Broadmeadows camp

From Our Contribution

Broadmeadows camp.jpg
Early tent city
Horse lines at Broadmeadows.jpg
View of the horse lines


Alongside other Australians, Victorians rushed to enlist when recruiting commenced. The first recruits camped in tents in the courtyard of the Victoria Barracks while others were put up at the Showgrounds or at racecourses. A patriotic Victorian, R.G. Wilson, offered to house a military camp on his land at Broadmeadows and the government quickly accepted. (Later the government bought the land). Broadmeadows camp was close to a railway line, was flat and could be well-watered. There was plenty of room for a large number of soldiers.

On 19 August 1914, two weeks and one day after the announcement of war, 2,500 men set off for Broadmeadows from central Melbourne. Crowds lined the streets as these men in mufti, some clutching Gladstone bags and some carrying neat parcels, walked from Victoria Barracks to the camp.

Leaving the Barracks at 9.30am they reached the camp at 5pm where they found ‘a green plain, rather high and windswept, with rows of pine trees and an old homestead.’ ‘A hard road made [for] many sore feet,’ a marcher reported.

Charles Bean referred to Broadmeadows as:
"Broadmeadows Camp was 10 miles from Melbourne, and officially every soldier was supposed to be in his blankets by 9.30 pm. As a matter of fact, every night both men and officers thronged the streets and cafes in Melbourne until the small hours of the morning.”[1]

Broadmeadows camp became the central training point for those allocated to artillery units in addition to training for signallers. As such, many West Australian enlistees spent time at Broadmeadows receiving Corp specific training after their initial induction at Blackboy Hill camp in Perth.


Remained in Australia

Broadmeadows camp 2.jpg
A Battalion on parade


  1. Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918 Vol 1. page 92. C.E.W. Bean. University of Queensland Press Edition

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