Thursday, October 29, 2009

Camp Pell

This is where my Grandmother and my Mother and her siblings resided after the second World war. It was named Camp Pell. It is located in Royal Park or Parkville Melbourne... 4 kilometres from the CBD. Prior to the 3000 people housed there post WW2, it serviced as housing for American Soldiers and Australian soldiers in both WW1 and WW2. (Camp Pell was named after a gentleman , Major Floyd Pell.
My Mum remembers a little about living here at Camp Pell, mostly the fact that they ere fed porridge for breakfast and she remembers seeing all these children sitting at a long long table with bowls of steaming porridge in front of them. Every time she had porridge she would have this vision. She was about 3 years old at the time..and so my Grandma was surprised that my Mum remembered this.
The Salvation Army kept the kids clothed and fed. My Grandmother thanked God for the Salvos. However, I have since found out a bit more about Camp Pell, a recite by another person who was a bit older than my Mum who live there can be found HERE.
Once again, I am in awe of my Grandmother, having grown up in an Orphanage and not ever complained about it and now to read what Camp Pell was like for real and still not ever recall my Grandmother complain about it.... her saying "It's no gooda growling, no one will listen".

Parkville is now an education, research and health care precinct. It has beautiful tree lined park lands and ample room to exercise and stroll as you will. Now, the original guard house gates still remain. Anzac Hall is still there and it is used as a camp/ holiday spot for people from rural areas to come is Heritage Listed...let's hope it remains that way (Justin Maddern!).
The site where the camp grounds once were is now a netball/basketball venue and a new hockey stadium. They were constructed for the 2006 Commonwealth games.
Funny to mention the games, because back when the 1956 Olympics were held here in Melbourne, they evicted the last of the people who reside at Camp Pell and moved them onto other places to "clean up the look of the place so the Queen would not see such a sight on her way from the Air port to Melbourne... the good old Ostrich head in the sand syndrome !
More information on the current Urban Camp can be found HERE.


Andrew said...

Cazzie, could you try the link again. I would like to read the account of the camp.

BwcaBrownie said...

Housing was in very short supply after WW2.
The absent men were not here doing any building, and the first thing they did on return was create a family.
Landlords rejected any tenant applications by couples with children.
Dark days we baby boom kids started in.
I think there was an infamous Camp Pell murder case in the 1940's too.
Bless your Gran.

Ann oDyne said...

darling hot andrew - just push past the 404 and put Camp Pell into the Vicnet searchbox to get

Our Foremothers - 13. Howard's Way
Camp Pell had become infamous during the war because of the Brownout ... The Camp Pell tenants who had been fighting for better conditions were now fighting ...'s%20Way.html

Cazzie!!! said...

Hey there Andrew.. the link worked when I first published it.. will try for you again.

Brownie, yes, you are right, my Gran had twins she lost at 8mths in utero, my auntie who died age 12mths who had one lung, and my 3 uncles then my Mum. My Pop was in and out of the Heidelberg Repat Hospital, the mental asylum part secondary to war neurosis. They lost their hous that was public housing at White City..actually part of the dog racing track. So much happened back then.
The Brownout Strangler was the murder case therein Camp Pell..kept everyone on their toes. Ended up being an American Serviceman that was stationed there at Camp Pell.

Ann, thankyou very much for the linkage ... I will endeavour to correct it.

Andrew said...

I did that Ann, but still it did not work. Off to read it now and see if I can work why Cazzie's gran was in the camp. Ah, she has explained.

jillie said...

Wonderful part of history that I was not aware of. Thank you for sharing.

Jayne said...

Great post, Cazzie, thanks for sharing.

Middle Child said...

Thats so Andrew could not get the link to work -