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One soldier's story comes to life at Brisbane's Fort Lytton

5 January 2015

Take the family to Fort Lytton National Park on 7, 15 or 20 January 2015 to hear about the experiences of a World War I soldier in Brisbane, Gallipoli and France.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Ranger-in-Charge Roland Dowling said the special WWI tours would present Fort Lytton and the Lytton Quarantine Station through the story of one man.

“An actor will recount the life experiences of Lt Col Ray Stanley DSO, a submarine miner who was based at the fort before WWI,” Mr Dowling said.

“During the war, Lt Col Stanley served as an engineer with the 5th Division at Gallipoli, Fromelles and Villers-Bretonneux on the Western Front.

“He was decorated for bravery and returned to Australia. Sadly, like many returned servicemen, he died prematurely and was laid to rest in 1930.”

Mr Dowling said Fort Lytton was built in 1881 near the mouth of the Brisbane River and Lt Col Stanley was one of many AIF officers who served there before the war.

“The fort’s wharf was used to load men on the first vessels carrying AIF,” Mr Dowling said.

“A lot of those men had attended Fort Lytton training camps in pre-war years, and when the war began, many volunteers then trained here before leaving Australia.

“Fort Lytton wasn’t just a training and embarkation site, it was also an active garrison battery during WWI, ready to defend Brisbane.

“Lytton Quarantine Station, opened in 1915, is a fascinating part of the fort complex, and on the tours you’ll hear about its role in protecting the population from the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1919.

“Returned soldiers were forcibly quarantined on Signal Hill, part of the fort’s defence zone. A guard of 320 men was established at the fort to keep men in quarantine after some broke out and went into the city.

“The first person to die of Spanish influenza in Queensland was buried in the Lytton Quarantine Station in April 1919.”

Mr Dowling said QPWS planned to host other events at the fort in the Anzac centenary year.

Bookings are required for the special WWI tours in January – please phone 3393 4647. Tickets are $6 adult and $3 concession. More information about the fort, museum and quarantine station: http://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/fort-lytton/index.html.

Last updated
5 January 2015