Bradley’s Head: Traces of the Past Yr2 03: Thursday’s Special

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© irene waters 2016

Australia being a young nation has few old buildings when compared to the wonderful castles and entire towns found in Europe. Bradley’s Head, located on the north side of Sydney Harbour has historical meaning for our aborigines, the first fleet and military (naval particularly) and maritime

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© irene waters 2016

Standing on the point looking out to Fort Dennison (1 nautical mile away) is the mast and control tower of the original HMAS Sydney (erected in 1934). This warship sank the German boat Emden in 1914.

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© irene waters 2016

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© irene waters 2016

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© irene waters 2016

The old military fortifications were built in 1839 – 1841. My Father told me that the main reasons for these fortifications was the fear of a Russian Invasion due to their alignment with the Polish nation. This fear was not realised.

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© irene waters 2016

Bradley’s Head was named after the commander of the HMS Sirius by that man himself. A walking trail connects Sirius Cove to Bradleys Head. As children we grew up holidaying here as my Father’s parental home was situated between the two.

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© irene waters 2016

It was however highly strategic and every ship that travels into Sydney Harbour will pass it by.

Sadly the indigenous Borogegal People of the Eora nation had been largely dessimated by a smallpox epidemic in 1789.

In response to Paula’s Thursday’s Special Prompt

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
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13 Responses to Bradley’s Head: Traces of the Past Yr2 03: Thursday’s Special

  1. Paula says:

    This looks like an exciting place to play in as a child. Let’s be grateful that the cannons did not have to be used. You have showed me parts of Australian past I was completely unaware of. Beautifully illustrated Irene. Which photo may I use? I was thinking the third one from the top?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating Australian history. I had no idea your country was afraid of invasion from Russia and Poland.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. restlessjo says:

    Had to visit this one (my surname is Bradley 🙂 ) and I love the nautical connection.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past Y2-03 | Lost in Translation

  5. colinmathers says:

    And the bay on the ocean side of Bradley’s Head (where you go down the path past some cliff overhangs) is the resting place of one of the three Japanese midget subs that attacked ships in Sydney Harbour during World War II. Two of the subs were sunk in the Harbour, crew killed, and the other was damaged and made it out past the Heads before sinking. It was found quite recently by a diver off one of the Northern beaches. The bodies of the Japanese were recovered and given full military funerals with honours, by the Australian Navy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. colinmathers says:

    During World War II Grandfather Will took his turn with other men in his government architect’s department at fire watching on the roof of the building at night. The night the three Japanese midget-submarines attacked in Sydney Harbour, he was on his way home by ferry after his turn on the roof. His ferry had to put in at Garden Island from where he had a view of the frantic activity of the naval ships and the depth charging.
    The USS Chicago moored near Garden Island opened fire on sighting one of the midget subs at 10.27 pm on 31 May 1942. A ferry pulling out of Circular Quay was caught in the fire and retreated to safety. It was possibly this or a later ferry that Will was on. At 12.30 am, the same submarine fired two torpedoes at the Chicago. One of these hit a converted ferry, HMAS Kuttabul, moored at Garden Island, killing 21 sailors.
    One of the subs was sunk near Garden Island, a second tried to escape out the Heads but was sunk in Taylors Bay (the bay that the coastal path from Bradley’s Head goes around before heading up some steps back towards Lennox Street). Dad had a piece of pipe cut from that submarine and I always thought he had gone down to Taylor’s Bay and cut it from the wreck himself. I must have made that up.I now have that relic, and it has a printed ticket attached to it attesting that its genuine. Somebody must have been selling bits as souvenirs. I doubt very much that they were on Bradley’s Head watching, though the noise from all the depth charges and big guns may have brought them out to watch from somewhere, probably more likely up near the zoo or even on the verandah of the Lennox Street house, where there would have been a view of the area near the Bridge where most of the action occurred.
    As another footnote to this event, the bodies of the Japanese recovered from the 2 subs sunk in Sydney were given military funerals with full honours by the Australian Navy. This made a huge impression on the Japanese, and after the war the families of the Japanese killed came to Australia and met some of those involved. The 3rd sub made it out the heads and up towards Palm Beach where it went to the bottom with the crew. It was accidentally discovered by a diver quite recently. The mother submarine (from which the 3 midget subs were launched) was waiting in the ocean off Sydney, but failed to pick up that last sub before it sank.

    Liked by 1 person

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