Coastal fortifications in New South Wales – Fact sheet 24

During the first half of this century many Australians felt the threat of foreign invasion. In New South Wales a series of fortifications was built along the coast and coastal defence plans were established in order to counter this threat. During their heyday these coastal fortifications played an important role in the home front defences of Australia, although following World War II most were dismantled and left to decline. The National Archives in Sydney holds a number of Australian Military Forces (AMF) and Commonwealth property records which deal specifically with coastal defences or fortifications.

Defence files

Over 200 record items have been identified relating to coastal fortifications. They include details of staffing, installations, transfers of equipment, plans in the event of attack, and general orders regarding certain fortifications.

Series SP553/1 deals wholly with coastal fortifications. Many individual files within the other series also contain relevant information.

Defence records relating to coastal fortifications

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesMiscellaneous records Headquarters Eastern Command1870–1967SP1141/1
SeriesAMF correspondence files1912–64SP459/1
SeriesAMF general correspondence, 'S' (secret) series1922–51SP1048/7
SeriesAMF records of fortress installations (NSW coast)1934–50SP553/1

Property files

The records listed below are only some of the individual record items which specifically relate to property acquisitions, sales and leases. You will find additional items relating to land in specific suburbs and towns by searching the property files relating to those areas.

Property files relating to coastal fortifications

For more information

Further information on records holdings relating to coastal fortifications is available in the following Fact Sheets:

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