Peter Royston Walkley (1945-2011)
National Mapping 1968-1992
by Laurie McLean
Peter Walkley at age 39 years in September 1985.
Extracted from an XNatmap image.
Peewee Walkley was one of National Mapping’s great characters. Within his family Peter Royston Walkley was known as Peter. However, within National Mapping Peter was generally known as Peewee. Peter worked with the Division of National Mapping from the late 1960s and retired from the Commonwealth Public Service in 1992.
During his some 26 years with National Mapping and successor organisations Peter carried out extensive field surveys in remote areas of Australia, in the then Australian Territory of Papua New Guinea and over Australia’s Continental Shelf and coastal waters.
Peter Walkley joined National Mapping as a Field Assistant in 1967. Initially he worked in the Precision Levelling Section that was renamed as the Geodetic Levelling Section circa 1970. Later Peter worked with the Geodetic Survey Section (both were sections of the Geodetic Survey Branch). Following a departmental reorganisation in 1977, Geodetic Survey and Bathymetric Mapping activities came within the Survey Operations Branch of National Mapping’s Survey Group. Consequently, Peewee worked on both Geodetic and Bathymetric field programs based from Nat Map’s Canberra Offices. By the end of 1975 Peewee had been promoted to Technical Officer (Surveying), Grade 1.
As was the case with many of the Nat Mappers in the then Bathymetric Surveying and Mapping section of Nat Map’s Survey Operations Branch, Peter’s post July 1987 mapping years were spent with the Australian Surveying and Land Information Group within the Department of the Administrative Services and then with the Hydrographic Service of the Royal Australian Navy within the Department of Defence.
This article is a somewhat belated tribute to Peewee. The article looks at Peewee’s contributions to National Mapping and his later work with other Commonwealth Government organisations as well as looking at his extended family and his early life. The article was prepared with generous assistance from Peter’s sister Linda Klintworth, his brother-in-law Dr Gary Klintworth and several of Peter’s National Mapping colleagues.
Some of the material in this article has already appeared on the XNatmap website in articles on Peewee’s Nat Map work colleagues Len Turner, John Woodger and Harry Granger. This material (mainly in Appendices D, E, G and I) is included again to help give completeness to the biographical coverage of Peter Walkley.
Peter Royston Walkley was born on Sunday 9 December 1945 at the Margaret Coles maternity wing of Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital in Commercial Road to the south east of the central business district. The maternity wing opened in July 1943 and was named for Margaret Coles the wife of retailer Sir George James Coles CBE (1885-1977) who made a substantial donation towards its establishment. Peter was the first of the 2 children born to Thomas Lloyd Walkley (1915-1996) and his wife Una Jean Walkley (1911-2001) née Harvey. (Within the family, Peter’s father Thomas Lloyd Walkley was known as Lloyd.) Peter’s younger sibling was his sister Linda Christine who was born in 1947.
Peter spent his early years with his parents and sister at his mother’s family property Olrig in Craigieburn that was then on the northern outskirts of Melbourne (more information on Olrig is provided in Appendix A).
The Walkley family at Toronto on Lake Macquarie NSW early 1950s.
From the left: Peter, Linda (sister), Lloyd (father), and Una (mother).
Image supplied by Linda Klintworth.
In the late 1940s the Walkley family moved to Montville in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. Here Peter’s father, the then Flight Lieutenant Thomas Lloyd Walkley DFM, commuted by motorcycle to his employment at the RAAF Base Amberley near Ipswich; a direct distance of about 100 kilometres from Montville (Klintworth, 2019-2020).
Afterwards the Walkley family returned to Olrig at Craigieburn as Lloyd Walkley had been posted to the RAAF Base at Laverton; a direct distance of about 35 kilometres south west of Olrig.
In the late 1950s Peter moved with his family to the Wagga Wagga district where they lived on the grazing property Bimbrook at Ladysmith about 15 kilometres south east of Wagga Wagga.
Peter Walkley at Monteville, Queensland circa 1949.
Image supplied by Linda Klintworth.
Peter Walkley attended primary school at Craigieburn. Peter commenced high school at Maribyrnong High School (now known as Maribyrnong College) in Melbourne’s inner west about 7 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD. Peter finished his high school education at Wagga Wagga High School; then at its present campus in Coleman Street Turvey Park. Here Peter gained the Intermediate Certificate circa 1962.
After High School, Peter undertook a 3-year diploma course at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural College. The College commenced in 1949 and was located on the site of the Wagga Experiment Farm about 7 kilometres north west of the Wagga Wagga shopping centre. The subjects taught at the College included: agriculture; livestock; agricultural chemistry; soil physics; agricultural botany; business principles; farm meteorology; economic entomology; farm mechanics; farm book-keeping and elementary veterinary science (State Records Authority of New South Wales, undated).
Peter Walkley at Wagga Wagga early 1960s.
Image supplied by Linda Klintworth.
By the early 1960s the minimum College entry age was 17 years and the Intermediate Certificate with English, mathematics, and science were prerequisites (State Records Authority of New South Wales, undated). Thus it is likely that Peter commenced at the College in 1963. Peter Walkley graduated from the Wagga Wagga Agricultural College with a Diploma of Agriculture circa 1966.
Peter Walkley (centre row, left side) and fellow students at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural College circa 1965.
Image supplied by Linda Klintworth.
Jackaroo on Sandy Camp Station, Quambone circa 1966
Soon after graduating from the Wagga Wagga Agricultural College, Peter took a position as a jackaroo on Sandy Camp Station (Klintworth, 2019-2020). As shown on the topographic map extract below, Sandy Camp homestead is located about 14 kilometres north west of Quambone (and about 60 kilometres north west of Coonamble) near the Macquarie Marshes area of the Macquarie River Valley on the New South Wales central western plains.
Location of Sandy Camp homestead.
Extract from SH 55-11 R502 series topographic map sheet 1966.
From 1948, Sandy Camp was owned by the Australian Agricultural Company that was established by Royal Warrant issued by King George IV in 1824. Today the Company operates properties, feedlots and farms comprising around 6.4 million hectares of land in Queensland and the Northern Territory. Present day ownership of Sandy Camp was not discovered during research for this article.
Scots-born James Gillie McLeish (1848-1922) had purchased Sandy Camp in 1900 as part of an extensive grazing enterprise on properties in the Coonamble, Quambone, and Walgett districts. In 1915, some 14 000 acres of land was added to Sandy Camp when McLeish gained the approval of the Minister for Lands to exchange a similar area of land from his nearby property Mungrabambone. Sandy Camp eventually comprised some 78 835 acres (about 31 900 hectares) of land. However, in 1948 some 2 144 hectares of Sandy Camp were cut out as Haddington and retained by the McLeish family while the balance of Sandy Camp was the sold to the Australian Agricultural Company.
James McLeish had arrived in Victoria with his parents in 1852. In 1877 he settled on a 640 acres selection at Yanco Creek in the Riverina and later acquired land in the Lockhart district where he combined grazing and lambing operations. He settled on a property near Warren in 1887 and later acquired the sheep and cattle property Willancora on the Lower Macquarie. Over the years McLeish purchased several other pastoral properties, namely: Sandy Camp (1900), Pillicawarrina (1908), Narraway (1912), Mungrabambone (1913), Noonbah (1917), The Mole (1920) and Bogara (1920).
On 1 May 1922, James McLeish died at his residence Wirrillah at 5 Frenchman’s Road in the eastern Sydney suburb of Randwick. He was 74 years of age and was survived by his wife Grace Ann and their 12 children. After a short service at his home on the morning of 3 May 1922, James McLeish’s remains were conveyed to the Presbyterian Cemetery at Randwick.
James McLeish had retired from station life in 1918 but until shortly before his death had continued in the management of his properties. He was one of New South Wales’ pioneer pastoralists and as well as being a sheep man was probably one of the largest cattle breeders in the State. After McLeish’s death his children carried on these pastoral pursuits as James McLeish Estates Pty Ltd and added further properties to the family portfolio.
Other early employment
After his time at Sandy Camp, Peter Walkley worked on the trans-Tasman livestock trade. In this position Peter accompanied livestock shipments on vessels travelling between Australia and New Zealand. These shipments were undertaken both ways between the two countries (Klintworth, 2019-2020).
About this time in the 1960s, Peter also worked briefly on the New Zealand inter-island roll‑on/roll-off vehicle and passenger ferry TSV Wahine. The Scottish-built Wahine was a twin-screw, turbo-electric vessel of some 9 000 tons. On this vessel Peter worked with Ross Edmonds who also later joined National Mapping (Rodgers, 2019-2020). On 10 April 1968, the Wahine sunk at the entrance to Wellington Harbour with the tragic loss of around 100 lives (Anonymous, 1968).
More on Peter Walkley’s parents
As mentioned earlier, Peter Walkley was the son of Thomas Lloyd (Lloyd) Walkley (1915-1996) and his wife Una Jean Walkley (1911-2001) née Harvey. During his service with the Royal Australian Air Force Lloyd Walkley was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM-in 1943) and a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE-in 1958). Lloyd Walkley and Una Jean Harvey married in Victoria in December 1940.
Peter Walkley’s mother Una Jean Harvey (1911-2001)
Peewee’s mother Una was born at inner south east Melbourne suburb of South Yarra on 20 July 1911. She was the second of the three daughters born to Troward Underdown (Tro) Harvey (1875‑1957) and his wife Sybil Primrose Harvey née Ferguson (1884-1932) of Olrig, Craigieburn. Tro and Sybil married on 26 September 1907. Una’s siblings were Helen Marion (later Mrs Horton James Pearce) who was born at Broadmeadows in 1909 and Margery Lorraine (Bobbie‑later Mrs Kevin Oliver) who was born at South Yarra in 1918 and died in 2012.
Troward Underdown Harvey in later life.
(Peter Walkley’s maternal grandfather.)
Image from The Surf Coast Family History Group, 2015.
Una Harvey’s parents and her maternal grandparents had farmed in the Craigieburn-Wollert area to the north of Melbourne from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s; information on the family properties is provided in Appendix A.
Peter Walkley’s maternal grandparents and great grandparents
Troward Harvey’s parents (Peter Walkley’s maternal great grandparents) were Frederick John Harvey (1836-1931) and his wife Una Jane Harvey née Gill (1836-1939).
Frederick John Harvey was born in Kent, England to William Harvey and his wife Charlotte Harvey née Spanton. Una Gill was born in Canada, the eldest daughter of John Wyatt Gill and his wife Amelia Gill née Spencer (The Surf Coast Family History Group, 2015). At the time of her marriage in 1865 Una Gill’s father was recorded as deceased and was said to be late of Bath, England (Anonymous, 1865).
In 1853, the 17-year old Frederick Harvey and his 19-year brother Henry Thomas Harvey arrived in Geelong. In 1857 the Harvey brothers went into business as H & F Harvey produce merchants; operating from a store at 33 Ryrie Street Geelong. Fredrick continued this business after his brother Henry died in 1867.
Fredrick Harvey and Una Gill were married at No 1 Sebastopol Terrace in Malop Street Geelong on Thursday 21 September 1865; the Reverend FP Strickland officiated (Anonymous, 1865). Frederick and Una Harvey initially resided at Eythorne 35 Aphrasia Street Newtown and later at Kelvin 11 Aphrasia Street (at the corner of Pleasant Street) Newtown. The Harvey family also had a holiday house at Anglesea (The Surf Coast Family History Group, 2015).
Frederick and Una Harvey were to have 7 children who reached adulthood; some of their children had died when young. Their surviving children were:
· Una Amelia (Amy) Harvey (1868-1934), later Mrs Alan James Bruce Waugh, Coppymurrumbilla Station, Boggabilla NSW
· Mabel Jane Harvey (1869-1964), later Mrs James Openshaw Coop, Little River, New Zealand
· Ida Marion Harvey (1871-1974)
· Frederick John Harvey (1873-1946), married Eliza Sarah Galvin
· Troward Underwood Harvey (1875-1957), Peter Walkley’s grandfather, married Sybil Primrose Ferguson
· Phillip Henry Harvey (1877-1963), married Margaret Hutchison
· William Wyatt Harvey (1884-1974), married Annabella Elizabeth Brett.
For more information on Frederick and Una Harvey and their children see The Surf Coast Family History Group, (2015) that is web-linked in the References below. Also see the Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria (various dates) reference for information on Ida Marion Harvey who was not listed in The Surf Coast reference.
In 1888 the business interests of H & F Harvey and the firm Thomas Dann and Company were amalgamated. The new firm took the name of Harvey, Dann & Company Limited (Anonymous, 1916). The firm operated as millers, and grain and forage merchants. In 1889 the firm’s plants and premises included: the Corio Roller Flour Mills in Gheringhap Street Geelong; Clyde Flour Mill and stores in Little Malop Street West and main offices and store at 33-35 Ryrie Street West.
The Clyde Mill was built in the 1850s by Walter Webb and Thomas Dann. The steam powered mill was adjacent to Moorabool River from which it drew water and was located at Russell's Bridge about 3.5 km north of Bannockburn (and about 20 kilometres north west of central Geelong). The milling and produce firm Harvey, Dann & Company Limited continued in Geelong until 1987 (Heritage Council Victoria, 2009).
A recent image of the former Clyde Mill at Russell’s Bridge near Geelong.
Heritage Council Victoria image.
Peter Walkley’s paternal grandparents
Peter Walkley’s father was the only son of Royston (Roy) Walkley (1893-1959) and his wife Ellen Walkley née Fyfe (1884-1966). Royston Walkley and Ellen Fyfe married in Queensland on 12 August 1914. Peewee’s father Thomas Lloyd (Lloyd) Walkley was born on 2 May 1915 at Nurse Wilson's private nursing home La Perouse in Gregory Terrace Brisbane. Peewee’s father had two younger siblings, his sisters Joan Fyfe Walkley (1916-2004, later Mrs Henry Owen John) and Patricia Fyfe Walkley (1919-2004, later Mrs Geoffrey Francis Cabban). Further information on Peewee’s paternal grandparents and great grandparents is provided in Appendix B.
More on Peter Walkley’s father
As a child Peewee’s father Lloyd Walkley lived in several locations with his parents and siblings. From an early age until about 1919 Lloyd Walkley lived with his parents at Crow’s Nest (north of Toowoomba) and then in Gladstone on the central Queensland Coast.
From the early 1920s the family lived at Newcastle. Here Lloyd Walkley and his sisters Joan and Patricia attended Newcastle Boys High School and Newcastle Girls High School, respectively.
In 1935 Lloyd Walkley was living and working in the Newcastle area.
On a 1937 electoral roll Peewee’s father Thomas Lloyd Walkley was listed as residing at Ann Street Ingham, north Queensland and being occupied as a labourer.
On 29 April 1940, at age 24 years Thomas Lloyd Walkley enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force at Mayfield (Newcastle). He commenced as an Airframe Fitter and was discharged in 1963 with the rank of Squadron Leader. In June 1941, Tom (Mo) Walkley was posted to England where he served in No 141 Squadron RAF, No 461 Squadron RAAF (in Coastal Command) and in No 460 Squadron RAAF (in Bomber Commander).
