.

5. On receipt of the above information the Sea Transport Officer contacts the Armament Supply Officer, informing him of the nature of the explosives and the A.S.O. recommends whether or not the explosives or ammunition can be handled at the wharf in question or, alternatively, at the explosive anchorage.

6. On the Armament Supply Officer's recommendation for discharge or loading to be effected at a wharf, the Rear-Admiral-in-Charge, Sydney, in pursuance of the powers delegated to him under the National Security (General) Regulations, Section 66, orders the vessel to discharge or load at the wharf specified in the permit.

7. H.M.A.S. "PENGUIN" furnishes an Officer and Guard for all Australian and Netherlands Naval Ammunition and the United States Navy furnishes the U.S. Naval Officer and Guard.

8. An Officer of the Sea Transport Staff orders and arranges details of the above guards and polices the vessels checking regularly that guards are posted and that all precautions are taken.

9. The Sea Transport Officer is in close liaison with the Harbour Master and berths considered unsuitable by either officer are not permitted to be used, e.g. berths in the vicinity of bridges and other vital points.

10. Close liaison is also kept with the D.D.O.S. L of C., Victoria Barracks, who has similar powers of Delegation as the Rear-Admiral-in-Charge, Sydney in matters concerning all Military and Air Force ammunition and explosives handled in the port of Sydney."

In July 1944, the War Cabinet directed that a single Commonwealth authority was to be appointed in each port to exercise the delegation under the National Security (General) Regulations, Section 66 - these authorities were Army appointments, except in Melbourne. This decision probably resulted from underlying concern about the risks being heightened by the news of the Bombay ammunition ship explosion in May 1944, and persistent problems with getting waterside workers to observe safety precautions, particularly in relation to smoking.

Subsequently, in February 1945, the War Cabinet decided that the Department of Supply and Shipping were to exercise the delegation, and an Inspectorate was established with authority to randomly inspect all service movements of explosives.

The following, written in 1958, summarises the wartime experience in handling explosives through the Port of Sydney:

"In Sydney ... Although no precise statistics are available, it has been estimated that during the last war 175,000 tons of ammunition were handled in the Port of Sydney on behalf of the Department of the Army alone. The Department of the Navy ... states that from early 1942 until the end of the war approximately 250 shipments, totalling about 60,000 tons of explosives, arrived in Sydney on its behalf.

During the latter part of the war the statistics of Naval experience in the handling of explosives in the port of Sydney were -

(a) The quantity of explosives handled during the first 3 quarters of 1944 was 13,800 tons. In the last quarter of 1944, 12,300 tons were handled, and in the first quarter of 1945, the quantity rose to 30,000 tons. Most of this 30,000 tons (about 26,000) consisted of "all-explosives" cargoes in the Fleet Train for the British Pacific Fleet.

(b) As a result of this huge intake of explosives -

(i) the wharves on Sydney's waterfront contained several thousands of tons of mixed explosives, including heavy bombs, for months on end.
(ii) Sydney city streets and the Parramatta Road were used by trucks carrying tens of thousands of tons of explosives for several months.
(iii) 4,000 tons of lighterage in Sydney Harbour remained full of explosives for many weeks.

(c) By good fortune and vigilance of officials the small fire or mishap that could have brought about the detonation of this mass of ammunition was averted and Sydney escaped, notwithstanding that the city was under this daily hazard for months. There were also comparable quantities handled on behalf of the Department of Air and Munitions, and in addition large quantities were handled on behalf of allied governments. ...

After the cessation of hostilities, the Port of Sydney was used, in common with other Australian ports, for the dumping at sea of surplus munitions, and 11,500 tons of munitions passed through the port for this purpose. ..." (Commonwealth Explosives Port Facilities Committee, Report on the need for an isolated jetty in New South Wales for the handling of Commonwealth explosives, 1958)
The page on Spectacle Island support craft documents the expansion of the lighter fleet during the war.

The Scorched Earth Denial Plan

In November 1942 the threat to mainland Australia was so real that detailed plans were drawn up to implement a policy of denial to the enemy of the resources of the various depots - the so-called "Scorched Earth Denial Plan". This plan, and its April 1943 revision, comprise a valuable and detailed historical record of the infrastructure for munitions handling at the relevant times.

