Tasmanian Times


World War II revisits Ross …

What are those earth mounds at Ross, with heavy metal hatches on top? ~ PHOTO by Kim Peart



Drive south of Ross along Tooms Lake Road, and strange large mounds of grass-covered earth will be seen on the side of a hill, along with several concrete structures.

Is this an old industrial site?

The more interesting answer is, no.

This is the location of a World War II fuel and ammunition depot, with four huge fuel tanks buried in the ground, a giant water reservoir, an earth covered concrete bunker for ammunition, a concrete building that housed the engines to drive the pumps, and other remains of the war.

Across the road is evidence of a railway spur, from where fuel was pumped from the train tankers to the monster fuel tanks buried in the hill.

I made a photo survey of this extraordinary site a couple of days ago ~

Sold by the Commonwealth in 1947, the Ross fuel and ammunition depot is privately owned.

For anyone interested, an inspection tour will be held on Sunday 22 April, meeting at the Ross Town Hall at 10am.

Over that weekend Mr Bill Chugg of Campbell Town will be presenting an exhibition of his military photographs in the Ross Town Hall, with a focus on World War II in the central Midlands.

At 2pm on the Sunday there will be a forum to explore the theme for anyone interested.

We would be pleased to hear from anyone with a story or a photo from the war years in the central Midlands, defined as the region from Conara Junction to St Peter’s Pass, when there was a long-established military base at Mona Vale, a drill hall in Ross, military air fields located north and south of Ross, a military hospital at Campbell Town and military camps at Conara.

We are looking toward collecting stories and photos, to be included in a booklet.

We are wondering if the Ross fuel and ammunition depot is worthy of Tasmanian heritage listing.

What could be the future for this fascinating site from the dark days of WWII?

Should Tasmania have been invaded, we were ready to fight.
Kim Peart, Heritage and Landcare in Ross

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