No. 1188 - Brighton Military Camp - "The Church of England Hut" (1940)

Brighton Military Camp was located at the northern end of Brighton on the boundary with Pontville. The camp was established on the 13th August 1914 but lack of water impeded its development. After the first continent left in October 1914 the main training camp moved to Claremont. During the Second World War a training camp was reestablished at Brighton which housed up to 2400 trainees. As the need for training declined, Brighton Camp was used to detain Italian prisoners of war. After the war the camp was used to house migrants from Europe as well as national servicemen. In 1967 it housed victims of the bushfires and in 1999 it was temporarily used by 400 Kosovar refugees. The facility was closed in 2006 and sold to a developer in somewhat controversial circumstances.

During World War Two, religious and spiritual needs of servicemen at Brighton Camp were met by a number of denominations including the Anglican, Methodist and Catholic churches as well as by the Salvation Army and the YMCA. With financial support from public fundraising “huts” were built as recreational facilities and as places of worship.

In September 1940 a “Church of England Hut” was built following successful fundraising by Anglicans from St Mark’s church at Pontville. The “Hut” was officially opened and dedicated by Bishop Hay on Sunday 1 September 1940, exactly a year after war had broken out in Europe.

The Launceston Examiner reported:

“The building contains a fine altar donated by the builder (Mr A.H. Walters). The large crowd could not be accommodated in the hall itself. The Governor (Sir Ernest Clark) and Lady Clark were present”.


In 1954 the hut was moved to the Hobart suburb of Goodwood to serve as a temporary Anglican church. The hut was demolished in 1974 to make way for St Christopher’s Anglican Church.

Further information about the Brighton Camp churches is most welcome as all articles are regularly updated. I can be contacted through the comments section on this page or my Facebook page "Churches of Tasmania" which is linked here: Churches of Tasmania.

The Church of England Hut at Brighton Camp. Photograph courtesy of Chris Jager



The altar donated by Mr. A.H. Walters - Photograph courtesy of Chris Jager

The Hut at Brighton Barracks that was moved to Goodwood in 1954. Source: Anglican Church of Australia. Diocese of Tasmania 


Sources:

The Mercury, Friday 24 May 1940, page 6
The Mercury, Monday 29 July 1940, page 4
Examiner, Monday 2 September 1940, page 4
The Mercury, Monday 2 September 1940, page 4

Henslowe, Dorothea I and Hurburgh, Isa Our heritage of Anglican churches in Tasmania. Mercury-Walch, Moonah, Tas, 1978.

Stephens, Geoffrey and Anglican Church of Australia. Diocese of Tasmania, (issuing body.) The Anglican Church in Tasmania : a Diocesan history to mark the sesquicentenary, 1992. Trustees of the Diocese, Hobart, 1991.

https://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/M/Military%20camps.htm







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