The plan was not without its problems:

"It is also desired to bring to notice the fact that at Homebush the Explosives Stores are very close to each other the buildings (which are converted brick kilns) being in some cases only about 15 feet apart and it is thought that the destruction by explosives of one of these buildings would in all probability mean the simultaneous demolition of all other Explosives Stores in the area, including, possibly, certain of the magazines as well as the Warhead store at Newington, which is situated only about ¾ mile away. An explosion of such a widespread nature would certainly have devastating results and the extent of the danger area requires determination in order that, if considered necessary, the evacuation of all persons from the surrounding district may be provided for in the general scheme. It is interesting to note that the Yaralla Military Hospital is about 1¼ mile from Homebush Magazine Depot and part of Concord West less than 1 mile." (ASO minute S.C. 168/1/300 of 22 April 1943)

Chemical Weapons

According to Geoff Plunkett, a small quantity of chemical ammunition was stored at Newington as at March, 1944. In his book Chemical Warfare in Australia (Australian Military History Publications, 2007, pages 491-492), he identifies this as phosgene-filled projectiles comprising:

Plunkett's source for this information is a Navy Office file titled Revised theatre plans for chemical warfare - South west Pacific area now in the National Archives of Australia (NAA MP1185/8, 1830/2/146). There is some supporting evidence for the presence of chemical ammunition at Newington in the Scorched Earth Denial Plan (see above). Dated April 1943, it listed a "Chemical Ammunition Store Group IIII" as one of the storehouses to be destroyed on plan implementation.

All of the guns for which this ammunition was designed were in RAN service. In the absence of further information, there are two possibilities for the presence of these relatively small quantities. Either they were procured by the RAN as a contingency provision or for trials, or they were part of the Royal Navy's ammunition reserves for its Eastern Fleet transferred to Sydney prior to May 1943 (see above). However Plunkett's book, and National Archives of Australia files available online suggest that the RAN had minimal involvement with chemical ammunition. For example, an Appraisal of Service Requirements for Smoke and Chemical Weapons to the end of 1943, prepared by an Inter-service Sub-committee of the Defence Committee lists only items of smoke ammunition for the Navy. (NAA A816, 9/301/89 Defensive Use of Gas [Chemical Warfare]).

It is likely that these projectiles were disposed of by sea dumping immediately post-war.

Homebush Sub-depot

The Homebush Sub-depot was established in the buildings of the former State Brickworks, which had closed in 1940 under private ownership. This depot was well established by November 1942 when the buildings were inventoried as part of the Scorched Earth Denial Plan.

The No. 1 Yard contained:

Items 5-9: Double-storey brick kilns adapted as Explosive Stores
Items 10-30: Miscellaneous Explosive Stores
Item 31: Pyrotechnic Store
Items 32-33: Detonator Stores
Item 34: Engineer's Shop, Boilerhouse
Item 35: Machine Shed
Item 36: Miscellaneous Sheds
Item 37: Dockyard Store
Item 38: Locomotive Shed
Item 39: Cottages Nos. 1 and 2 (Mess Rooms)
Item 40: Main Office
Item 41: Main Office Annex
Item 42: Lavatory Block
Item 43: Water Board Pumping Station
Item 44: Electrical Power Station

The No. 2 Yard contained:

Items 45-47: Double-storey brick kilns adapted as Explosive Stores
Item 48: Shell Store
Items 49-55: Miscellaneous Explosives Stores
Item 56: Office
Item 57: Timber Store
Item 58: Lavatory Block
Item 59: Electrical Power Station
Item 60: Abattoirs Pumping Station
Item 61: Wharf (150 feet in length)

The Plan also says that there were Laboratory Rooms at both Nos. 1 and 2 Yards; presumably these were located within the buildings listed above as they aren't separately listed. Other plant mentioned include 3 electric cranes, 2 at the Wharf and 1 in the No. 1 Yard.

Anecdotal evidence is that "The Armaments Depot filled in one pit with water to provide fire fighting, concreted the kilns and removed machinery." (A Short History of the State Brickworks, n.d. Department of Public Works archives; quoted in "Abattoir Heritage Precinct, Sydney Olympic Park Conservation Management Plan - June 2003".)

