No. 4 Medical Rehabilitation Unit

From Our Contribution


Brief History

No. 4 Convalescent Depot was formed on 30 August 1943, at 5 Embarkation Depot, Subiaco, Western Australia, with instructions to move to Yanchep at a later date, and to be accommodated at the Yanchep Inn. The move took two days from 21 October 1943, but both the inn and hostel were found to be badly in need of repair. Nevertheless the first new patient was received on 25 October 1943. On 2 November, the hostel was dosed for three days to allow for the fumigation of bed bugs and white ants. Further treatment for bed bugs was carried out later in the month. The daily average number of patients was now 25. The major aim of the Unit was to return cases of operational fatigue and illness to duty as soon as possible and the rehabilitation of unfit personnel into either service or civilian life.

Physical Activity at the Unit was based mainly on organised sport, selected exercises and physical outdoor work. On the patient welfare side, a program of organised entertainment became available. Pictures, concert parties, social evenings or dances were held once a week, with a billiard table and extensive library was available. The carpentry section was fully operational for occupational therapy in March 1944; other forms of occupational therapy available included tennis, basketball, volleyball and deck quoits. Poultry raising was initiated and flower gardens prepared. The services of a full postal unit began on 15 March. By the end of April, after the arrival of a masseuse, patients were being accepted for physiotherapy. Organised sporting facilities were increased, with the addition of cricket, fishing and hiking. Also during April, patients took part in daily lectures, with a weekly debate and discussions and quizzes being run. In addition patients were now also able to undertake correspondence courses. The occupational therapy section expanded during May 1944, with leather work, felt work and draughtsman ship being offered.

In August, the establishment of the Unit was increased from 50 to 75 beds, due to the steady increase in patient numbers. During October 1944, Interviews and lectures were held ln connection with rehabilitation and post-war matters, with the lost entry in the Unit History Record being made on 27 January 1946.

Unit Personnel


Content has come from Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History - Volume 9 Ancillary Units - Australian Government Publishing Service - 1995 pages 92 & 93.

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