123 Australian Special Hospital

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123 Australian Special Hospital

In 1942 the north-west corner of Wadmore Park, Athelstone, was occupied by the 123 Australian Special Hospital, which was believed to have been for the treatment of infectious diseases. The hospital was comprised of 20 pre-fabricated huts and nearly one hundred tent sites. By 1943, an ornamental garden had been established on the hospital grounds, including sunken gardens, a rockery, large fish ponds, and an avenue of 45 Chinese elm trees that lined the main entrance. The hospital remained in operation until 1947, after its closure the wood and iron buildings were auctioned off and removed from the site, leaving only the garden. Located as it is on the edge of the Black Hill Conservation Park the area was soon reinvigorated by native flora and fauna.

Although the avenue of Chinese elm trees was still visible in 2014, they had largely been reduced to dead tree trunks, with some remnants of stone edging. In 2015, an avenue of honour was replanted along the original hospital entrance, this time with South Australian blue gums. The gum trees were propagated from seeds collected on the site by the Landcare Association of South Australia.

The avenue of honour was developed to recognise all those from the Campbelltown City Council area who enlisted and served in war to protect Australia’s freedom and way of life. It acknowledges not only the men and women who served and perished in conflict, but also those who returned and their journey through rehabilitation and reconnection with the community.

Dedicated on Sunday 13 September 2015 by Deputy Mayor Marijka Ryan, City of Campbelltown.