Pictured: Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) personnel and the Plotting Officer operating the Table Fire Direction Mark 2b in the Battery Plotting Room at North Fort in Manly. Personnel shown are Gunners M. Lundy, P.L. Johnston, M. Lindsay and Captain R.M Hoskins.
Background: Established in 1936, North Fort is a remnant military complex at North Head Sanctuary in Manly. Strategically placed at the northern entrance to Sydney Harbour, the now-demilitarised fort formed part of a defence system that spanned 300km of coastline during World War II. Until 1952, the North Fort Battery featured two 9.2 inch calibre guns. Serviced by a network of underground tunnels, each was capable of firing a distance of 26.4km. Target coordinates were relayed to these heavy weapons from an underground Plotting Room. The AWAS began filling key wartime positions at North Head after being authorised by the government, in August 1941, to “release men from certain military duties for employment in fighting units”.
Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial
Image Accession Number: 063467