During his service with 460 Squadron RAAF, the then Sergeant and later Flight Sergeant Lloyd Walkley flew on 28 operational bombing missions over Europe as the flight engineer in Avro Lancaster heavy bombers (Watson, 1997). (His daughter believes he flew on a total of 50 missions during his 2 tours of duty while in the United Kingdom.) During his RAAF service Tom Walkley was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (1943) and a Member of the Order of the British Empire (1958). Further information on Lloyd Walkley’s RAAF service is provided in Appendices C to C-3.
On 10 May 1945 the then Pilot Officer Thomas Walkley was presented with the Distinguished Flying Medal at Government House Melbourne by the Governor‑General, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester KG KT KP GCB GCMG GCVO PC (1900-1974). The Governor-General was accompanied by the Governor of Victoria Major‑General Sir Winston Joseph Dugan GCMG CB DSO (later Lord Dugan) (1876-1951) (Anonymous, 1945). At the time of the presentation, Lloyd Walkley’s address was 7 Operational Training Unit, Royal Australian Air Force, Tocumwal.
On electoral rolls for 1949, 1954, and 1958 Thomas Lloyd Walkley was listed as residing at Craigieburn and being occupied in the Royal Australian Air Force. (However, as mentioned above, the Walkley family resided at Montville circa 1949). On the 1958 roll only, Una Jean Walkley (home duties) was also listed as residing at Craigieburn.
On 12 June 1958, as part of the post-war honours list Squadron Leader Thomas Lloyd Walkley DFM was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)-Military.
On electoral rolls for 1963 and 1968 Thomas Lloyd Walkley and Una Jean Walkley were listed as residing at Bimbrook, Ladysmith and being occupied as grazier and home duties respectively. Bimbrook was a grazing property fronting Tumbarumba Road about 15 kilometres south east of Wagga Wagga and about 3.5 kilometres north of the village of Ladysmith. The property now appears to be used as the Riverdene Stud and Equine Hospital.
It appears that the Walkleys had an interest in Bimbrook from at least 1959. In the quarter ended 31 March 1959, a sheep brand (LW) and an earmark (Number 6691) were registered to Thomas Lloyd and Una Jean Walkley of Bimbrook, Ladysmith (State of New South Wales, 1959).
On an electoral roll for 1972, Thomas Lloyd Walkley and Una Jean Walkley were listed as residing at Willsfield, Gundaroo with both being occupied as graziers. Willsfield is located on the Murrumbateman Road about 9 kilometres south west of the village of Gundaroo which is about 31 kilometres north east of the Canberra city business district.
In November 1967 Willsfield was offered at public auction on account of the estate of the late Clarence Henry Sibley. The property was described as 989 acres freehold with an additional 20 acres of road permits. (Presumably the permits were to occupy areas of declared road not being used as a thoroughfare.) There was a 3‑bedroom brick and tile home of 27 squares on the property that had a carrying capacity of 2 000 sheep and 30 cows (Gibbs, 1967).
In January 1973 the Walkleys conducted a clearing sale at Willsfield. Over 1 500 sheep, 12 cattle, a stock horse, cattle dogs, farm plant and household furniture were offered for sale (Elder Smith Goldsbrough Mort Limited, 1973). A record of the Walkleys’ sale of the property itself was not discovered during research for this article but it was most likely around the time of the 1973 clearing sale. After the Walkleys disposed of Willsfield they purchased another property in the Cowra district in the central west of New South Wales (Klintworth, 2019-2020).
On an electoral roll for 1977, Thomas Lloyd Walkley and Una Jean Walkley were listed as residing at 5 Savery Street in the southern Canberra suburb of Garran. Lloyd was listed as a farmer and Una was listed as a grazier. They were then farming at their Cowra property Carlisle (Klintworth (2019-2020). Carlisle was situated on the Darby’s Falls Road about 15 kilometres south east of Cowra. The property had an area of 140 acres (about 57 hectares) and a 5‑bedroom home. The Walkleys had been living at Garran since at least December 1973 when their daughter Linda was married.
On an electoral roll for 1980, Thomas Lloyd Walkley and Una Jean Walkley were listed as residing on the Oxley Highway Port Macquarie. No occupations were recorded for either of them on this roll which was the latest (by date) publicly searchable electoral roll available. The Walkleys lived on the western outskirts of Port Macquarie between the town centre and the Pacific Highway (Klintworth, 2019-2020).
Peter Walkley’s sister and brother-in-law
Peewee’s only sibling, his younger sister Linda Christine, was born on Tuesday 26 August 1947 at Mena House private hospital at 29 Simpson Street East Melbourne. Between 1930 and 1987 the hospital was owned by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and was renowned for midwifery (National Trust of Australia [Victoria], undated).
Later Linda qualified as a high school teacher in Sydney. On Saturday 22 December 1973 Linda Walkley and Gary Jan Klintworth were married in St John's Anglican Church at the corner of Constitution Avenue and Anzac Parade in the inner Canberra suburb of Reid. Linda and Gary settled in Canberra and were to have 2 daughters.
Born in 1945, the then National Serviceman Gary Klintworth (2784226) was confirmed as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Australian Regular Army Supplement on 29 June 1967. On 20 April 1968, Lieutenant Klintworth was transferred to the Citizen Military Forces in the 3rd Battalion, The Royal New South Wales Regiment. On 1 June 1968, Lieutenant Klintworth was transferred to the Regular Army Reserve (Australian Intelligence Corps) (Eastern Command).
In December 1971 Gary Klintworth joined the Commonwealth Public Service as a Clerk in the Department of the Interior. During 1980-1983, he was posted to Hong Kong as the Joint Intelligence Organisation Representative. By February 1987 Gary Klintworth was a Senior Officer (Class 9) with the Joint Intelligence Organisation of the Department of Defence.
Gary Klintworth, went on to gain a Doctor of Philosophy degree in International Relations and a Master's Degree in International Law from the Australian National University. Dr Klintworth became an expert in China, Cambodia and other Asian countries and was a Senior Research Fellow in the Northeast Asia Program, Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University. During 1996-1999, he was a member of the then Refugee Review Tribunal (now within the Administrative Appeals Tribunal) and later was a Research Analyst in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library (2000-2002).
Living in Canberra
During Peter Walkley’s mapping career between 1967 and 1992 he was based in Canberra. From electoral roll entries, in 1972 Peter was residing at Hotel Acton. (Located in Edinburgh Avenue Acton, this hotel was opened in 1927 for VIP guests attending the opening of Federal Parliament. From 1945 to 1976 the building operated as a Commonwealth hostel and is currently operated as Peppers Gallery Hotel.) On electoral rolls for 1977 and 1980 Peter was residing at 34 Kirkland Circuit MacGregor. Later Peter lived at his property at 20 Bindel Place Aranda which he owned until his death.
Peter Walkley’s mapping years 1967-1992
The following is not a complete account of Peter Walkley mapping years that spanned some 25 years. Unfortunately, following research for this article many gaps remained in the author’s knowledge of Peewee’s career with National Mapping and successor organisations. Nevertheless, through the known parts of Peter’s surveying and mapping career that are documented below, it is hoped that the reader will gain a useful appreciation of this important aspect of Peter’s life and of his considerable personal contribution to Australia’s post-World War II national mapping effort.
As mentioned above, Peter Walkley spent his National Mapping career with the Geodetic Survey Branch and later with the Survey Operations Branch and undertook geodetic levelling and surveying as well as bathymetric field survey activities. Peter’s work with National Mapping was based from various offices in Canberra and Belconnen as well as at Queanbeyan (for some 7 years during 1974 to 1981), (Sloane, 2019-2020).
When Peter joined the then Precision Levelling Section (later the Geodetic Levelling Section) of the Geodetic Survey Branch around the middle of 1967, the main field survey component of the Branch was based in Melbourne. That component moved to Canberra after the end of the 1969 field season. However, few of the Melbourne-based Geodetic staff then moved to Canberra.
While the more senior Geodetic survey staff found positions in Melbourne, most other field staff left National Mapping around that time. In December 1969, Klaus Leppert (1925-1995) was promoted to the position of Supervising Surveyor (Surveyor, Class 3) in charge of the Geodetic Survey Branch but had acted in that position throughout much of that year.
When Peter joined National Mapping’s Precision Levelling Section in mid‑1967, it was then under the direction of Klaus Leppert who was then a Senior Surveyor. The Section was then based in Tasman House at the corner of Hobart Place and Marcus Clarke Street in Canberra city centre (Rodgers, 2019‑2020).
Levelling field work 1967
1967 was the first year of field operations for Nat Map’s Precision Levelling Section that was established the previous year. The levelling survey party undertook a relatively short field season from June to October 1967 under Surveyor Harry Granger.
The 1967 field work was in Queensland and western New South Wales and generally involved checking the levelling that had been undertaken by contractors as well as making level connections to trigonometrical and Nat Map Aerodist survey control stations (Rodgers, 2019-2020).
The 1967 field party comprised some 10 people. As well as Harry Granger, it included Mike Whelan, John Woodger, Ken (Pouchy) Byrne, Andy Rodgers and Peter Walkley. A level connection was attempted to Royal Australian Survey Corps station B 064 on Mt Cook about 3 kilometres south of Cooktown. However, the attempt was abandoned due to heavy undergrowth in the tropical rain forest that covered the mountain (Rodgers, 2019-2020).
Later in the year Harry Granger mapped an area around the Burke and Wills Dig Tree on the north bank of Cooper’s Creek at Nappa Merrie Station near the South Australian border in far western Queensland (Rodgers, 2019-2020). (The heritage listed Coolabah tree is still standing at the site of Burke and Wills Camp 65 and was blazed Dig 3FT NW to signal that supplies for the ill-fated exploration party were left buried there in April 1861.)
In late October 1967 the Nat Map field party worked in the Booligal area of western New South Wales. Around this time Senior Surveyor Klaus Leppert visited the field party. While at Booligal Klaus and Harry Granger inspected the memorial to explorer and Surveyor-General John Joseph William Molesworth Oxley (circa 1785-1828) who attempted to trace the Lachlan River through the area in July 1817. The John Oxley memorial at Booligal is an 1800s type theodolite mounted on a large tripod in a park at the corner of Lachlan and Adelaide Streets; it had been unveiled earlier in 1967 (Rodgers, 2019-2020).
Levelling field work 1968
On 26 April 1968, Klaus Leppert issued instructions for that year’s field levelling activity that took place in Queensland north of latitude 24º South and in the Northern Territory east of the Stuart Highway. Under these instructions, Harry Granger (1928-1977) then a Surveyor Class 1 was in charge of the levelling field survey party that comprised the 3 sub-parties listed below:
Fred Reardon TO 1
Mike Whalen TO 1
John Woodger TO 1
Dick Mooney FA
John Rutherford FA
Andy Rodgers FA
Ken Byrne FA
Peter Walkley FA
Joe Murray FA
During the 1968 field work, Harry Granger was relieved as survey party leader by Surveyor Dave Cook. Later Dave was relieved by newly appointed Nat Map Surveyor Peter O’Donnell. Peter took over leadership of the survey party at Borroloola in the Northern Territory Gulf Country
In 1968 the levelling field party was equipped with 7 International C1300 series light trucks. During the year, the field party travelled some 16 000 miles (about 26 000 kilometres) working in Queensland and the Northern Territory. The work took the field party to Weipa, around the Gulf of Carpentaria, to Darwin and through Alice Springs to the Johnston Geodetic Station near the South Australian border. At some stage during the year Technical Assistant Gary Ovenell joined the survey party (Anonymous, 1968 A).
Geodetic station beaconing party New South Wales 1969
From late February to the end of March 1969, Peter Walkley was a member of a field survey party that carried out clearing work in north western New South Wales. This work was to shift a section at the eastern end of the proposed high precision East‑West PAGEOS (passive geodetic earth orbiting satellite) baseline southward by about 110 kilometres to avoid flat land where observing towers would otherwise need to be erected.
The East-West Baseline was one of two baselines established from the world‑wide PAGEOS project that is further discussed below at High precision geodetic traversing north Queensland 1970.
Survey stations cleared on the East-West PAGEOS Baseline in early 1969.
Enlarged extract from Nat Map 1: 5 Million scale Australia general reference map.
Annotated by Paul Wise.
As shown on the map above, the new section to be cleared extended for some 380 kilometres over 14 second order New South Wales Lands Department triangulation or traverse stations. These 14 stations ran from Tooram survey station about 52 kilometres north east of Cobar to Mount Kaputar about 37 kilometres north east of Narrabri.
The field survey party was led by Surveyor Peter O’Donnell. As well as Peter Walkley the party comprised Senior Technical Officer Reg Ford (part of the work only), Field Assistants Chris Young, Terry (Wiggy) Wignell, Owen (Pappy) Gyles and Technical Assistant Eddy Ainscow.
Levelling field work 1969
Later in 1969 Peter Walkley was again a member of the levelling field survey party under Harry Granger who rotated the field party leadership with Surveyor Peter O’Donnell. The 1969 sub-parties comprised:
Don Gray TO 1
Fred Reardon TO 1
John Woodger TO 1
Steve Klein FA
Ken Byrne FA
Andy Rodgers FA
Joe Murray FA
Dick Mooney FA
Harry Wilson FA*
During the 1969 levelling work, Peter Walkley was a Field Assistant and the driver of the survey party’s RLCH model Bedford 4-wheel drive 3-ton supply truck (ZSU 255). Also Bob Bryant was a Technical Officer who relieved the other Technical Officers so they could spend some time back in Canberra and have time with their families. *Phil Allen replaced Harry Wilson (who had resigned) at Port Headland in late July 1969 (Allen, 2019-2020).
A National Mapping RLCH model Bedford.
Laurie McLean image 1972.
The Precision Levelling Section’s 1969 field survey work was in the Northern Territory west of the Stuart Highway, between Robinson River and Wollogorang (on National Route 1 in the Gulf of Carpentaria area of the Northern Territory), and in Western Australia, including in the Canning Basin of the Great Sandy Desert.
Around 22 April 1969, Harry Granger supervised technical officer Fred Reardon’s establishment of a cluster of three reference bench marks including bench mark NMV/G/14 near the Johnston Geodetic Station in the far south of the Northern Territory (Roelse et al, 1971).
Also around 19 May 1969, Harry Granger was at Wyndham in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia where he supervised Fred Reardon’s establishment of bench mark NMV/F/11 on the Wyndham wharf (Roelse et al, 1971).
In late July 1969 at Marble Bar in Western Australia, the author who was then a Field Assistant operating with Nat Map’s Aerodist ground marking field survey party met Peter Walkley and other members the Precision Levelling Section field party who were then led by Surveyor Peter O’Donnell.
