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Air raid warden and members of the W.A.A.F in a Brisbane air raid shelter, 1942’
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WWII home defences: keep calm and find an air raid shelter

Join us at Anzac Square Memorial Galleries for a free talk on Queensland’s response to the threat of air raids during WWII.

Have you ever wondered what happened to Queensland’s WWII bomb shelters? Many of them are still partially standing today – used as bus shelters or shade shelters in parks across the State—with few realising their original purpose during the Second World War. What about readying your own Queenslander for an air raid? Or how emergency services prepared to fight incendiary explosives? If so, quickly but calmly make your way to our free talk on World War II home defences!

Air raids were a very real threat for Australia during World War II, with panic increasing after the bombing of Darwin in February 1942, and the failed attacks on Townsville later that year. In Queensland, civil authorities, voluntary organisations, and the general population prepared for the worst with evacuations, air raid drills, the closure of schools, and the digging of trenches. Over 200 public air raid shelters were constructed by Brisbane City Council during the war—mostly in parks and near railway stations—but many residents also took their own precautions by building private shelters on their own property.

From basements to blackouts, learn how the people of Queensland interacted with air raids in the Second World War and the lengths they went to seek protection from them. Talking points include Hanlon’s Hideouts, firefighting dress, and bomb shelter beautification. No gas mask required.

After the talk, visitors can stay to explore the Memorial Galleries - embarking on an interactive journey from World War I to today, before taking time to reflect on the remarkable stories of bravery and sacrifice in the tranquil parklands.

Anzac Square Memorial Galleries is located at 285 Ann Street, Brisbane. Entry is through the double brass doors located beneath the Shrine of Remembrance.

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Anzac Square Memorial Galleries

Contact phone:

0466 922 259