St Marys and Kingswood Sub-depots

Despite the expansion, there was still insufficient space for storage of high explosives and ten 50-ton depth charge storehouses were under construction at St Marys in May 1943. The final number utilised was 33. These were on a site which was later to become part of the Munitions Filling Factory and some were used by the RAN until the early 1970s. The desperate need for storage space led towards the end of the war to the temporary acquisition, later to become permanent, of the US Army Ordnance Depot at Kingswood. Ammunition was also moved to the Army depot at Bogan Gate, 250 miles west of Sydney.

Photo of Group III storage at Newington in 1949

Group III Explosives Storehouse at Newington in 1949

The British Pacific Fleet

A further phase of activity came during the early months of 1945 with the arrival in Australia of the Royal Navy's Pacific Fleet auxiliary train of support ships. During the quarter ending 30 April 1945, 30,000 tons of ammunition were handled at Sydney by road, rail and water; the largest amount recorded in any previous quarter being 5,000 tons. The former figure represented nearly 1½ times the total storage capacity of the Sydney depots. Almost the whole of this work was planned and supervised without RN assistance which was not at that time forthcoming.

Royal Navy stocks, or "Imperial" stocks as they were known at the time were not accounted for separately during the war:

"The Imperial Accounting Section came to its end during this quarter, and, as we go to press, Depots have been asked to open their own Imperial ledgers for Ammunition. So ends the last of our war-time innovations.

The events that started it all occurred on New Year's Day of 1942, when three shiploads of Ammunition en route to Singapore were diverted to Australia. This was the first trickle of what became a flood of 70,000 tons of Warlike stores. By the end of the war, there had been more than 200 shipments of Imperial stores from Britain and America.

"Whilst the war continued, there was no separate accounting in the ordinary sense for Imperial stores. Stocks were pooled and we kept records of receipts and issues of major items only. When the war ended, there was a comprehensive assessment of stocks remaining in Australia, and these were divided up, in accordance with available records, between the Imperial and Commonwealth Services. Ammunition was taken on charge in a Central Imperial Account at Navy Office, but Gunwharf and Torpedo and Mining Stores were accounted for in Depot ledgers." (Naval Ordnance Branch Newsletter, May 1951)
SIGNAL                                                             SECRET

To: ADMIRALTY REPEAT V.A.(Q), C. IN C. B.P.F

From: A.C.N.B.                                                 T.O.O 261126Z/April '45

REFERENCE C. IN C. B.P.F. MESSAGE 110449 APRIL
PARA. C. A CAREFUL CHECK HAS BEEN MADE OF SPACE AVAILABLE IN
AUSTRALIAN DEPOTS AND ACCOMMODATION FIGURES GIVEN IN ADMIRALTY
MESSAGE 042120B sSHOULD READ 35,775, 8,000, 27,775 (.)
THE DEFICIENCY OF 17,225 TONS IS DUE TO (A) INABILITY TO
OBTAIN POSSESSION OF U.S.N MAGAZINES AT MOUNT COOTHA AND
NEWINGTON TRANSFER OF WHICH MAY BE DELAYED FOR AS MUCH AS SIX
MONTHS (B) OVERALL REDUCTION OF 5,000 TONS IN ORIGINAL ESTIMATE
OF TOTAL SPACE VIDE PARA, C SECTION 5 (.) MOREOVER THE VACANT
STORAGE SPACE AT CAIRNS AND DARWIN CANNOT BE MADE USE OF
BECAUSE CARRIERS ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO EFFECT TRANSFERS OF
AMMUNITION (.)OPEN STORAGE WILL BECOME NECESSARY FOR THE ACCOMMODATION OF AMMUNITION ALREADY IN TRANSIT.

Post-War

The return of peace in 1945 did not ease the task facing the depots. As ships were speedily decommissioned, their ammunition was returned ashore to be retained, in some cases, and to be disposed of, in others. The following extracts from the inaugural Newsletter of the RAN Armament Depots, Sydney, dated May 1948, gives just a hint of what was involved:

"At the close of hostilities serious overstowage and congestion existed in magazines and storehouses but this state of affairs is gradually being overcome and it is confidently anticipated that within the next 12 months all of the Sydney Magazine Depots will again be in "ship shape" order and functioning in the manner expected of a major depot.