Geodimeter measuring on PAGEOS baseline Western Australia 1969
In November 1969, the Precision Levelling field party arrived in Perth after working in the Great Sandy Desert (Allen, 2019-2020). In Perth, Field Assistants Peter Walkley and Phil Allen detached from the Levelling party and travelled to Merriden in Western Australia’s central wheatbelt to the east of Perth. Here they joined a Melbourne-based field survey sub-party comprising Surveyor Alexander Kudrin and Field Assistant Dave Abreu (Ford, 1979). Alexander who had been a Cadet Surveyor with the Northern Territory Administration joined Nat Map earlier in 1969 to take delivery of the new AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter, calibrate it and then undertake field measuring operations. Dave had joined Nat Map in Melbourne in early March 1969.
During this survey, Peter Walkley and Phil Allen worked as the reflector party for the Geodimeter measurements; please refer to the image below.
Peter Walkley with a Geodimeter reflector array in the WA Central Wheatbelt in 1969.
Note: Flame Thrower lamp next to the reflectors to help sight the Geodimeter.
Image taken and supplied by Phil Allen.
As depicted in the following map, from Merredin this sub-party measured Geodimeter survey lines over some 225 kilometres to the Caversham ballistic camera station (near Perth). Some 9 intermediate stations were occupied between Merredin and Caversham. The camera site at Caversham was at the western end of the East-West Baseline established for the world-wide PAGEOS (passive geodetic earth orbiting satellite) project that is further discussed below at High precision geodetic traversing north Queensland 1970.
1969 Geodimeter survey on the PAGEOS Baseline in Western Australia.
Enlarged extract from Nat Map 1: 5 Million scale Australia general reference map.
Annotated by Paul Wise.
Another Melbourne-based field survey sub-party comprising Senior Technical Officer Reg Ford and Technical Assistant Dave (Taffy) Roberts also worked towards Caversham undertaking horizontal angle and astronomical azimuth observations. The work at Caversham by both the Kudrin and Ford sub-parties was complete by 15 November 1969.
Messrs Ford and Roberts then returned to Melbourne. Alexander Kudrin and Dave Abreu then proceeded to Rottnest Island (about 20 kilometres west of Fremantle) for a short period to complete Geodimeter measuring for the Royal Australian Survey Corps (Ford, 1979). During these measurements Peter Walkley and Phil Allen were the reflector party on the mainland coast around Fremantle. At the end of the Geodimeter work, Peewee and Phil Allen took the Levelling party RLCH Bedford supply truck (ZSU 255) back to Canberra.
The vehicle was fairly tired after doing a huge amount of work in the Great Sandy Desert. The Bedford was unable to tackle the corrugations on the 450 kilometres unsealed section of the Eyre Highway in South Australia between the Western Australian border and Ceduna. Accordingly in December 1969, Peewee and Phil travelled on the Trans Continental Railway with the Bedford to Port Augusta and from there nursed the vehicle back to Canberra over sealed roads (Allen, 2019-2020).
Geodimeter is an acronym for geodetic distance meter. This precise distance measuring instrument was invented by Swedish physicist Dr Erik Östen Bergstrand in the late 1940s. The instrument initially used a modulated light beam returned by reflectors at a distant station to determine the distance between the two points. Geodimeters were manufactured in Sweden by the AGA company. AB Gasaccumulator and AB Svenska Gasaccumulator, was an industrial gas company. It was founded in 1904 by Gustaf Dalén (1869-1937) who was a 1912 Nobel Prize laureate in physics for his work on lighthouse technology. The AGA company was also famous for its AGA cooking stoves that Dalén designed in the 1920s after he had lost his sight in an acetylene explosion in 1912. Introduced in 1967, the AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter used a helium‑neon gas laser beam to precisely measure distances in the range of 15 metres to 60 kilometres, depending on the reflector arrangement. This model weighed about 23 kilograms and used a 12‑volt battery as its power source.
An AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter.
Source: AGA Museum website.
Levelling in Western Australia and Northern Territory 1970
During the 1970 field season Peter Walkley became a temporary Technical Assistant Grade 2 in the Geodetic Levelling Section. Apart from the addition of Barry Sloane, a new Surveyor Class 1, who joined the Levelling Section early in the year, the 1970 levelling survey field party members were the same people as in the final list above for 1969 (Allen, 2019-2020), (Sloane 2019-2020).
The 1970 levelling field work commenced in March and was undertaken in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Much of this work was in the Canning Basin levelling to Nat Map trigonometrical and Aerodist survey stations. The work also involved one way levelling checks along Department of the Interior level traverses (Allen, 2019-2020).
The field party worked along and from the WAPET‑Sahara (Kidson) track that runs from near Wallal Downs on the Indian Ocean coast for some 650 kilometres to the south east across the Great Sandy Desert to the WAPET Kidson No 1 Well drill site (that operated from November 1965 to July 1966), about 50 kilometres south east of No 33 Well on the Canning Stock Route. (The oil explorer and producer Western Australian Petroleum Pty Ltd was established in 1952 as a joint venture between Caltex and Ampol, WAPET became Chevron Australia Pty Ltd in February 2000.)
From the Canning Basin the levelling field party worked its way generally east through Len Beadell’s Gary Junction (established in 1963) and then further east towards Beadell’s Sandy Blight Junction. This was some 515 kilometres distant from Gary Junction and about 60 kilometres inside the Northern Territory (Allen, 2019-2020).
From Sandy Blight Junction the field party worked south to the Giles Weather Station and then on to Uluru (then known as Ayers Rock). Afterwards the field party worked along the Tanami Track north west of Alice Springs and then moved to the Tennant Creek area (Allen, 2019-2020).
In early October 1970 Peter Walkley and fellow Nat Mapper Phil Allen left the levelling field survey party at Tennant Creek. Driving a 3-ton Bedford Model RLCH 4‑wheel drive truck they travelled to Mackay in north Queensland.
High precision traversing north Queensland 1970
Peter Walkley and Phil Allen arrived at Mackay at 12 noon on 8 October 1970. There they joined the Nat Map high precision geodetic survey party under recently appointed Nat Map Surveyors Brian Murphy and Ryszard Jan (Dick) Witrzens (1928-2009). Each Surveyor was in charge of 3 observing sub-parties as listed below:
The 6 observing sub-parties used 101-inch wheelbase Forward Control Land Rovers while Surveyors Dick Witrzens and Brian Murphy each drove a Series IIA 109‑inch wheelbase Land Rover (Murphy, 2019-2020).
During this work in late 1970, 20 lines were measured with AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeters between Gladstone and Bowen to complete the North-South Baseline which was part of Australia’s contribution of 2 high precision baselines for the world‑wide PAGEOS program (Leppert, 1972).
The 30-metre diameter passive geodetic earth orbiting satellite (an inflatable aluminium/plastic sphere) was photographed against the star background by ballistic cameras at 45 sites around the world to develop a world-wide geodetic triangulation network. The satellite operated from 1966 to about 1975 when it started to break up.
The 2 Australian baselines were observed over new or existing geodetic survey networks between 1967 and 1970. An East-West Baseline ran from a ballistic camera site at Caversham (about 14 kilometres north east of Perth) to a ballistic camera site at Culgoora about 25 kilometres north west of Narrabri in north western New South Wales. The North-South Baseline ran from Culgoora to a ballistic camera site on Thursday Island in Torres Strait. The 3 ballistic cameras used at the Baseline sites were Swiss-made Wild Heerbrugg BC-4 instruments. The extent of the East-West and the North-South PAGEOS Baselines is depicted in Figure F-1 in Appendix F.
The Gladstone to Bowen section was the only large section of the two Baselines measured with Geodimeters instead of MRA4 Tellurometers (Leppert, 1972). However, some lines in this section were initially measured with MRA4 Tellurometers owing to smoke from sugar cane crop burning adversely affecting the Geodimeter measurements (Murphy, 2019‑2020).
The 1970 survey work was divided into two parts, namely from survey station The Sister (B 029) about 18 kilometres north west from Mackay to RM Point (B 037) a survey station about 65 kilometres north west of Bowen. Brian Murphy was in charge of this part of the survey which is depicted on the map below.
The Mackay to RM Point section of the 1970 PAGEOS Baseline survey.
Enlarged extract from Nat Map 1: 5 Million scale Australia general reference map.
Annotated by Paul Wise.
The other part of the 1970 survey was south from Mackay to Gladstone. Surveyor Dick Witrzens was in charge of this part. The end stations of Dick’s part of the survey were on Mount Chelona (B 028) survey station about 5 kilometres north of Sarina and Mount Maurice (B 017) survey station about 10 kilometres south of Gladstone (Murphy, 2019‑2020).
Andy Rodgers (left) and Peter Walkley manning a Geodimeter reflector array at survey station Dingo (B 032) south of Proserpine during measurements from Rocky (B 031) on 4 November 1970.
Brian Murphy image.
During the first month of the survey Senior Surveyor Bruce Willington with Phil Allen operated between the observing parties to carry out reconnaissance work. Bruce and Phil returned to Canberra when this part of the work was complete (Allen, 2019-2020). Supervising Surveyor Klaus Leppert inspected the survey operations and assisted with carrying equipment to one station, Mount Little (B 035) that rises 314 metres (about1 030 feet) above sea level about 14 kilometres north west of Bowen (Murphy, 2019‑2020).
Andy Rodgers and Peter Walkley were then less experienced than the other sub‑parties in high precision traverse work. Accordingly, Brian Murphy spent some time with this sub-party guiding their survey work. This guidance was especially relevant to the simultaneous reciprocal astronomical azimuth observations on the magnitude 5.42 star Sigma Octantis (Polaris Australis), a close circum-polar star.
These azimuth observation routines involved the use of a Wild T3 theodolite in conjunction with a stop watch precisely coordinated with radio time signals transmitted by the then United States National Bureau of Standards. These time signals were received from station WWVH that then broadcast from a site at Kihei on the island of Maui in Hawaii. The observations formed an essential part of the high precision traverse program (Murphy, 2019-2020).
A Wild T3 theodolite.
Source: Virtual Archive of Wild Heerbrugg website.
The high precision traverse survey was completed in early December 1970 and Peter Walkley departed Mackay about 10 December 1970 to drive back to Canberra (Murphy, 2019-2020).
High precision traversing 1971
During 1971 Peter Walkley was a member of the Nat Map survey parties that measured a high precision geodetic traverse that extended from the Johnston Origin in the southern Northern Territory to Mount Gambier in South Australia, across Victoria and through New South Wales to connect with the Culgoora ballistic camera station on the East-West (PAGEOS) Baseline about 25 kilometres north west of Narrabri. The route of this traverse is depicted in Appendix F.
The survey was undertaken using AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeters for distance measurement and Wild T3 theodolites for angular and astronomical observations. During the survey some 73 lines were measured between the end points at the Johnston Origin (near Mount Cavenagh homestead in the Northern Territory about 6 kilometres north of the South Australian border) and Gulf Creek (about 60 kilometres north of Manilla in the Tamworth district of New South Wales) (Leppert, 1972).
The Johnston Origin is also known as the Johnston Geodetic Station as this survey point became the origin for the 1966 Australian Geodetic Datum. The station was named for Frederick Marshall Johnston (1885-1963), a former Commonwealth Surveyor-General, the first Director of National Mapping and inaugural Chairman of the National Mapping Council. For more information on FM Johnston, please refer to McLean, 2012 in the References below.
The Johnston Origin with Mount Cavenagh homestead in the background July 2012.
Laurie McLean image.
The 1971 high precision survey was undertaken in separate sections over various periods from early March until late in November that year. Initially, Surveyors Brian Murphy and Dick Witrzens led separate field survey parties operating in western and eastern Victoria, respectively. The following account of work on this 1971 high precision traverse is based on diary entries kindly provided by Brian Murphy as well Brian’s personal recollections. Unfortunately, as a consequence of necessarily relying on this source, work on the traverse that was led by Dick Witrzens is under-reported here.
Starting at Mount Gambier on 4 March 1971, Brian Murphy’s (western) survey party occupied survey stations at Heath Point (south of Casterton), Mount Napier (south of Hamilton), Mount Shadwell (north of Mortlake), Mount Elephant (west of Derrinallum), and Mount Gellibrand (north east of Colac). After measuring the Mount Elephant to Mount Gellibrand line on the night of 29 March 1971, bad weather in western Victoria curtailed the work there (Murphy, 2019-2020).
Peter Walkley and Andy Rodgers had occupied both Mount Elephant and Mount Gellibrand survey stations during the survey (Rodgers, 2019-2020).
Brian Murphy and his section of the field party then drove to Orbost in East Gippsland where they met up with Dick Witrzen’s (eastern) survey party (that included Chris Young and Pat Baragry). On 1 April 1971, Jack Edmonstone, Andy Rodgers, Kevin Gill and Ed Mitchell occupied the survey station on Maramingo Hill (north west of Genoa). Also on 1 April 1971, AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter measurements to Mount Imlay trig station (about 20 kilometres south west of Eden and Cann trig station (about 17 kilometres south west of Cann River township) as well as simultaneous reciprocal astronomical azimuths were completed (Murphy, 2019-2020).
After re-grouping in Canberra, the initial convoy of the then 16-man field party departed for the Johnston Origin on 24 May 1971 under Surveyor Brian Murphy. As well as Peter Walkley (who drove Forward Control Land Rover ZSN 010), other field party members in this convoy included Ken Byrne, Pat Baragry, Bob Bryant, Ian Green, Chris Young, and Don Gray. A second convoy under Jack Edmonstone departed Canberra the following day. Don Gray, Bob Webb, Kevin Gill, Ed Mitchell, Terry Hannam and Andy Rodgers were the other members of this second convoy party (Murphy, 2019‑2020).
The observing sub-parties drove 101-inch wheelbase Forward Control Land Rovers, a 4-wheel drive RCLH model 3-ton Bedford truck was used as a support vehicle, and the party leader drove a 109-inch wheelbase Land Rover (Murphy, 2019-2020).
A National Mapping Forward Control Land Rover.
Laurie McLean image 1969.
Senior Surveyor Bruce Willington joined the field survey party at Port Augusta on 28 May 1971. The survey party arrived at the Kulgera roadhouse on the Stuart Highway about 20 kilometres north of the South Australia border on 3 June 1971. Operations on the Johnston to Mount Gambier section of the high precision traverse commenced on 5 June 1971. The field party worked eastwards from Johnston towards the vicinity of Finke and then southwards through William Creek to Woomera.
On 20 July 1971 Surveyor Dick Witrzens flew in to Woomera to relieve Brian Murphy as field party leader (Brian flew out of Woomera to Canberra on 23 July 1971). Dick Witrzens was the party leader on the measurements from Woomera southwards to Mount Gambier
During this section of the survey, the Carrieton baseline was measured with the AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter (Murphy, 2019-20100). Situated about 100 kilometres east of Port Augusta, the 7-kilometre Carrieton baseline was established and measured by the Australian Survey Corps in 1941 (Wise, 2019‑2020).
