Army veterans, public can revisit past from Bardia Barracks this Sunday

Looking back at Bardia Barracks, Ingleburn
Looking back at Bardia Barracks, Ingleburn

ARMY veterans living in St George and Sutherland Shire will get a rare chance to revisit the scenes of their army training when the Bardia Barracks, formerly the Ingleburn Army Barracks, holds its first-ever open day for the public this Sunday.

Thousands of World War II, Korean, and Vietnam veterans completed their training at the barracks between 1939 and 1999.

They include men of the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th Divisions of the AIF who were stationed at Ingleburn during World War II. The 13th National Service Training Battalion was also stationed there during the 1950s.

Shire resident and veteran John Galvin completed his national service at Ingleburn the 1950s and went on to a 17-year army career, stationed in military transport.

Now a member of the Army History Unit, Mr Galvin said there were many veterans living in St George and Sutherland Shire who would have spent time at Ingleburn.

Looking back at Bardia Barracks, Ingleburn

Looking back at Bardia Barracks, Ingleburn

"The open day will be a rare chance for them to return the scene of their youth," Mr Galvin said.

"It could give their grandchildren a valuable insight into a rarely seen piece of Australian history, as well as their grandfathers' history."

At the end of World War II the barracks was a training centre for both reserve forces and for training national service troops.

During the 1960s, the army's School of Infantry Training was established on the site.

Looking back at Bardia Barracks, Ingleburn

Looking back at Bardia Barracks, Ingleburn

A unique factor about Bardia Barracks is that every corps in the Australian Army has had a presence at the camp at some time during its 60 years of operation.

The camp reached its zenith in the 1960s during the Vietnam War.

During this time the hospital complex became the major hospital for treating troops repatriated from South Vietnam.

The cell block at the Infantry Centre at various times also accommodated national service conscientious objectors.

In 2013, Bardia Barracks was listed on the State Heritage Register.

The Ingleburn Military Heritage Precinct Association Volunteers conduct tours of the Barracks for school groups and seniors.

Looking back at Bardia Barracks, Ingleburn

Looking back at Bardia Barracks, Ingleburn

Bardia Barracks open day will be on Sunday, March 8, 10am to 4pm, Campbelltown Road, Ingleburn.

Parking is available on site. There will be no charge for the open day but donations will be accepted.

Details: Leon Walker, 4572 7768.

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