Sunday, July 29, 2007

WW2 find

Now I was about to write this post and when checking a detail I realised that I am no longer sure of which property I am referring to.

It could either All Saints Anglican Church or St George's Uniting Church. Both are close to each other in Chapel Street, East St Kilda. Nearby is an army depot, closer the St Georges, so perhaps that is the one I am referring to.

The Brighton Antique Dealer's toyboy has an interest in WW I and WW2 memorabilia and so this last week had a call from a roof tiler chappie. He was doing some work on the slates on one of the above mentioned churches and in the roof space he discovered a very old telephone with a winding handle and it was connected to a wire that headed up into a tower. He followed the wire to another telephone he found up at the top of the church tower. The toyboy now believes the tower was used to spot enemy planes and the phones were communication to someone down in the roof space. I don't believe and Japanese planes came anywhere near Melbourne during the second WW, so it must have been a boring job.

The theory sounds quite plausible, given the location of an army depot nearby. Further investigations are underway.

Further investigation indicates to me that it was St George Uniting Church, pictured left, courtesy St Kilda Historical Society.


  1. Lovely image....and a great story of the discovery of the mystery phone. My pop said they didhave look outs in many odd places in St Kilda area during the war..he lived there during that time. I don't think we had any Japs come downt his far either.
    My mum's mum was in Sydney stcuk on a ride at Luna Park in the dark the night they discovered the Jap sub in the harbour in Sydney...I think that's as far as they got down towards us here.

  2. I'm sure there's a really crass phone sex story in there involving alter boys, but I won't go there ;)

  3. Very nice!


  4. Gee Cazzie, if she was on the the big dipper, she might have spied a periscope.

    Steph, 'send the next one up'.

    Thanks Keshi.

  5. What a find, that phone. A Japanese collapsible float plane overflew Pt Cook Air Force Base in 1942, launched from a Japanese sub in Bass Strait. Kept secret for many years, I read an account by a member of a Pt Cook AA crew, who said they were too flabbergasted to open fire when they saw the red rondels.

  6. How extraordinary Lad. I thought I was reasonably well informed about WW2 in Oz, but I haven't heard of this. I will ask.