In late September 1971, Brian Murphy was back in Victoria to measure some of the lines that had been postponed in late March due to unfavourable weather. On 24-25 September 1971, the Bellarine trig station (near Drysdale to the east of Geelong) was occupied. From here the lines to Flinders Peak (in the You Yangs north of Geelong) and Arthur’s Seat (on the opposite side of Port Phillip Bay near Dromana) were measured with the AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter (Murphy, 2019-2020).
Afterwards Brian Murphy travelled from Geelong to Dromana where he met Chris Young and Terry Hannam at the Arthur’s Seat trig station. Victoria’s unfavourable weather again intervened. Measuring of the line from Arthur’s Seat to Bass Hill (in Gippsland about 55 kilometres south east of Dromana) had to be postponed and Brian Murphy returned to Canberra on 2 October 1971 (Murphy, 2019-2020).
Most lines in the section of the high precision traverse from Crawney Mountain (about 54 kilometres south of Tamworth) to Yarrow Pic (about 12 kilometres south east of Queanbeyan) was measured by the Central Mapping Authority of New South Wales. The Authority had borrowed an AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter from Nat Map for this work. However, 2 lines in this section were not measured by CMA, namely: Conder to Warrawolong and Razorback to Jellore (Murphy, 2019-2020).
The Somerton baseline was measured with the AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter during 21-23 October 1971 (Murphy, 2019-2020). This 7-kilometre long baseline is located about 30 kilometres north west of Tamworth. The site for the baseline was selected in 1936, it was monumented with quadrupod beacons in 1937 and measured in September 1939. This early survey work was undertaken by the Australian Survey Corps (Wise, 2019-2020).
From late October to early November 1971, Brian Murphy and other Nat Mappers were involved with AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter measurements and simultaneous reciprocal Sigma Octantis azimuth observations from Gulf Creek southwards along the high precision traverse through Baldwin and Piallaway to Crawney Mountain (Murphy, 2019-2020).
The Geodimeter lines Baldwin to Gulf Creek and Baldwin to Piallaway were measured during 25-29 October 1971 The 73 kilometre line Conder to Warrawolong was measured on 9 November 1971 and the line Razorback to Jellore was measured on 11 November 1971 (Murphy, 2019-2020).
Later in November 1971, Brian Murphy and other Nat Mappers travelled through the Monaro region of south eastern New South Wales to measure Geodimeter lines on the high precision traverse to the north of Mount Imlay. On 20 November 1971, the line from Glenbog trig (near Brown Mountain about 13 kilometres south east of Nimmitabel) to Wolumla Peak (about 16 kilometres north west of Merimbula) was measured with an AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter (Murphy, 2019-2020).
On the 22 and 23 November 1971, the Geodimeter line from Mount Clear (on the New South Wales-Australian Capital Territory border about 40 kilometres north of Cooma) to Wambrook Hill (about 18 kilometres north west of Cooma) was measured. On 24-25 November 1971, the Geodimeter line from Mount Clear to Hudsons Peak trig station (about 14 kilometres north west of Nimmitabel) was measured (Murphy, 2019-2020).
The field party then moved closer to Canberra and on 26-27 November 1971, the Geodimeter line from Yarrow Pic (south east of Queanbeyan) to Mount Tennent (in the Australian Capital Territory about 27 kilometres south west of Queanbeyan) was measured (Murphy, 2019-2020).
Technical Assistant, Grade 2 position formalised October 1971
On 21 October 1971 Peter Walkley’s permanent appointment as a Technical Assistant Grade 2 in the Department of National Development, Canberra was promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette.
South Coast Geodimeter traverses 1972 - 1978
Peter Walkley was a member of Nat Map field survey parties that undertook precise Geodimeter traverses along the New South Wales south coast between 1972 and 1978 (Allen, 2019-2020; Murphy 2019-2020). Nat Map Surveyor Brian Murphy was the survey party leader for the first 2 of these traverse projects. Unfortunately, unfavourable weather conditions led to both of these survey projects being curtailed (Murphy 2019-2020).
In 1972 Peter Walkley was a member of the Nat Map field survey party that commenced a traverse along the south coast of New South Wales. This traverse, used the AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter for precise distance measuring. The traverse was undertaken at the request of the Central Mapping Authority of New South Wales to strengthen that State’s earlier coastal triangulation network from Mount Imlay (about 20 kilometres south west of Eden) to the southern outskirts of Sydney (Murphy, 2019-2020).
The 1972 Nat Map Geodimeter traverse commenced at Yarrow Pic trig station (about 12 kilometres south east of Queanbeyan). Other survey stations occupied during this survey included: Mount Lowden (about 15 kilometres north east of Captain’s Flat), Currockbilly Mountain (about 21 kilometres east of Braidwood), a new station on Mount Budawang (about 8 kilometres south west of Currockbilly), which was subsequently abandoned due to the lack of Laplace latitude and longitude observations, Durras Mountain trig station (about 19 kilometres north east of Bateman’s Bay, Warden Head trig station (on the coast at Ulladulla), Bherwerre Ridge trig station (about 4 kilometres south west of the Jervis Bay village), Mount Cambewarra trig station (about 9 kilometres north west of Nowra) and Sutton Forest trig station (about 5 kilometres south west of Moss Vale) (Murphy, 2019-2020).
The Geodimeter distance observed by Nat Map between Warden Head and Bherwerre Ridge was some 1.5 metres or so different from the earlier New South Wales triangulation survey. Bad weather curtailed work on this traverse (Murphy, 2019-2020).
On Tuesday 9 January 1973, Surveyors Dave Cook and Brian Murphy carried out an aerial reconnaissance of the trigonometrical stations to be occupied for that year’s South Coast traverse (namely: Mumbulla Mountain, Mount Dromedary and Glenbog). The Nat Map field party departed Canberra on Monday 26 March 1973 for the south coast traverse stations (Murphy, 2019‑2020).
Nat Mappers Bob Bryant and Ed Chudyk went to Hudsons Peak trig station (about 14 kilometres north west of Nimmitabel) where Ed was shown how to set up a target light for Wild T3 theodolite horizontal angle observations at Glenbog trig (near Brown Mountain about 13 kilometres south east of Nimmitabel). However, low cloud and rain prevented observations that day (Murphy, 2019-2020).
On Tuesday 27 March 1973, Peter Walkley, John Dickson and Andy Rodgers back-packed survey equipment onto Wolumla Peak trig station (some 750 metres above sea level and about 16 kilometres north west of Merimbula). This time heavy mist and rain prevented any observations that day (Murphy, 2019-2020).
Survey stations occupied for Nat Map’s South Coast traverse work during 1972-1978.
Map extract annotated by Paul Wise.
On Wednesday 28 March 1973, Surveyors David Cook and Steve Bennett arrived at Mumbulla Mountain trig station (about 12 kilometres north east of Bega). Again low cloud and rain prevented observations that day and the next. On Friday 30 March 1973 successful measurements with the AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter were made from Mumbulla to Glenbog and Wolumla (Murphy, 2019‑2020).
On Saturday 31 March 1973 low cloud and mist prevented horizontal angle observations from Mumbulla. Another unsuccessful attempt at these observations was made on Monday 2 April 1973. Afterwards the field party returned to Canberra and no further work was undertaken on the south coast traverse in 1973 (Murphy, 2019‑2020). However, further South Coast traversing work was undertaken in 1978 (Allen, 2019-2020).
Survey control stations occupied during the 1978 South Coast high precision survey traverse work included: Mount Lowden, Currockbilly Mountain, Warden Head, Cambewarra Mountain, Sutton Forest, Mount Durras, Toragy Point (at Moruya Heads), Newstead (near Moruya Heads), Mount Dromedary (now named Mount Gulaga near Tilba Tilba), Mumbulla Mountain, and Wolumla Peak (Murphy, 2019-2020). This survey was undertaken after Brian Murphy had left the Geodetic Survey Section and apart from Phil Allen and Peter Walkley other survey party members have not been identified.
Equipment container fabrication 1973
After returning to Canberra from work on the south coast traverse, Peter Walkley, Andy Rodgers and others were given the task of fabricating protective containers for the transporting of equipment for the surveys in Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait later that year. Some 100 items of survey equipment were to be used on these surveys and these items would be transported by aircraft, boat and motor vehicle.
The containers were fabricated from fibre glass to suit the various items of survey equipment. Each container was lined with foam padding to protect its contents. For inventory control and to facilitate handling and deployment in the field each container was uniquely numbered. The fabrication work was carried out at the departmental store and workshop facility at 9 Lithgow Street Fyshwick. Peewee was greatly respected for his ability to do things with his hands (Murphy, 2019‑2020, Allen, 2019-2020).
Surveying in Papua New Guinea 1973
In August-September 1973, Peter Walkley was a member of a Nat Map Geodetic field survey party that undertook the initial survey that established a precise network of control stations for the study of crustal movement in the upper Markham Valley of Papua New Guinea. The survey was for the Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics. The predominately flat Markham Valley runs for around 160 kilometres into the highlands from the eastern port city of Lae. The end stations of the 1973 Markham Valley crustal movement survey, AA047 Kaiapit and AA048 Ragitsaria established by the Royal Australian Survey Corps, are shown on the map extract below. The survey work was undertaken between these two survey stations.
The 1973 Markham Valley Papua New Guinea survey area end stations.
An extract from a 1965 Nat Map 1: 1 Million scale Australian Geographic Series map sheet accessed from the Australian National University’s Asia-Pacific map collection.
Annotated by Paul Wise.
During the survey the field party was supported by a chartered Bell 47G-3B-1 piston engine helicopter. This aircraft was chartered from Cowley Airways at Lae; the pilot was John Cruickshank. The helicopter was used to position personnel and equipment on to previously established Royal Australian Survey Corps survey control stations: AA047 Kaiapit, AA048 Ragitsari and AA049 Gusap (Murphy, 2019-2020).
This 1973 survey involved the measurement of 17 high accuracy Geodimeter lines and establishment of 20 first order bench marks. Repeat surveys of the network straddling the upper Markham Valley were intended to monitor crustal movement; the only repeat survey of this network was conducted in 1975.
Members of the 1973 Markham Valley crustal movement survey party were: Surveyors Dave Cook (initial stages only), Jim Steed, Steve Bennett and Brian Murphy; Technical Officers Bill Jeffery, Bob Bryant and Don Gray; and Technical Assistants Peter Walkley and Andy Rodgers (Murphy, 2019-2020).
The survey commenced on Thursday 2 August 1973 when Dave Cook, Steve Bennett and Brian Murphy drove from Lae along the Markham Valley to the small Department of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries outstation located on the Highlands Highway at Mutsing, near the village of Kaiapit. During this visit they carried out a quick reconnaissance of the survey pillars placed by the Commonwealth Department of Construction. The field party was accommodated in a rented bungalow at Mutsing which was used as the operational base for the survey. The survey was completed on Saturday 15 September 1973 (Murphy, 2019-2020).
After completing the Markham Valley survey the field party was split. One component (Don Gray, Bob Bryant, Jim Steed and Brian Murphy) travelled to Rabaul in New Britain to undertake measurements with the AGA Model 8 Laser Geodimeter on the long lines proposed as part of a crustal movement survey planned for 1975. These measurements were made on five selected lines to prove that the Geodimeter was capable of measuring the long lines, in very humid, hazy tropical conditions, of a network spanning St Georges Channel between New Britain and New Ireland.
The other Markham Valley field party component (Bill Jeffery, Steve Bennett, Andy Rodgers and Peter Walkley) travelled to Thursday Island in the Torres Strait to commence logistics and administrative preparations for the forthcoming heighting survey (Murphy, 2019-2020).
Torres Strait heighting survey 1973
Following the completion of the Markham Valley survey in mid-September 1973, Peter Walkley was a member of a Nat Map field survey party that carried out an accurate heighting survey over 17 islands in Torres Strait. The survey area extended from Booby Island in the west to Twin and Albany Islands in the north east and south east, respectively. The survey had been requested by the Department of Transport for the establishment of a network of transmitting tide gauges in Torres Strait shipping lanes. Torres Strait was hazardous for ships as it was a busy route, shallow, congested with numerous rock hazards, strong tidal currents and a 5-metre tidal range on the eastern side. Some 18 wrecks were listed during the nineteenth century.
In March 1970 the Oceanic Grandeur, a 58 000 ton tanker that drew 11.8 metres, struck an uncharted rock in one of the shallowest sections of the Great Barrier Reef route. This accident caused Queensland’s biggest oil spill. The subject rock was demolished by explosives in 1978 (Cook and Steed, 2013).
The erratic tides in Torres Strait make tidal predictions impracticable. Eight future tide gauge sites were proposed for the tidal studies. However, one site, at Bets Reef about 90 kilometres north east of Thursday Island was beyond the range of optical observations and was dropped (Cook and Steed, 2013).
The Nat Map survey was to bring the heights of the 17 islands onto the Australian Height Datum independent of mean sea level that was affected by the tidal anomalies in the area. The opportunity was also taken to strengthen the existing trigonometrical network.
During the survey the field party was supported by a Bell 206 JetRanger turbine helicopter chartered from Airfast Helicopters Pty Ltd and flown by French born pilot Alain Le Lec. The helicopter had relatively limited use over a period of a week or so, mainly for positioning personnel and equipment from Horn Island including ferrying Steve Bennett, Peter Walkley and Brian Murphy to Hammond Island and then to Twin Island. Afterwards, the the Department of Transport’s 85-feet navigation aids vessel MV Wallach (a 250-ton vessel based at Thursday Island) was used to transport survey parties between the islands (Murphy, 2019‑2020).
Map of 1973 Torres Strait heighting survey area with observed lines.
Source: Cook and Steed, 2013).
The survey involved the occupation of 20 survey control stations, measuring some 35 Geodimeter lines (totalling 409 kilometres) and establishing of 15 third order bench marks. Astronomical observations for latitude and longitude were made at two stations and for azimuth at one station. The survey lines measured are depicted in the diagram above.
The first component of the Torres Strait field survey party (Bill Jeffery, Steve Bennett, Andy Rodgers and Peter Walkley) departed Lae for Horn Island, together with a large load of survey equipment, on Wednesday 19 September 1973 in a chartered Ansett Douglas DC-3 aircraft.
After their work on the St Georges Channel proving measurements, the second component (Don Gray, Bob Bryant, Jim Steed and Brian Murphy) travelled from Rabaul to Horn Island via Port Moresby during 5-7 October 1973. At Horn Island Technical Officer Jack Edmonstone and Field Assistant Rod Small joined the survey party.
Senior Surveyor Dave Cook was then in charge of the Geodetic Survey Section and spent a small amount of time with the survey party (Murphy, 2019-2020). Supervising Surveyor Klaus Leppert made a brief visit to the field party in mid‑October.
