Adelaide Torrens Training Depot Back to Search

Normal torrens

Details

Location King William St, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Type buildings
Description

The impressive Drill Hall was built in 1935-6 and opened in 1936 as part of South Australia's Centenary celebrations.  A foundation stone is set in the southern end of the west wall. Bronze plaques are affixed either side of the main entrance.

The Torrens Training Depot and the adjacent Parade Ground and Memorial precinct have been associated with military activity since the earliest days of the Colony of South Australia.

Originally used for the training of local militia, it was adjacent to the original barracks which were located across Kintore Avenue behind the Museum of South Australia.

The Parade Ground was the assembly area for departing contingents of troops in the Boer War and World War 1 and to a lesser extent in World War 2.

These days it serves as a focal point for military parades, ANZAC Day commemorations, and is the hub of an extensive commemoration precinct incorporating a large number of memorials featured elsewhere in the VWMA Memorials listing.

The Drill Hall originally comprised Military offices and an armoury. For many years this building housed the 10th Battalion Royal South Australia Regiment and the Adelaide University Regiment of the Citizens Military Forces / Army Reserve. 

The Commonwealth vacated the land in the late 1990s and it reverted to State ownership.  Refurbished in 2003, in January 2004, utilised by the RSL, RAAFA, the VVA and History SA.

A foundation stone is set in the southern end of the west wall.

Bronze plaques are affixed either side of the main entrance.

The Featured image of the VC Honour Roll is located in the Memorial Hall at the southern end of the Building on the Ground Floor.

A stained glass window, originally belonging to the RAAF Association is in the southern wall to the left of the RAAF Association office on the first floor reception area. The window comprises nine sections made up of small panels of leadlight coloured glass, in the top centre section are stars surrounding a gold banner. The centre and lower outer sections have glass panels with representations of campaign ribbons and details. The centre section has war dates, campaign ribbons with details, a Cross of Sacrifice in the centre with the RAAF insignia on the left and a RAAF roundel on the right, below this is a text panel. The lower centre section has a text panel.

The glass doors from the original ANZAC House in Angas Street were relocated in the Torrens Parade Ground Memorial Hall.

Two cannons in front of the building were among a large number of captured Russian war trophy 36-pounder field cannons on their carriages from the Crimea War., distributed throughout the then British Empire.

On the top of each barrel near the trunnions is the embossed insignia of the Royal House of Russia, the Romanovs.

Australia's isolation and early distribution of war trophies into the care of local communities, or military authorities, have been major factors in their survival. Many of these Crimean cannons have been lost elsewhere, smelted down for war materiel during WW2.

At the end of the Crimean War (1853-56), a large number of trophies captured by Britain were distributed to cities and towns in the United Kingdom and her Empire. An address to the House of Commons during 1863 provides a list of 1165 Russian guns taken at Sebastopol. Included on the list are 730 iron guns and 324 iron carronades.

The trophies were to be distributed among the Australian colonies in accordance with their contribution to the Patriotic Fund. Australian colonies donated the following amounts in pounds to the Patriotic Fund designated to assist the war effort: Colony Amount New South Wales £64 916 South Australia £6,297 Tasmania £28,375 Victoria £47,711 Western Australia £818 In recognition of these contributions, each colony, except Western Australia, was awarded a pair of Russian trophy guns. (Queensland was not declared a separate Colony until 1859).

Adelaide's two trophies were first installed in the Botanic Gardens during February 1859. In 1867 they were used to announce the arrival of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Some time later, they were removed from the gardens and were handed over to the military authorities, which placed them in front of the armoury, which was located on North Terrace. One of the guns was fired daily as Adelaide’s time signal for midday.

In the mid 1930s, they were moved to their present position on the Torrens Parade Ground. They were subsequently moved to the Keswick Army Barracks but were returned to the Torrens Parade Ground in 2004 where they are currently on display.

The cannons are located either side of the main entrance to the Torrens Drill Hall. The cannons were repainted in March 2014

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Built 1935-36
Opened 22 September 1936 by HIS EXCELLENCY THE STATE GOVERNOR MAJOR GENERAL SIR WINSTON JOSEPH DUGAN K.C.M.G. C.B., D.S.O.
Inscription

Foundation stone:

THIS STONE WAS LAID BY THE

MINISTER FOR DEFENCE

THE HONORABLE

ROBERT ARCHDALE PARKHILL

ON THE 14TH DECEMBER 1935.

Left plaque:

THIS BUILDING WAS OPENED BY

HIS EXCELLENCY THE STATE GOVERNOR

MAJOR GENERAL SIR WINSTON JOSEPH DUGAN

K.C.M.G. C.B., D.S.O.

ON THE 22ND SEPT. 1936. DURING THE

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS

Right plaque:         

FROM THIS PARADE GROUND THE FIRST

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN SOLDIERS TO PROCEED

ON ACTIVE SERVICE LEFT ADELAIDE FOR

THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR 1899-1902.

THE NUMBER OF SOUTH AUSTRALIANS WHO

SERVED IN THIS CAMPAIGN WAS 84 OFFICERS

AND 1450 OTHER RANKS

CANNON INSCRIPTIONS
Left cannon:
Left trunnion: N-19186 AAKCHD-3BD H: F /AAOHЪ.
Right trunnion: 24-H. 120-P. 1824-T.

Right cannon:
Left trunnion: N-21112. {C}{C} AAKCHD-3BD HAT: F/AAOHЪ.
Right trunnion: 24-H. 120-P. 1825-T.

Condition

Excellent. Maintained by Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI).

View Tributes of Honour Description

Names

Showing 8 people of interest from memorial

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GOSSE, George

Lieutenant Commander
HMAS Torrens
Royal Australian Navy
Born 16 Feb 1912

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INWOOD, Reginald Roy

Service number S212249
Warrant Officer Class 1
9 Detention Barracks
Citizen Military Forces (CMF) / Militia - WW2
Born 14 Jul 1890

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BLACKBURN, Arthur Seaforth

Service number SX6962
Brigadier
Java Task Force
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 25 Nov 1892

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SULLIVAN, Arthur Percy

Service number 133003
Corporal
45th Battalion Royal Fusiliers
British Army
Born 27 Nov 1896

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WOODS, James Park

Service number 2344A
Private
48th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 4 Jan 1891

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MATTHEWS, Lionel Colin

Service number VX24597
Captain
8th Division Signals
2nd AIF WW 2
Born 15 Aug 1912

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LEAK, John

Service number 2053
Private
9th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born Feb 1892

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JENSEN, Joergen (Jorgan) Christian

Service number 2389
Corporal
50th Infantry Battalion
AIF WW1
Born 15 Jan 1891

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