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Blackboy Hill Memorial


Shire of Mundaring

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


Innamincka Rd Greenmount

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Blackboy Hill Camp

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1962, Constructed from 1914

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List YES 08 Mar 2016
State Register Registered 31 Mar 2006 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Statewide War Memorial Survey Completed 01 May 1996

Heritage Council
Register of the National Estate Permanent 28 Sep 1982

Heritage Council
Classified by the National Trust Classified {Lscpe} 04 Dec 1980

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 22 Apr 1997 1 - Exceptional significance

1 - Exceptional significance

Rare or outstanding example; essential to the heritage of the locality Expectations: The place should be retained and conserved. Any alterations or extensions should reinforce the significance of the place and be in accordance with a Conservation Plan if one is in place.

Statement of Significance

The Blackboy Hill commemorative site has vey high social and historic significance for it's associations with WWI training camp, sustenance camp for the unemployed during the depression and as an administrative site.

Physical Description

The commemorative or memorial site is contained on a small piece of open parkland adjacent to the Greenmount Primary School and St Anthony's Church/School which are in turn surrounded by new housing subdivisions which have gradually reduced the site to a token of its original size.
The site focusses on the commemorative memorial sculpture formed by metallic arcs scribing the sun's orbit through the sky. Low stone walls contain the space around the memorial which, despite the urban encroachment maintains a contemplative atmosphere.


The land on which the Blackboy Hill Commemorative site is located is said to have been used as an aboriginal camp-site. On 30th September 1829, the area became part of Captain James Stirling's 4,000 acre Swan. Location 16, "Woodbridge" Grant. A spring in the vicinity, shown on Surveyor Philip Chauncy's field notes accompanying his 1846 Survey of the York Road (Great Eastern Highway), was later said to have been used as a camp-site by Afghan camel teams.
In 1883, Henry Brockman purchased Stirling's land, and in 1884, estate agent James Morrison unsuccessfully advertised the Blackboy Hill Estate and Blackboy Flats for sale. In October 1896, after the auction of adjacent land near the Swan View Tunnel (Site 178) and Hedges' Swan View lots, Morrison made a second more successful attempt to sell his land. However, following the completion of the Eastern Railway, "Mahogany Creek Deviation" and the Swan View Tunnel, little development took place.
Part of Morrison's 1896 auction included the sale to Londoner Ernest Wood of Lots 100 (approximate size 62 acres), and the adjacent Lot 115, fronting the newly completed Eastern Railway. When war was declared on 4th August 1914, the Commonwealth Government acquired the land for an initial training camp. After a severe storm, the original bell-shaped canvas tents were eventually replaced by wooden huts, and on 16th October 1915, former State Premier Sir John Forrest, opened a YMCA Social Centre, erected by men from the Midland Junction Railway Workshops. Up until the end of World War I in November 1918, some 32,000 men (approximately 1 in 10, or 1/3 of all men aged 18-44 in Western Australia at that time), passed through the Blackboy Hill Camp. Nine of the ten Victoria Cross recipients trained at the Blackboy Hill Camp. The only exception was Hugo (Jim) Throssell (Sites 80 & 81).
Between June and October 1919, the buildings were used as an "isolation hospital" for the treatment of Spanish 'flu (pneumonic influenza). It has been said that 1,519 patients were treated, staying between 4 and 41 days, with the average being a week. There were 79 fatalities. In the 1920's, the area was deserted, except for the annual Greenmount District Show and the Officers' Mess which was used as a dance hall. Early in the 1930's, and until c. 1935, at any one time, an estimated 1,000 unemployed single men were housed there while they undertook sustenance work in road building and the nearby Greenmount National Park, known from 1947 as John Forrest National Park (Site 169).
the early stages of WWII (1939-1945), a railway stopping place was made nearby but the camp wasn't used during hte war, and the wooden buildings were relocated. However, after the war between 1945 and 1948, local resident Eric Leighton recalls the area being used for some sort of military training. After the war, the railway stop was relocated and renamed Blackboy Hill. Subsequent plans for the sub-division of the former camp-site for State Housing Commission houses was strongly rejected by returned service men and women and their organisations. As a result protests, early in 1951, partof the site was set aside as an ANZAC memorial reserve. The area was dedicated in Novemeber 1958, and in 1962, a distinctive sculpture was erected. It was designed by Architect Ean McDonald to reflect the ANZAC spirit and has it's axis on the line of the sunset on 24th April, ANZAC eve. Charle Court then Minister for Industrial Development and later Premier opened it, and the dedication was performed by Bishop Charles (Tom) Riley, a former chaplain at the WWI Blackboy Hill Camp. In 1963, an aviation beacon was erected on the site, and in the former camp-site. Other additions to the Blackboy Hill Camp-site include the Gallipoli Legion of ANZAC's seat in 1964; the planting in 1969 of a pine said to be descendant of one at Lone Pine (ANZAC Cove, Turkey) and an entrance structure in 1989. On 25th April each year, the site is used for the Shire fo Mundaring's main dawn service.


Integrity: The site's integrity as a memorial is very high but no element of the earlier uses remains.
Modifications: none of the original camp buildings remain


Very Good


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
G Bolton; "A Fine Country to Starve In". 2nd Edition pp. 106-109, 136, 161-162, 179-180, 182, 184, 187 UWA Press 1994
MJ Bourke; "On the Swan". pp. 292-293. p.299
Letters; Eric Leighton of Greenmount. 1996
I Elliot; ibid pp. 120, 212, 213, 228-231, 241

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
7026 Images CD No. 30 : assessment images : Blackboy Hill Site, Holmesdale, Mt Helena Tavern, Undercliffe. C D Rom 2004

Place Type

Historic Site


Epoch General Specific
Original Use MONUMENT\CEMETERY Monument
Present Use MONUMENT\CEMETERY Monument
Present Use PARK\RESERVE Park\Reserve

Architectural Styles

Other Style

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Other STONE Other Stone
Other STONE Granite
Other METAL Other Metal

Historic Themes

General Specific
OUTSIDE INFLUENCES World Wars & other wars

Creation Date

21 Aug 1995

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

10 Feb 2017


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