The Torres Strait heighting survey was complete on Thursday 8 November 1973 and the field party members together with all of their equipment then flew from Horn Island to Cairns onboard a chartered Bush Pilots Airways Douglas DC-3 aircraft. At Cairns the survey equipment was loaded directly on to a Bedford truck for return to Canberra. The vehicle was driven by Peter Walkley.
Levelling field work Simpson Desert 1974
In 1974 Peter Walkley was a member of a field survey party from National Mapping’s Geodetic Levelling Section that levelled to Aerodist control survey stations in the Northern Territory. Aerodist stations were established for the horizontal control of aerial photography used in the preparation of sheets in the 1:100 000 scale National Topographic Map Series that was produced between 1965 and 1988.
Between 1963 and 1974 Nat Map established and coordinated some 473 Aerodist stations, mainly in the more remote areas of mainland Australia (McLean, 2019). Generally Aerodist stations were marked by a 25-centimetre square block of concrete that protruded 20 centimetre above ground level.
As shown in the image above, most Aerodist stations were surrounded by 4 steel marker posts that protruded about 60 centimetres above ground level. As they were mainly placed on flat ground (such as between sandhills in the deserts) Aerodist stations were not easy to spot from the ground; particularly in the spinifex-covered country of desert areas.
An Aerodist station (NM/G/273) in the western Simpson Desert June 1969.
Laurie McLean image.
Some of the Aerodist stations levelled to during 1974 were in the Simpson Desert. Peter Walkley was a member of the survey party that levelled down the (dry) Hay River to station NM/B/296 on the Northern Territory-Queensland Border about 170 kilometres north west of Birdsville. Details of this work are provided in Appendix G.
Technical Officer (Surveying) Grade 1 1975
On 11 December 1975 Peter Walkley’s promotion to Technical Officer (Surveying), Grade 1 in the Geodetic Levelling Section, Canberra was promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette. (Andy Rodgers promotion to Technical Officer (Surveying), Grade 1 was also promulgated in this Gazette.)
Oaklands surveying training course 1975
Earlier in 1975 Peter Walkley together with fellow Technical Assistants Andy Rodgers and Peter Mortimer undertook a training course to gain Public Service Board eligibility for employment in the Technical Officer (Surveying) grades.
This training was undertaken in two phases. Firstly lectures and computations were carried out in the board room at Nat Map’s Rialto Building office at 497 Collins Street, Melbourne (Rodgers, 2019-2020). Secondly, field survey training was undertaken in the Oaklands area of the Riverina district about 270 kilometres west of Canberra. During this field survey phase, the students and their instructor were based at the Department of Supply hostel in the village of Oaklands. The training course was run by Nat Map’s Senior Training Officer Reginald Arthur (Reg) Ford BEM (1914-1994). Technical Officer Kenneth Walter (Pinkie) Brown also attended at Oaklands. More information on the Oaklands surveying training courses is provided at Appendix H.
Rapid first order levelling 1974-1978
During the mid-1970s Peter Walkley was involved in precise first order levelling along the Australian east coast. Between 1974 and 1978, National Mapping carried out rapid first order levelling between Coff’s Harbour in northern New South Wales to Cairns in north Queensland.
In the first half of 1974, reconnaissance was carried out for a first order levelling route from Tweed Heads to Bamaga on Cape York. Also in that period an investigation was completed of sites for bench marks between Tweed Heads and Laura (about 115 kilometres west of Cooktown). In the second half of 1974, some 89 new first order bench marks and a number of supplementary bench marks were established between Tweed Heads and Townsville.
The 1974-1978 rapid first order levelling project was undertaken to investigate a slope (or tilt) in tide gauge bench mark heights along the Queensland coast north of Brisbane (Mueller, 2012). Adjusted tide gauge heights from inland and coastal levelling traverses in the National Levelling Survey used to establish the Australian Height Datum in 1971 gave mean sea level values at Cairns of +1.06 metres (inland route) and +0.94 metres (coastal route). These values were based on a mean sea level value at Brisbane of 0.0 metres for both routes.
In their report on the adjustment of the AHD, Roelse et al had concluded that holding sea level fixed at 30 tide gauges around Australia appeared to strain the levelling network and that further investigations into several aspects of the mathematical model of tide gauge zeros needed to be made in the future (Roelse et al, 1971).
In his paper Geodesy in Australia 1956-1972, National Mapping’s Supervising Surveyor (Geodetic) Klaus Leppert stated: One phenomenon resulting from the Australian Levelling Network is the rise of mean sea level, along the North-East Coast of Australia between Brisbane and Cape York, of 1.5 metres. A number of theories have been put forward to account for this rise along part of a theoretical equipotential surface. The presence of the Barrier Reef, prevailing ocean currents, the temperature and salinity of the water and the shallowness of the water have been considered. None gives a satisfactory explanation (Leppert, 1973)
In a 1988 report on the integration of GPS heights into the Australian Height Datum, Western Australian Surveyor Richard Holloway noted that oceans are not homogeneous and are not in hydrostatic equilibrium. He added that ocean surfaces depart from the geoid due to sea surface topography and that tide gauges themselves are subject to several sources of error (Holloway, 1988).
In his 1988 report Holloway also noted that when Nat Map re-observed level lines along the north Queensland coast in 1975 some difference from the original levelling were found. These differences were 0.727 metres between Rockhampton and Mackay and 0.539 metres between Mackay and Townsville. However, when incorporated into the adjustment these differences had little effect on the closing of the level network loops (Holloway, 1988).
The accuracy specification for the 1974-1978 rapid first order levelling survey was that the two levellings of each section shall not differ by more than 4 times the square root of the distance levelled in kilometres (with this result expressed in millimetres). For example, for rapid levelling over a traverse route of 25 kilometres the accuracy had to be within 20 mm when comparing the two simultaneous one way results. The method employed was for the backsights and foresights between the level instrument and each staff to be limited to a distance of 50 metres (Mueller, 2020).
The levelling technique involved both level runs being carried out simultaneously in the one direction. The instrument used was a Jenoptik Koni 007 precise automatic compensator level that was fitted with a parallel plate micrometer for precise fine readings (Sloane, 2019-2020). This instrument was developed in the 1960s by the optical firm Carl Zeiss AG at Jena in the then German Democratic Republic (East Germany).
A 1960s Jenoptik Koni 007 level.
Image from Dr Nicolàs de Hilster website.
Each staff person carried 2 colour-coded 10 kilogram metal staff change point base plates (or frogs); a blue painted frog and a red painted frog. The frogs were firmly placed on the ground. The staff person would place the invar (metal inlay graduated) staff on the blue frog and then on the red frog. The staff was held steady vertically by a bubble and 2 supporting aluminium poles. The instrument person would then be able to read 2 sets of backsight and foresight observations. Once bench marks were closed off, the blue booked differences in elevation results were compared with the red booked results. The work was considered complete when the results were within the accuracy specification mentioned above (Mueller, 2020).
The Nat Map levelling field survey party was successively led by Surveyors Harry Granger, Dick Witrzens and Chris Conway. As well a Peter Walkley, known field party members included Andy Rodgers, Phil Allen, Tom Mueller, Mick Spellacy, Rod (Corgi) Small, Colin Jones, and Michael (Schultz) Dowhy; no doubt there were also other field party members.
This Nat Map precise levelling was along the main east coast transport corridor, namely the Pacific Highway and the Bruce Highway. From these trunk routes spur traverse connections were made to a number of tide gauge bench marks including at: Coff’s Harbour, Iluka, Evans Head, Ballina, Tweed Heads, Currumbin Rocks, Snapper Rocks, Southport, Brisbane, Redcliffe, Caloundra, Noosa Heads, Urangan, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Mackay, Bowen, Townsville, Lucinda, Mourilyan, and Cairns.
In 2020, Nat Map Surveyor Chris Conway recalled that the work was undertaken to the workplace safety standards of the day; which even then were not really adequate for this task. There were simply signs indicating surveyors on road ahead at the start and end points for each day’s work (Allen, 2019‑2020). Unlike today, there were no lane closures on the busy highways nor were there witches hats or flagmen. The levelling crew took their chances on the side of the road; often with cars and large trucks speeding past with apparent disregard for the working surveyors and sometimes with the vehicle wheels throwing rocks into the air to exacerbate the hazardous work.
Rapid first order levelling field party in the mid-1970s.
From left: Peter Walkley, Mick Spellacy, unidentified.
Note the Koni level on the tripod.
Image supplied by Linda Klintworth.
New South Wales crustal movement survey 1980
During 1980, Peter Walkley was a member of field survey party that undertook a crustal movement survey for the Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics from north west of Canberra to the Orange area of New South Wales (Murphy, 2019-2020).
The survey was led by Nat Map Surveyor Joseph Marion (Joe) Blicharz. The survey party used a Laser Geodimeter for precise distance measuring. As well as Joe and Peewee, the survey party included Phil Allen and Dave Abreu (Allen, 2019-2020); other survey party members have not been identified.
Phil Allen recalled working in the Gunning, Yass, Boorowa, Harden and Cowra areas during this survey. On 30 June 1980, Phil, Dave and Peewee detached from the survey party to attend, with many other Nat Mappers, the funeral at Yass of fellow Nat Map Technical Officer John Ellis Wright. Tragically, John (then 27 years of age) had drowned at Lucinda in north Queensland on 24 June 1980 while working to provide onshore support for Rod Streeter’s bathymetric survey party that was using the RV Kalinda in Great Barrier Reef waters (Cowling 2019-2020).
Orroral Valley and Mount Stromlo geodetic connections mid-1980s
During the mid-1980s, Nat Map undertook various precise geodetic survey tasks and first order levelling connections to its geodetic observatory in the Orroral Valley (in the Namadgi National Park about 60 kilometres south of Canberra) and to the Photographic Zenith Tube observatory on Mount Stromlo (about 12 kilometres west of Canberra’s city centre). It is understood that Peter Walkley was involved in these survey tasks.
During the second half of the 1970s and during the 1980, Peter Walkley worked on both geodetic and bathymetric surveys as a member of Nat Map’s Survey Operations Branch. For an overview of Nat Map’s bathymetric mapping program please refer to Appendix I. More information on the bathymetric program is also provided in the Paul Wise and Charlie Watson article Bathymetric Mapping - Natmap's Unfinished Program that is web-linked in the References.
In 1977, Peter Walkley, together with Phil Allen, John Wright and other as yet unidentified Nat Mappers were part of a field survey party that undertook a ground control survey in the Esperance area on the Western Australian coast. This survey used a Laser Geodimeter to help establish ground control to site the shore-based Motorola Mini-Ranger pulsed radar position-fixing system. This system was used for position the MV Cape Don which was engaged in bathymetric survey operations off Bremer Bay (Allen, 2019-2020; Cowling, 2019-2020).
In 1986, Peter Walkley was a member of a shore party supporting closer in‑shore bathymetric surveys in Great Barrier Reef waters being undertaken by the 22‑metre TSMV Febrina. Between 25 June and 30 July 1986 Peter was a member of a shore party operating a Hi-Fix Station. Peter was again a shore party member supporting the Febrina between 7 October and 4 November 1986 (Watson, 2019-2020).
In 1987 Peter Walkley had several periods of bathymetric survey field duty as an assistant watchkeeper on the MV Cape Pillar and in support of TSMV Febrina. He was a member of the Nat Map survey party onboard the Cape Pillar between 5 and 26 February 1987 when she was surveying in Gulf of Carpentaria waters (Watson, 2019-2020).
Peter Walkley (left) on the flying bridge of TSMV Febrina with Allan Hollis
(ship’s Master) in Great Barrier Reef waters circa 1988.
Image supplied by Linda Klintworth.
Peter was again onboard the Cape Pillar between 9 April and 12 May 1987 when she surveyed in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf off the far north Western Australian and adjacent Northern Territory coasts. Later during this period Peter was onboard the Cape Pillar when she surveyed around Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs in the northern Tasman Sea about 190 kilometres north of Lord Howe Island (Watson, 2019-2020).
Shortly after new government administrative arrangements were announced on 24 July 1987, bathymetric surveying and mapping operations were run by the Bathymetric Survey Unit that was established within the then Surveying and Land Information Group’s Operations and Resource Management Branch within the Department of Administrative Services. The Branch head was former Nat Map Supervising Surveyor Bruce Willington.
Between 1 July and 1 August 1987 Peter was at a Hi-Fix camp on Archer Point (about 17 kilometres south east of Cooktown) supporting the Febrina’s survey operations in Great Barrier Reef waters. Finally during November-December 1987 Peter was onboard the Cape Pillar as she surveyed around the Tiwi Islands (Melville Island and Bathurst Island) in the Timor Sea off the Northern Territory coast (Watson, 2019-2020).
In 1988 the bathymetric functions and staff were formally transferred to the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic Service within the Department of Defence. Between 10 July and 22 August 1988, Peter Walkley was part of the bathymetric survey crew on the TSMV Febrina as she operated in inner Great Barrier Reef waters between Mackay and Shoalwater Bay (Watson, 2019‑2020).
Peter Walkley had two separate periods of sea duty during the final year of bathymetric survey operations in 1989. The first period was onboard the Cape Pillar between 23 March and 30 April 1989 as she conducted surveys around Holmes Reef, Lihou Reef and the Diamond Islets in the Coral Sea Islands Territory far offshore between Port Douglas and Tully in north Queensland (Watson, 2019-2020).
Peter had his final bathymetric survey voyage between 10 October and 26 November 1989 onboard the Febrina that was then surveying in coastal waters from Melville Bay and northwards off the coast to the east of Coen in far north Queensland (Watson, 2019-2020).
Peter Walkley at the plotting desk on the portside of MV Cape Pillar circa 1980s.
Image supplied by Linda Klintworth.
At the 1899 pearling fleet cyclone disaster monument on Cape Melville in November 1989, from the left: Peter Walkley, a TSMV Febrina crew member and Nat Map Senior Technical Officer Paul McCormack. Image supplied by Linda Klintworth.
Some of Peter’s post-Nat Map life
As mentioned above, National Mapping ceased as a unique Commonwealth Government organisation in July 1987. Afterwards Peter Walkley continued to undertake bathymetric survey operations with the Australian Surveying and Land Information Group and later with the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic Service. In 1992 Peter and several other former Nat Mappers took early retirement packages (in a second round) from the Defence Department and thus ended their Public Service mapping careers (Willington, 2019-2020; Watson 2019-2020).
Apart from an OPTUS cable survey with Charlie Watson in early 1993 (discussed below), it is understood that after leaving the Department of Defence at the age of about 46 years Peter did not again seek regular paid employment. Instead he made his income from dealing in motor vehicles, real estate and other tradeable goods. During these years Peter kept in contact with former Nat Mapper Michael (Schultz) Dowhy (1953-2017) and other Nat Map colleagues.
During these post-Nat Map years Peter acquired a property at Tottenham in central western New South Wales about 120 kilometres west of Dubbo.
