HMAS Watson

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HMAS Watson

The establishment of the military training facility HMAS Watson followed military defence and training activities from 1854 along South Head and at Gap Bluff near The Gap.

Lying between Inner South Head and Gap Bluff (both now part of Sydney Harbour National Park) HMAS Watson was established in 1945, incorporating the Naval Radar Communications Centre at Gap Bluff. From 1945 it also incorporated the Radar Training School. [1]

HMAS Watson is home to Aboriginal engraving sites [2] together with the remains of early fortifications from 1876 onwards, including brick-lined tunnels. [3] The site also includes four weatherboard military barracks buildings from the period 1876–1903.

The chapel, dedicated to St George the Martyr, dates from 1961 [4] and replaces an earlier tin building.

Notes

[1] Department of Environment and Climate Change, 'South Head: Draft Conservation Management Plan, July 2007', Department of Environment and Climate Change, Hurstville NSW, 2007, viewed 13 November 2008, www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/npws.nsf/Content/southhead_cmp_draft

[2] WD Campbell, 'Aboriginal Carvings of Port Jackson and Broken Bay: Measured and Described by WD Campbell', Memoirs of the Geological Survey of New South Wales, Ethnographical Series, no 1, New South Wales Government Printer, Sydney, 1899; Tia Negerevich, 'Aboriginal Rock Engravings – South Head, Sydney Harbour: A report to the Australian Department of Housing and Construction', 1978; Margrit Koettig, 'Assessment of Aboriginal sites in the area of HMAS Watson, South Head, Sydney, New South Wales', report prepared for the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, 1986

[3] Department of Environment and Climate Change, 'South Head: Draft Conservation Management Plan, July 2007', Department of Environment and Climate Change, Hurstville NSW, 2007, viewed 13 November 2008, http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/npws.nsf/Content/southhead_cmp_draft

[4] Royal Australian Navy, 'HMAS Watson', Royal Australian Navy, Canberra, viewed 13 November 2008, www.navy.gov.au/HMAS_Watson

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