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The moles, north and south, were constructed in the 1890s to protect the river harbour.
On the South Mole is the green-painted South Mole Lighthouse, which has been in operation since 1903. (Green indicates starboard, as seen by a ship entering the inner port of Fremantle.)
Anti-aircraft artillery was installed soon after the beginning of WW2. The major gun emplacement has been retained, as well as two buildings for storage and staff accommodation. The foundations of a third building, a bathroom, next to the accommodation building, are still visible.
The building would have housed, from left, a toilet pan, washbasin, and a shower – the drain on the right. I took the photo with my back against the (probable) accommodation hut, adjacent to the west.
This circular brick structure was built as a mount for a machine gun during WW2 by Roland Bertie Hill. His son Ed took him to show that it was still there when he was 84 ...
So I took him there for a look. He kicked it a couple of times and I passed the comment that it was pretty rough work.
He was a master bricklayer and was insulted. “Ha, I had 20 minutes to build that and then load a dinghy with bricks and mortar and row across the harbour and build another one the same.”
There are many monuments to his work around, [at] the Buckland Hill guns and the ones on Rottnest Island, the Kingston Barracks and many other places around Perth.
Winches for the 1940 boom defence apparatus are prominently visible near the end of the Mole.
Wikipedia entry for Fremantle Harbour.
Collections WA: page with information about bricks made at the State Brickworks.
The excerpt from Ed Hill's note about his father's brickwork is courtesy of the Fremantle History Society, secretary Kristi McNulty.
Garry Gillard | New: 10 January, 2024 | Now: 16 January, 2024