In his later years Peter spent some time in the Wauchope-Port Macquarie area in the mid-north coast region of New South Wales where he caught up with another Nat Map colleague Andy Rodgers and his wife Rae. After the death of his Aunty Patricia Cabban in June 2004 (his father’s youngest sister), Peter and his sister Linda inherited a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom residence on 2 000 square metres of hillside land at Wauchope, about 16 kilometres west of Port Macquarie.
Peter with sister Linda at his 60th birthday, Canberra 9 December 2005.
Image supplied by Linda Klintworth.
OPTUS cable survey project 1993
In early 1993 shortly after leaving the Hydrographic Service of the Royal Australian Navy, Charlie Watson was hired by Linke & Linke Pty Ltd Consultant Surveyors and Engineers to carry out a type of as built survey of the then recently installed OPTUS optic cable from Melbourne to Sydney. Needing an assistant, Charlie arranged for Peter Walkley also to be hired for this project. Peewee had also recently finished working with the RAN Hydrographic Service.
Charlie and Peewee commenced the cable survey at Hall in the Australian Capital Territory on 18 March 1993 and finished just south of Junee, New South Wales on 3 April 1993. Their route followed the general alignment of the Barton Highway, Hume Highway, Burley Griffin Way and Olympic Way. From Harden a short cut along back roads was taken until just north of Cootamundra. The general cable survey route is depicted in the map below.
General route of the 1993 OPTUS cable survey.
Annotated by Paul Wise.
Charlie found it interesting taking the back routes around the towns and villages as there were many things that the normal traveller never saw. They didn’t work on the cable section from Harden to Cootamundra and a small section near Rocky Ponds Creek between Binalong and Harden as the plans for these areas had not been completed. Another party was working on the plans in these areas using stadia surveying.
The work required Charlie and Peewee to check the plans and measure the positions of marker posts and to stamp a number on each post. They walked along the cable line which was still clearly visible and, with a perambulator, measured the distance from one post to the next and then the offset from the cable line to the marker. They finished by stamping the next number on the post and recording it on the plan. The numbers were stamped with a set of dies and a good solid hammer. They also stamped an arrow using a cold chisel showing the forward direction of the cable.
The marker posts were either square concrete about 120 millimetres by 120 millimetres and 0.75 metres high with an aluminium plate on top or triangular aluminium posts about 100 millimetres on the sides and 1.0 metres high, painted white. At the end of each day, on a clean set of plans they inked up the results. Posts were situated at every fence and road or every 300 metres in open going (which was a rare occurrence). Charlie and Peewee had to jump an unfathomable number of fences.
They would drive to the day’s start point in Peewee’s utility and start out on foot, with Charlie measuring and Peewee stamping. After a couple of kilometres Charlie would do both tasks while Peewee went back and bought the utility forward. Charlie and Peewee’s daily output was from 10 to 12 kilometres on a full day. Total distance of the line surveyed was 154.45 kilometres.
Once away from Canberra, Charlie and Peewee stayed in caravan parks at Yass, Binalong, Cootamundra and Junee. (Details of this project were provided by Charlie Watson.)
A perambulator similar to that used on the 1993 OPTUS survey.
Image supplied by Charlie Watson.
Peter Walkley died at the Port Macquarie Base Hospital on Sunday 16 October 2011. He was 65 years of age. Peewee had suffered with colon cancer for some time prior to his death. Peewee had received treatment including surgery and later palliative care at the North Coast Cancer Institute attached to the Port Macquarie Base Hospital. Peewee’s remains were cremated at Port Macquarie under arrangements through Graham Bayes Mid North Coast Funeral Services.
Later, Peewee’s ashes were placed with those of his mother, Una Jean Walkley (1911-2001) at Canberra’s Norwood Park Crematorium in the (row) Garden 20, of the On Rock portion in the Yapunyah Creek area. In 1996, the ashes of Peewee’s father Lloyd Walkley (1915-1996) had been placed at the Ex‑Service Wall near the Sandford Street entrance to the Crematorium.
Peewee never married nor had a long-term partner. He was survived by his younger sister Linda Klintworth, his brother-in-law Gary Klintworth and two Klintworth nieces. After Peewee’s death Linda managed the winding-up of his affairs and the probate of his Will that had been made in 2003.
Although it is now over 8 years since his death, Peewee is still missed by people who knew him. He will always be fondly remembered as a very friendly and obliging person; a good bloke with a kind heart and a great sense of humour. For the many Nat Mappers who knew him Peewee was a great mate.
During the research and preparation of this article the following people generously provided assistance:
· Dave Abreu, former Nat Map Technical Assistant
· Phil Allen, former Nat Map Technical Officer
· Harry Baker, former Nat Map staff pilot
· Chris Conway, former Nat Map Surveyor
· Simon Cowling, former Nat Map Senior Surveyor
· Ted Graham AM, former Nat Map Senior Technical Officer
· Gary Klintworth, Peter Walkley’s brother-in-law
· Linda Klintworth, Peter Walkley’s younger sister
· Karen McLean, daughter of the author (who proof read some early drafts)
· Brian Murphy, former Nat Map Senior Surveyor
· Tom Mueller, former Nat Map Technical Officer
· Peter O’Donnell, former Nat Map Assistant Director
· Andy Rodgers, former Nat Map Technical Officer
· Barry Sloane, former Nat Map Senior Surveyor
· Charlie Watson, former Nat Map Senior Surveyor
· Bruce Willington, former Nat Map Supervising Surveyor
· Paul Wise OAM, former Nat Map Senior Surveyor and founder, operator, and editor-in-chief of the XNatmap website.
The author gratefully acknowledges the kind assistance provided by these people.
List of Appendices
Craigieburn properties held by Peter Walkley’s mother’s family
Peter Walkley’s paternal grandparents and great grandparents
More information on Thomas Lloyd Walkley’s RAAF Service
Flight Sergeant TL Walkley and other 460 Squadron RAAF members with Sir Arthur Bomber Harris 1943
Thomas Lloyd Walkley’s comments at: The RAAF in Europe and North Africa 1939-1945 History Conference held in Canberra on 20 October 1994
Thomas Lloyd Walkley (1915-1996) Obituary
National Levelling Program 1962-1970
Nat Map’s Precision Levelling Section
PAGEOS Baselines and other high precision traversing
Levelling in the Simpson Desert 1974
About Nat Map’s Surveying Training Courses at Oaklands NSW
The Bathymetric Mapping Program
Craigieburn properties held by Peter Walkley’s Mother’s Family
From the late 1800s and early 1900s Peter Walkley’s maternal grandparents and great grandparents owned three properties in the Craigieburn area to the north of Melbourne. In the 1880s the Fergusons, grandparents of Peewee’s mother, had a farm fronting Craigieburn Road a couple of kilometres west of the Craigieburn railway station. Also in the 1880s Peewee’s grandfather, Troward Underdown (Tro) Harvey (1875-1957), had an interest in Summerhill Farm at Wollert about 3 kilometres north east of Craigieburn railway station. In 1910 Tro Harvey purchased Olrig Homestead about 3 kilometres north west of Craigieburn railway station. Each of these properties is outlined in this Appendix.
The three properties are depicted in Figure A-1 below. In this figure Paul Wise has overlayed satellite images of each property on a topographic map base extracted from the 1943 J55/5 Melbourne 1: 253 440 scale map sheet. The satellite imagery is from Google Earth. The Olrig Homestead and Summerhill Farm images were captured in 2006 and the Ferguson Farm site image was captured in 2004.
Figure A-1: Locations of the Harvey and Ferguson properties in the Craigieburn area.
Provided by Paul Wise.
As depicted on the map above, Summerhill Farm homestead was about 500 metres east of the Merri Creek and about 2 kilometres north of the Summer Hill prominence (787 feet above sea level). Pattersons Creek that flows into Merri Creek just to the south of Summer Hill has since been renamed Malcolm Creek; most likely after pioneer settler James Malcolm.
Olrig Homestead Craigieburn
Olrig House is a country estate near Castletown in the historic county of Caithness in north eastern Scotland not far from John o’Groats. The name Olrig (or Olrick) is thought to signify the son of Erick from one of the Norwegian chieftains prominent in the area following the invasion of Caithness by the King of Norway at the beginning of the Ninth Century.
In colonial Victoria the name Olrig was used for a pastoral and farming property of about 2 350 acres at what is now called Craigieburn. The property was purchased by James Malcolm in 1840. Olrig Homestead is about 2 kilometres south east of Mt Ridley, about 3 kilometres north west of Craigieburn railway station and about 26 kilometres north of the Melbourne CBD.
James Malcolm (1804-1878) arrived from Tasmania in 1836 and was later claimed to have been the wealthiest man in early Melbourne. Within 50 years of his arrival with little more than £50, he had accumulated some 6 000 acres of land, 30 000 sheep and managed an income of £30 000 per year. James Malcolm died in England on 16 July 1878 (Craigieburn Historical Interest Group, undated B).
James William Malcolm (1862-1927) was the first son from Malcolm’s second marriage (to Adeline Attye). Born in London, James William Malcolm held the rank of Captain in the Royal Pembrokeshire Artillery Militia and was Administrative Assistant in the Ministry of Munitions during World War I. He became Sir James William Malcolm and gained the title of 9th Baronet Malcolm of Balbedie and Innertiel in the County of Fife (Scotland). James William Malcolm died in England on 30 April 1927 at age of 65 years (The Peerage, undated).
James Malcolm (senior) had a second son Charles Edward Malcolm (1865‑1935) who became Major Charles Edward Malcolm and married the Honourable Beatrice Mary Leslie Hore-Ruthven (The Peerage, undated).
James Malcolm (senior) built a hut and barn at Olrig in 1841 and during the 1870s is believed to have built the main blue stone homestead cottage Olrig which still stands today. Following James Malcolm’s death in 1878 the property passed to his sons who lived in England and it was run by various lessees. Around 1906 the land was subdivided and sold in various lots.
According to a transfer of land document, on 15 August 1910 James William Malcolm sold Olrig to Troward Underdown Harvey of Summerhill who subsequently farmed Olrig until his death on 12 March 1957. Summerhill Farm was about 2.9 kilometres south east of Olrig Homestead. (Troward Underdown Harvey was Peter Walkley’s maternal grandfather.)
Further information on Summerhill Farm is provided below. After Tro Harvey’s death ownership of Olrig passed to his three daughters and later the second daughter (Peter Walkley’s mother) Una Jean Walkley took sole possession of the property (Craigieburn Historical Interest Group, undated C).
Olrig Homestead, Craigieburn circa 1882.
Pencil sketch by Harold John Graham (1858-1929).
National Library of Australia, Libraries Australia ID 6442251.
In the early 1960s the Olrig property was purchased by Craigieburn Landholdings. In 1992 a fire destroyed much of Olrig Homestead leaving only the bluestone section (Craigieburn Historical Interest Group, undated C).
Around 2010 Olrig Homestead and a surrounding land parcel of some 4.7 hectares was acquired by the Catholic Diocese of Melbourne and became part of the Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School at what is now 5‑15 Windrock Avenue Craigieburn. School buildings have been constructed to the west of the homestead building which has been renovated recently (Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School, undated).
Most other parts of the former Olrig property are now developed as housing blocks. However, as well as the homestead building some reminders of the past remain. Near the Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School is an oval named Olrig Field and nearby street names include Olrig Grove and Troward Harvey Way (on the east side of Olrig Field).
Olrig Homestead, Craigieburn in recent years.
Source: Mother Teresa Catholic Primary School website.
Summerhill Farm Wollert
Prior to purchasing Olrig at Craigieburn in August 1910, Peter Walkley’s maternal grandfather Troward Underdown Harvey had operated Summerhill Farm at nearby Wollert with his brother Phillip Henry Harvey (1877-1963).
At the time of Tro Harvey’s wedding in September 1907, his father Frederick John Harvey resided at Summerhill Farm (Anonymous, 1907). An electoral roll for 1909 listed the following Harvey family members as residing at Craigieburn (presumably at Summerhill Farm):
· Frederick Harvey, grazier
· Marion Harvey, home duties (possibly Ida Marion Harvey 1871-1975, daughter of Frederick and Una Harvey)
· Mabel Harvey, home duties (Mabel Jane Harvey 1869-1964, daughter of Frederick and Una Harvey)
· Phillip Harvey, grazier
· Una Jane Harvey, home duties (wife of Frederick Harvey)
· Troward Harvey, grazier.
Electoral rolls for 1914 and 1915 listed Ida Marion Harvey and Phillip Harvey as residing at Craigieburn and being occupied as home duties and grazier, respectively; it is presumed both resided at Summerhill Farm. On the same electoral rolls Sybil Harvey and Troward Underdown Harvey were also listed as residing at Craigieburn and being occupied as home duties and grazier, respectively; it is presumed both resided at Olrig.
Electoral rolls 1922 and 1928 listed the following people as residing at Craigieburn:
· Margaret Hutchinson Harvey, Summer Hill, home duties
· Phillip Henry Harvey, farmer
· Sybil Harvey, home duties
· Troward Underwood Harvey, grazier
· William Wyatt Harvey, farmer and grazier (probably at Summerhill).
William Wyatt Harvey (1884-1974) was the youngest of Frederick and Una Harvey’s children. He was a civil engineer by profession and worked for John Monash’s engineering firm in Melbourne and Adelaide in the early 1900s. He served in the 3rd Australian Pioneer Battalion AIF including in France from March 1916 to July 1919. He was commissioned a Lieutenant on the Western Front and mentioned in despatches.
An electoral roll for 1934 listed Phillip Harvey and Margaret Harvey (his wife) as residing in Anglesea with both then being listed as retired.
Some Summerhill Farm history
The Summerhill Farm complex was built in the 1850s by Thomas Wilson, an Irish doctor who had arrived in Victoria in 1841 with his wife Margaret. Dr Wilson practised medicine for some years and in 1848 took up land on the Merri Creek north of Melbourne. In 1853 Dr Wilson moved to Summerhill Farm where he ran a dairy, pig and sheep enterprise.
Dr Wilson also raised a large family and became Chairman of the local Road Board and later Shire President. Dr Wilson moved to Kew in 1878 and sold Summerhill Farm in 1886.
Subsequent owners Summerhill included the Frederick John Harvey (possibly with some of his sons). The Harveys were flour millers at Geelong. The Harveys later sold Summerhill to a Mr WJ Hill. It was while at Summerhill in 1910 that Tro Harvey purchased Olrig from James William Malcolm.
The main homestead at Summerhill Farm, Wollert circa 1990s.
Heritage Council Victoria image.
Summerhill Farm was regarded as one of the finest farming properties in Victoria at the time and was described in several contemporary Melbourne newspaper articles. Summerhill was sufficiently close to Melbourne for dairying to be profitable. But Wilson’s housing of his milking cows under cover (in 2 cow sheds) during the winter was considered unusual in Victoria at the time. Apparently this was done to ensure the year-round production of milk. Dr Wilson produced milk, butter and cheese with the residual skim milk used to raise pigs for pork production. Dr Wilson also ran about 2 000 sheep in paddocks divided by stone walls. During the 1940s much of the original Summerhill property was acquired by the Soldier Settlement Commission and sub-divided into smaller sheep farms of around 162 to 243 hectares (Craigieburn Historical Interest Group, undated A).