Evacuation of the storage in Homebush Brickyards, capacity 8,000 tons was completed by January, 1947.

The depot at Kingswood was cleared of stores by September 1947, but since that date has been refilled with Group VII stocks, as a result of a policy decision to remove such stores from Newington Area with a view to reducing explosive risks.

300 tons Naval ammunition which had been stored at the Army depot at Bogan Gate (250 miles from Sydney) has been brought back by road to Sydney in 1947, using depot lorries. A stock of 18,000 Smoke Floats A/C Navigation was left at Bogan Gate and was destroyed there by a laboratory party sent from Newington.

Over 10,000 tons have been dumped, using H.M.A.S. "Uralba", "Woomera" and two L.S.T.s.

During 1947 Depot lighters and Newington Wharfage were made available to the Army and R.A.A.F. for the dumping of several thousand tons of explosives.

Late in 1945 and 1946 A.S.I.S.'s "Heron", "Pacheoo", "Prome", "Hickory Dale", "Hickory Burn", "Robert Marask", "Hickory Stream" and "Hickory Glen" left Sydney fully loaded with explosive consignments for United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Africa. "Hickory Glen" returned from Hong Kong and reloaded in January, 1947, for United Kingdom.

Over 1½ million rounds of 20mm Oerlikon were stowed in open storage at one time and have had to be examined in accordance with A.C.L. 196 .... As a result of recent Admiralty instructions for immediate examination of stocks of Bofors for signs of wetness and corrosion, repair work on this item has stopped and examination put in hand. In the last few months 162,000 rounds from depot stocks and 122,000 rounds from Brisbane and H.M.A. Ships have been examined."

Some idea of the scale of the expansion that occurred during the war is given in the following table; the data relates to the RAN Armament Depot, Sydney, not just Newington:

DATE STAFF BUDGET
June 1936 90 £36,588
June 1950 607 £323,787

Further comparisons between 1936 and 1950 highlight this expansion:

"... 4. As regards the storage area for which the S.A.S.O is primary {sic} responsible expansion as under has taken place since 1936, viz:-

Gunwharf Stores

One large (400' x 100') building at Rydalmere is now fully stored with bulk gun stores from Spectacle Island, and additional pounds have been built in the Rydalmere area, and also at Spectacle Island, for the storage of guns 12-pdr. and above. In addition, specially heavy pounds have been erected at Clarke Island where 15 inch and 14 inch gun bodies, weighing from 82-98 tons each, are stored.

Magazine Stores

Newington - This Depot now extends from Parramatta River to within 100-150 yards from the Great Western Highway at Auburn, the storage area having increased since 1936 from 400 acres to 1,300 acres.

Kingswood - which area covers approximately 900 acres was taken over by the Navy on its vacation by the U.S. Navy {should be U.S. Army} and it is still fully stored with Naval explosives. It consists of 53 buildings.

St. Marys - A total number of 33 explosive storehouses situated in the Magazine area at St. Marys Explosives Factory were taken over by the R.A.N. during the war and these buildings are still occupied by the Navy.

Rydalmere - where two of the 400' x 100' Sheds there are occupied to capacity by the Navy in the storage of Smoke Floats and Empty Ammunition Packages which items are overflow store items from Newington.

5. In the matter of transport only a limited number of motor boats and rail trucks were available to the Depots in 1936; no road transport was provided at that date. Today, in June, 1950 sufficient work exists to warrant the running of a fleet of 41 motor vehicles, in addition to the use of 10 motor boats. In 1936 six ammunition lighters of 290 tons capacity were allowed by establishment but at the present time 42 lighters, with a carrying capacity of 4320 tons, are in use.

6. The value of Naval Armament Stores held on charge in Sydney on 30th June 1936 was £982,420. Although an annual stock valuation is not now carried out at Depots it is estimated that the present day value of the stores available is in the vicinity of £16,000,000. (SASO minute to Civil Secretary of 7 June 1950)

For the wider RAN context, see the document R.A.N. Organization for War - Lessons Learnt


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Robert Curran
borclaud @ tpg.com.au