- Rivett, Norman C
- History - general, Ship histories and stories, Garden Island
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- June 1999 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The Barracks has never been used as such by the RAN although the need for such accommodation to house the crews undergoing refit in the Dockyard was obvious. To this end a single story accommodation block was constructed on the Cruiser wharf in 1917 to cater for the crews of early RAN destroyers.
The rapid increase in size of destroyers and crew numbers quickly rendered this building inadequate although it lingered on in the Dockyard until well after World War Two.
The Hospital has been used at various periods but surprisingly not during either of the World Wars when the facilities were transferred to Rose Bay. When there was a need for medical facilities on the morning of the 1st June 1942 when the accommodation ship Kuttabul was sunk, only a first aid post was available in the Dockyard.
The Barracks has been used for office purposes – both civilian and naval. Its main function was as the East Australia Registry and later as the Dockyard Registry; as such the southern ground floor was a security area, which may be the reason why an emergency door was not created.
The kitchen and wash house has had only one obvious external addition, a skylight fitted to the eastern side of the roof above the former wash house. This building was for many years used by the Dockyard signwriters and has served as a Museum since 1986.