Now addressed as 585 Summerhill Road Wollert, the remainder of Summerhill Farm is located about 500 metres east of Merri Creek and about 3 kilometres north-east of Craigieburn railway station and about 26 kilometres north of the Melbourne CBD. Around 2000 the property was owned by Austral Bricks which today operates a large quarry and brickworks that surround the Summerhill Farm homestead on 3 sides (Heritage Council Victoria, 1999).
The larger of the cow sheds at Summerhill Farm circa 1990s. The original bluestone cow shed was later incorporated in a larger corrugated iron wool shed.
Heritage Council Victoria image.
Ferguson Family Farm Craigieburn
Peter Walkley’s maternal great grandmother mother Helen Scott Morrison was born in Scotland circa 1844 to Thomas Morrison and his wife of West Dalmeny. Helen was a native of Dalmeny, a village on the south eastern outskirts of Queensferry that lies near the Forth Bridge (built in the 1880s) on the south side of the Firth of Forth. Dalmeny is about 12 kilometres north west of Edinburgh (Anonymous, 1914).
Peter’s maternal great grandfather James Henderson Ferguson was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 4 March 1833. He was the son of William Ferguson and Ann Ferguson née Henderson, who resided at 10 Bath Street Glasgow in 1862 (Anonymous, 1862). JH Ferguson migrated to South Australia and established himself as a storekeeper at Gawler (Craigieburn Historical Interest Group, undated).
On 27 March 1862 at the inner Adelaide suburb of Myrtle Bank, James Henderson Ferguson married Isabella Mary Ferguson, eldest daughter of William Ferguson of Myrtle Bank (Anonymous, 1862).
In 1886, James Ferguson stood unsuccessfully as one of the 2 candidates for Councillor for the East Ward at the Gawler Town Municipal elections (Anonymous, 1866). In 1867, James Ferguson of Gawler Town was advertised as an agent for the Anglo-Australian Guano Company for the sale of Bird Island phosphatic guano for £8 per ton at the Port, bags included (Anonymous, 1867).
Sadly at Gawler Town on 25 March 1870 Isabella Mary Ferguson died; circa age 34 years (Anonymous, 1870). In 1876 James Henderson Ferguson returned to Scotland where he married Helen Scott Morrison in Edinburgh (Craigieburn Historical Interest Group, undated).
In 1882, James Ferguson and his family moved to Victoria. They took up a dairy farm of some 304 acres about 2 kilometres south west of the Craigieburn railway station. The property was on the site of the present day Craigieburn Public Golf Course that fronts Craigieburn Road. Here the Ferguson Family milked about 40 cows and despatched the milk from the railway station. James Henderson Ferguson died at Bell Manor Coburg on 4 May 1900 at 67 years of age. After James Ferguson’s death his family continued to live on their Craigieburn dairy farm (Craigieburn Historical Interest Group, undated).
Helen Scott Ferguson died in Melbourne on 31 August 1914 at 70 years of age. She left an estate of £3 198 including the family home, a weatherboard house of six rooms on 304 acres at Craigieburn valued at £10 an acre, money and jewellery. She left jewellery to her daughter Sybil, a silver tea and coffee set to her granddaughter Helen Harvey, silver teaspoons to her granddaughter Una Harvey and a case of cutlery, fruit knives and forks to her son Kenneth. Sons Ronald, Lindsay and Kenneth each inherited £100 with the residue divided between her other children (Craigieburn Historical Interest Group, undated).
Peter Walkley’s maternal grandmother Sybil Primrose Ferguson was born at Coburg in 1884. While still at her parent’s Craigieburn farm Sybil owned a rifle and was a grand shot (Craigieburn Historical Interest Group, undated). At the time of Sybil’s marriage to Tro Harvey in September 1907, she and her mother (Helen) resided at Aldersyde, Lytton Street Glenroy (Anonymous, 1907).
Sybil’s cousin Fergus wrote that: Sybil and Ronald stayed a night with us and went to Jessie Ferguson’s marriage (another family of cousins). Mina Ferguson, Jessie’s sister was also there and we sat and played cards until 12.30. When Fergus visited them in 1904, just as we were going up the path I gave Lindsay a push and did a regular Indian war leap over a snake. However, it was dead. Sybil had killed it and put it on the path to give us a scare. She owns the rifle and is a grand shot (Craigieburn Historical Interest Group, undated).
On 26 September 1907, Sybil Ferguson married Tro Harvey who later farmed at Olrig Craigieburn. Joyce Wilson recalled holidays spent with Aunty Sybil and Uncle Tro at Craigieburn, in a stone house with a garden full of lavender. Sybil Harvey died in Coburg in 1932.
Troward Harvey died on 12 March 1957 after a long illness, the beloved husband of the late Sybil Primrose and loved father of Helen, Una and Bobbie, grandfather of Robin, Alison, Peter and Linda, late of Craigieburn (Craigieburn Historical Interest Group, undated).
Peter Walkley’s paternal grandparents and great grandparents
Peter Walkley’s paternal grandparents were Royston (Roy) Walkley (1893‑1959) and his wife Ellen (Nellie) Walkley née Fyfe (1884-1966). Royston Walkley and Ellen Fyfe married in Queensland on 12 August 1914. Roy and Nellie Walkley were to have three children: son Thomas Lloyd (1915‑1996) and daughters Joan Fyfe (1916-2004, later Mrs Henry Owen John) and Patricia Fyfe (1919-2004, later Mrs Geoffrey Francis Cabban).
Thomas Lloyd (Lloyd) Walkley was born on 2 May 1915 at Nurse Wilson's private nursing home La Perouse in Gregory Terrace, Brisbane (Anonymous, 1915). Roy and Ellen Walkley’s two daughters were also born in Queensland. Their second daughter, Patricia Fyfe, was born at Nurse Cooper's Private Nursing Home at 55 Barker Street in the inner Brisbane suburb of New Farm on 17 December 1919 (Anonymous, 1919).
Peter Walkley’s paternal grandmother Ellen Fyfe was born on 4 December 1884. Ellen was the fourth of the seven children born to Joseph Fyfe (who died on 14 September 1893) and his wife Bridget Fyfe née Morgan (circa 1857‑1922). The Fyfe family had resided in the Wararba (now called Wamuran)-Caboolture area about 50 kilometres north of Brisbane. The remains of Joseph and Bridget Fyfe were buried in the King Street Cemetery at Caboolture. Ellen Fyfe’s siblings were: Beatrice Maud (1878-1960), Joseph Emmanuel (born 1879), John Richard (1882-1930), Charlotte May (1887-1965), James (born 1889), and Josephine Olive (1893-1976). The then Ellen Walkley’s death was registered at Newcastle in 1966.
Peewee’s grandmother Ellen (Nellie) Fyfe was a music student and later a piano teacher. In 1903, Ellen Fyfe passed the Junior Division as a pianist at the music examinations held in Brisbane by the Trinity College of Music, London. At the time the 19-year old Ellen was the student of a Miss Service at the Convent School, Southport (Anonymous, 1903).
At the Trinity College, London theory of music examinations held in Brisbane in December 1911, in the lower division a pass (77 per cent) was achieved by Maud Baker whose teacher was Miss Fyfe of Caboolture (Anonymous, 1912). Subsequent newspaper reports indicated that Ellen (Nellie) Fyfe had 4 successful piano students at the Trinity College of Music examinations in 1914. In 1917, 1918 and 1919, The Toowoomba Chronicle reported successful results in Trinity College and other music examinations for students from Mrs Walkley’s Crow’s Nest studio.
Between 1927 and 1937 The Newcastle Sun reported the success of Mrs Walkley’s students in various music exams. (Ellen’s daughters Joan and Patricia were also reported as successful music students during some of this period.) Ellen Walkley had also played the piano at picture theatres during the time of silent movie films (Klintworth, 2019-2020).
Peter Walkley’s paternal grandfather Royston (Roy) Walkley’s birth was registered at the Petersham registry district (Sydney) in 1893. Royston Walkley’s death was registered at the Hamilton registry district (Newcastle), New South Wales in 1959. Royston Walkley had three siblings: an older brother Percy Lloyd Frost Walkley (1889-1971), an older sister Vera Blanche Walkley (1891-1892) who died at 8 months of age, and a younger half‑brother John Bryden Adkins (1900-1980).
Peter Walkley’s paternal great grandparents
Royston’s parents (Peewee’s paternal great grandparents) were Thomas Lloyd Walkley (1860-1897) and Lydia Janet Walkley née Bryden (1868-1952). Thomas was the second son (third child) of English-born George Walkley (1826-1862) and his Australian-born wife Ann Walkley née Frost (1828-1889). Lydia was a daughter of John Bryden and his wife Elizabeth Emma Bryden née Stamp. At the time of Lydia’s marriage to Thomas Walkley her parents resided in Septimus Street MacDonaldtown (inner Sydney) and her father was employed as a mariner.
The marriage of Thomas Walkley and Lydia Bryden was celebrated on 26 December 1888 at St Peters (Anglican) Church on Crooks River Road (now the Princes Highway) in the inner Sydney suburb of St Peters. At time of his wedding Thomas Walkley resided in Castlereagh Street Sydney and gave his occupation as gentleman. However, from Court proceedings after his death it appears that he had a part interest in the Exhibition Hotel on the corner of Devonshire and Castlereagh Streets in Sydney (Anonymous, 1897 A).
As mentioned above Thomas and Lydia were to have three children, one of which died as an infant. Thomas Lloyd Walkley died at age 37 years at his residence Taree, West Boulevard in the inner western Sydney suburb of Lewisham and his remains were buried at Rookwood Cemetery (Anonymous, 1897).
Peewee’s paternal great grandmother Lydia Janet Walkley later remarried. In 1898 the marriage of John Perry Adkins and Lydia Janet Walkley was registered at the Newtown registry district (inner western Sydney). The birth of their only child, son John Bryden Adkins was registered at the Petersham registry district in 1900. (He was residing at Mosman when he died in 1980.)
John Perry Adkins was born in early 1864 at Weston Favell about 3 kilometres north east of Northampton, England. In an 1881 Census record, John was listed as a 17-year old apprentice corn miller at the Ravenstone Mill (about 15 kilometres south east of Northampton).
By the early 1900s John Perry Adkins was appointed manager of the Murrumbidgee Cooperative Flour Milling Company Limited at Wagga Wagga and held that position at the time of his death. John Adkins died at his residence, 9 Spencer Road Mosman, on 17 April 1923; he was 59 years of age. His remains were buried at the South Head Cemetery, Vaucluse.
Lydia Janet Adkins died at her Mosman residence on 12 October 1952; her remains were privately cremated. Her third son John Bryden Adkins was the executor of her estate.
More on Peter Walkley’s paternal grandfather
Peter Walkley’s paternal grandfather Roy Walkley pursued several occupations during his life. These pursuits included hotel licensee, movie picture theatre proprietor, newsagent, insurance agent, furnace hand, collector, and traveller.
At Crow’s Nest, Queensland circa 1916-1919
Within 2 years of their marriage in 1914 and while still in their early 20s, Roy and Ellen Walkley resided in Crow’s Nest about 35 kilometres north of Toowoomba on the Darling Downs in Queensland. The Walkleys appeared to have resided at Crow’s Nest from at least 1916 to about 1919.
An electoral roll for 1916 listed Royston and Ellen Walkley as residing at the Commercial Hotel, Crow’s Nest and being occupied as licensed victualler and home duties, respectively. The Darling Downs Gazette of Monday 24 January 1916 (on page 7) reported that Roy Walkley had been elected a member of the Crow’s Nest Chamber of Commerce on 20 January 1916. Wise’s Post Office Directories for 1917 and 1918 listed Royston Walkley at the Commercial Hotel, Crow’s Nest.
Between 1916 and 1919, Roy and Ellen Walkley were mentioned several times in Crow’s Nest reports in the social pages of local newspapers. In February 1916 Roy Walkley was a Crow’s Nest Gun Club competitor at an inter-club pigeon shoot and was shooting off a handicap of 22. On 27 March 1918 Brother R Walkley and various others were invested as officers of the Crow’s Nest Masonic Lodge. After the investiture ceremony Mrs R Walkley prepared an excellent supper at the Empire Hall. Mrs Walkley was mentioned several other times in the Toowoomba Chronicle regarding the success of the piano students from her Crow’s Nest studio in various music examinations.
Some 40 years after the Walkleys had left Crow’s Nest, the Commercial Hotel was one of six adjoining buildings in Charlotte Street that were destroyed by fire on 30 May 1949. The destroyed buildings included the Queensland National Bank, a barber shop, the Empire Hall, a billiard saloon, the Busy Bee Cafe, as well as the Commercial Hotel. These buildings are shown below in a 1911 image of Charlotte Street Crow’s Nest (Anonymous, 1949).
From the right: the Queensland National Bank, Empire Hall and the Commercial Hotel in Charlotte Street Crow’s Nest on 8 August 1911.
Image from Picture Queensland, State Library of Queensland.
Accessed from the bonzle.com website.
At Gladstone, Central Queensland circa 1919-1920
An electoral roll for 1919 listed Royston and Ellen Walkley as residing at the Blue Bell Hotel in Gladstone, Central Queensland. On this electoral roll Royston Walkley was listed as a licensed victualler and Ellen Walkley was listed as home duties. On 17 December 1919 while the Walkleys were residing in Gladstone, their third child, daughter Patricia Fyfe, was born at Nurse Cooper's Private Nursing Home in the inner Brisbane suburb of New Farm (Anonymous, 1919).
The two-storey Blue Bell Hotel building was constructed in 1898 at the corner of Yarroon Street and China Lane (now Central Lane) in Gladstone. During World War II the Blue Bell Hotel was used as a billet for United States forces. The Blue Bell was renamed the Ocean View in 1950 and the Port Curtis Hotel in 1999. Currently the site is occupied by the Central Lane Hotel. An image of the Blue Bell Hotel in 1916 is provided below.
The Blue Bell Hotel, Gladstone in 1916.
Image from Picture Queensland, State Library of Queensland.
Accessed from the bonzle.com website.
On 5 May 1920 the sale of the leasehold of the Blue Bell Hotel was reported in the Rockhampton press. The sale was on account of Mr R Walkley to Mr JT (Thomas) Ryalls who formerly had the Club Hotel in Gladstone (Anonymous, 1920).
The Blue Bell has always been known as one of the best hotels in Gladstone and since the opening of the Paramount Picture Theatre, opposite, business has increased to a phenomenal extent. Mr Walkley found that the picture business called for all his available time and energy and he will devote his whole attention to it. Mr Ryalls, who is one of the most energetic of our townsmen, will not take over the hotel until 1 May next (Anonymous, 1920 B). It appears that Roy Walkley exhibited Paramount movie pictures at the Theatre Royal, and Ellen Walkley played the piano at these silent picture screenings.
Roy Walkley was mentioned in the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin several times during 1919-1920 for his community activities at Gladstone. These activities included presiding at Port Curtis Amateur Rugby League meetings, organising a sports day event for the Gladstone Cricket Association, helping to provide entertainment at the Theatre Royal in aid of funds for the Labour Day Celebration Committee, and attending the inaugural and later meeting of the Gladstone and Port Curtis Chamber of Commerce.
In April 1920, Roy Walkley exhibited a slide during a Paramount picture event at Gladstone’s Theatre Royal denying that he or his wife and another person were members of the Nationalist Democratic Council as had been claimed. This matter and the Nationalist Democratic Council’s methods were later the subject of letters in the Rockhampton and Brisbane press (Connellan, 1920; and Walkley, 1920).
Newcastle circa 1923-1959
At the time of his step-father’s (John Perry Adkins) death in April 1923, Royston Walkley resided in Newcastle (Anonymous, 1923). From newspaper advertisements accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service it appears that Royston ran Walkley’s Newsagency in Maitland Road Mayfield (a northern suburb of Newcastle) between about 1923 and 1925.
On electoral roll entries for 1930, 1936 and 1937, Royston and Ellen Walkley were listed as residing at 10 Clara Street Mayfield. On these entries Royston’s occupation was give as furnace hand and Ellen was listed as occupied in home duties. However, on the Newcastle Boys High School and the Newcastle Girls High School Registers for children Thomas (Lloyd), Joan and Patricia Walkley (for the years 1930 and 1933), their father was listed as Royston Walkley an insurance agent residing at 10 Clara Street Mayfield (Newcastle Boys High School, Old Boys Association, undated).
On electoral rolls for 1943 and 1949, Royston and Ellen Walkley were listed as residing at 7A Gordon Avenue Hamilton (an inner western suburb of Newcastle). On these rolls Royston was listed as a collector and Ellen was engaged in home duties.
The last electoral roll listing discovered for Royston and Ellen Walkley was for 1958. On this roll they were listed as residing at 444 Glebe Road Merewether (this street address is now in the Newcastle suburb of Hamilton). Royston was occupied as traveller and Ellen was engaged in home duties.
As mentioned above in the main article Royston Walkley died in 1959 and Ellen Walkley died in 1966.
More information on Thomas Lloyd Walkley’s RAAF Service 1940-1963
Peter Walkley’s father Thomas Lloyd Walkley MBE DFM served in the Royal Australian Air Force (Service Number 02110) for nearly 23 years; from 29 April 1940 to 16 January 1963. In the RAAF Peter’s father was known as Tom or Mo Walkley. TL Walkley spent his early and later years in the RAAF on the technical matters as a member of the ground crew. However, he also flew as a flight engineer on shipping convoy and anti-submarine patrols and on bombing raids over Europe during World War II.
During his RAAF career, Lloyd Walkley served in the following RAAF units: No 461 Squadron (England), No 460 Squadron (England), No 7 Operational Training Unit (Tocumwal), No 1 Air Performance Unit that was renamed the Aircraft Research and Development Unit in September 1947, (Laverton), No 2 Squadron (Amberley), No 2 Operational Training Unit (Williamtown) , No 478 (Maintenance) Squadron (Williamtown); No 22 (City of Sydney) Squadron Richmond), and the RAAF School of Technical Training (Wagga Wagga).
Some of Thomas Lloyd Walkley Royal Australian Air Force career highlights were:
· April 1940 enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force at Mayfield (Newcastle) (age 24 years)
· April 1940-June 1941 RAAF training at Richmond, Sydney and Melbourne
· June 1941 embarked Sydney for United Kingdom as an Airframe Fitter
· 1941 on arrival United Kingdom posted to No 141 Squadron RAF at Ayr, Scotland
· May 1942 posted to No 461 Squadron RAAF attached to RAF Coastal Command
· June 1943 posted to No 460 Squadron RAAF attached to RAF Bomber Command and later remustered as Flight Sergeant/Flight Engineer
· December 1943 awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (recommended in November 1943 when rank was Sergeant) also promoted to commissioned rank of Pilot Officer
· May 1945 Distinguished Flying Medal investiture in Melbourne
· September 1945 promoted Flight Lieutenant (temporary) in Citizen Air Force ‑ General Duties
· September 1948 appointed Flight Lieutenant (short service commission) in Citizen Air Force – Technical Branch
· June 1951 appointed to permanent commission as Flight Lieutenant in Permanent Air Force – Technical Branch
· January 1954 promoted Squadron Leader in Permanent Air Force – Technical Branch
· June 1958 awarded Member of the Order of the British Empire (Military)-MBE (rank then Squadron Leader)
· November 1958 ceased full-time RAAF service and appointed Squadron Leader in the Air Force Reserve – Technical Branch
· August 1960 transferred from Reserve to Active Citizen Air Force – Technical Branch as Squadron Leader in No 22 (City of Sydney) (Auxiliary) Squadron
· May 1961 transferred to Reserve as Squadron Leader from Active Citizen Air Force - Technical Branch No 22 (City of Sydney) (Auxiliary) Squadron
· January 1963 discharged from Royal Australian Air Force with rank of Squadron Leader at RAAF School of Technical Training Wagga Wagga, age 47 years.
Lloyd Walkley’s RAAF service record was not accessed during the research for this article. The above highlights were obtained from various sources as detailed in the References section below.
No 141 Squadron Royal Air Force
As mentioned above, in mid-1941 Lloyd Walkley was posted to England as an Airframe Fitter. Initially he served with No 141 Squadron RAF that was then based at RAF Station Ayr that was located at Heathfield airfield, Prestwick, about 5 kilometres north of Ayr on Scotland’s west coast and about 40 kilometres south west of Glasgow. Between June 1941 and June 1943 No 141 Squadron operated twin-engine Bristol Beaufighter heavy fighter aircraft in defensive duties over Scotland and the north east of England.
No 461 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force
In May 1943 the then Sergeant Walkley was posted to No 461 Squadron RAAF (in RAF Coastal Command). No 461 Squadron RAAF was raised in England on 25 April 1942 under Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme. Its role was to augment the Coastal Command’s efforts in protecting Naval convoys and deterring enemy U‑boat attacks. The Squadron flew Short Sunderland 4‑engine long range flying boats.
While with 461 Squadron, Sergeant Walkley flew some 200 hours on operational patrols with Flying Officer John George Pax Weatherlake as part of a 13-man Sunderland flying boat crew.
Initially No 461 Squadron was based at RAF Mount Batten on Plymouth Sound on the far south coast in Devon. From August 1942 the Squadron was based at RAF Hamworthy on Poole Harbour in Dorset and from February to June 1945 it was based at RAF Pembroke Dock at Milford Haven in southern Wales.
No 461 Squadron was disbanded at Pembroke Dock on 4 June 1945. The Squadron had lost 20 Sunderland aircraft to enemy action and to accidents. A total of 86 Squadron members of all nationalities were killed on operations, including 64 Australians. During its wartime operations No 461 Squadron destroyed at least 6 enemy U-boats.
460 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force
In June 1943 the then Flight Sergeant Walkley had been posted to No 460 Squadron RAAF in RAF Bomber Commander. The Squadron was then based at Royal Air Force Station Binbrook in Lincolnshire, about 20 kilometres south west of the mouth of the Humber Estuary and about 210 kilometres north of London.
With 460 Squadron RAAF, Tom Walkley was promoted Flight Sergeant and mustered as a Flight Engineer. He flew 28 operational bombing missions over Europe as the flight engineer in Avro Lancaster 4-engine heavy bombers (Watson, 1997). During these missions the aircraft was commanded by (pilot) Warrant Officer Wilfred Charles Henry (Joe) Munsch DFC AFC (Service Number 171002), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. (Joe Munsch’s award of the Distinguished Flying Cross was reported in December 1943, he was appointed Pilot Officer on 24 July 1944 and was awarded the Air Force Cross on 13 June 1946.)
No 460 Squadron RAAF was formed at Molesworth UK in November 1941 under Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme (that aimed to train both pilots and air crew from the former British dominions to support England during World War II). The Squadron became part of the Royal Air Force Bomber Command’s No 1 Group and took part in the strategic bombing campaign against Germany. No 460 Squadron initially operated twin‑engine Vickers Wellington heavy bombers and carried out its initial bombing raid against the city of Emden in March 1942 (Australian War Memorial, undated A). From October 1942 until the end of the War No 460 Squadron operated 4‑engine Avro Lancaster heavy bombers.
No 460 Squadron operated from airfields at Molesworth, Huntingdonshire (November 1941 to January 1942), at Breighton, Yorkshire (January 1942 to May 1943), at Binbrook, Lincolnshire (May 1943 to July 1945) and finally from East Kilby, Lincolnshire (July-October 1945) (Australian War Memorial, undated A).
No 460 Squadron was disbanded on 25 October 1945 at East Kilby, Lincolnshire. The Squadron was regarded as the most efficient of the Australian bomber squadrons and flew the most bombing raids of any Australian squadron. It dropped the greatest tonnage of bombs, some 24 856 tons. During its wartime operations, 460 Squadron suffered heavily with the loss of 181 aircraft and 1 018 fatalities (of which 589 were Australians), the highest number of any of the Australian World War II squadrons (Australian War Memorial, undated A).
(The Australian War Memorial's famous Lancaster bomber G for George was a 460 Squadron aircraft.)
Distinguished Flying Medal 1943
On 10 December 1943 Sergeant TL Walkley’s award of the Distinguished Flying Medal was promulgated in the London Gazette. The citation stated: Skill and fortitude in operations against the enemy.
Support for 1953 England to New Zealand air race
In 1953 a London to Christchurch air race celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the New Zealand City of Christchurch and coincided with the 50th anniversary of the first powered flight by the Wright Brothers (Bennett, 1995).
For the RAAF, it also coincided with the first of the Australian-built twin‑engine Canberra jet bombers coming off the production line. Thus it was seen as an ideal opportunity to prove the long-range and high-speed characteristics of the RAAF's new bombers and also demonstrate the high degree of technology that the Australian aircraft industry had achieved (Bennett, 1995).
In the speed section of the air race, the RAAF entered two of its new Canberra bombers:
Sqn Ldr Peter Raw DSO DFC AFC (1922-1988)
Flg Off Noel Davis DFC (1922-1954)
Flt Lt Bill Kerr
Wg Cdr Dereck Jel Cuming OBE AFC (1917-2001)
Flg Off Bob Atkinson
Sqn Ldr Col Harvey
The crew members of Canberra A84-201 later formed the nucleus of No 2 Squadron RAAF (Bennett, 1995).
During this 1953 air race the aircrews were supported by ground crew, led by Squadron Leader Tom (Mo) Walkley who deployed refuelling, air traffic and ground support equipment to cover the Cocos Islands-Australia-Christchurch segments of the route (Bennett, 1995).
Member of the Order of the British Empire 1958
In the honours list released by Her Majesty the Queen on 12 June 1958, Squadron Leader Thomas Lloyd Walkley DFM was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)-Military, as part of the post-war honours list.
Tom Walkley was discharged from the Royal Australian Air Force on 16 January 1963 after 23 years of service, he was then 47 years of age. At discharge Tom Walkley held the rank of Squadron Leader and was posted to the RAAF School of Technical Training at Wagga Wagga.
Flight Sergeant TL Walkley and other 460 Squadron RAAF members with Sir Arthur Bomber Harris 1943
Tom Walkley (mostly hidden second from left) and other 460 Squadron RAAF members with Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Travers Harris at Binbrook UK 16 September 1943.
Australian War Memorial image accession number UK0552.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Travers Harris KCB OBE AFC, Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Bomber Command, with Tom Walkley and other members of No 460 Squadron RAAF, the original RAAF Lancaster Squadron in RAF Bomber Command, during Sir Arthur’s visit to the Squadron at RAF Station Binbrook, Lincolnshire, England on 16 September 1943. A full list of the people in this image is given below.
Identified from left to right: 425080 Flight Sergeant (Flt Sgt) Jack Venning of Gympie, Queensland (later awarded DFC); 21082 Flt Sgt Thomas Lloyd Walkley of Craigieburn, Victoria (later awarded DFM and MBE); 414044 Flt Sgt Geoffrey Stewart Jordan of Sydney, NSW; 413986 Flt Sgt Wilfred Cyril Gordon of Raleigh, NSW (later awarded DFC); 414232 Flt Sgt Mervyn Edgar Hamilton of Brisbane, Queensland (killed on flying operations over the Netherlands on 15 August 1944); 420892 Pilot Officer (PO) Noel Knight of Coonabarabran, NSW (later awarded DFC); 414019 Flt Sgt Jan Goulevitch of Townsville, Queensland (later awarded DFC); 400102 Wing Commander Robert Alexander Norman DFC, Commanding Officer; 409632 Flt Sgt Samuel Whiteside of Korumburra South, Victoria (killed on flying operations over Germany on 27 January 1944); 14744 Flt Sgt Colin Stafford Francis of Summerhill, NSW (later awarded DFC); Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris KCB OBE AFC; 405909 Flt Sgt Ernest William Joseph Hurley of Ipswich, Queensland (killed on flying operations over Germany, 27 January 1944); 408559 PO Edward Hasall Anderson of Melbourne, Victoria; 412810 Flight Lieutenant James Robert Henderson of Sydney, NSW (later awarded DFC and DSO); 400577 Squadron Leader Kenneth David Baird DFC of Ballarat, Victoria; 422468 Flt Sgt John Joseph Egan (later awarded DFC) of Bankstown, NSW; and 414349 Flt Sgt William Kevin Halstead of Townsville, Queensland (killed on flying operations over the UK on 16 December 1943). (Australian War Memorial image accession number UK0552.)
Thomas Lloyd Walkley’s comments at:
The RAAF in Europe and North Africa 1939-1945
History Conference held in Canberra on 20 October 1994
Quotes from Conference Proceedings:
Page 13-Mr TL Walkley: You* made mention that the RAF authorities governed the rates of pay for our forces serving in the United Kingdom. As a point of interest, I went to the United Kingdom in 1941 as an Airframe Fitter. I was married and my rate of drawing pay was restricted to 2 shillings and eight pence per day. The balance of my 5 shillings was paid to my wife here in Australia. The point I am making is that I tried hard to become a sergeant as soon as I could and I developed a terrific skill at playing darts, otherwise you would never get a beer on that pay (Walkley, 1994).
Page 89-Mr TL Walkley: Your paper** pleased me because you're the only lecturer that's made much mention of the efforts of the ground crew. An outsider could be forgiven for thinking that the only people in the Air Force were pilots. I served on 461 Squadron as ground crew. I also flew on operations as a Flight Engineer, as I did in Bomber Command on Lancasters. I'm here to tell you that the people who really worked hard in bad conditions - snow, muck, oil, grease - were the ground staff. And I suggest to you that the next conference that you have, you might pay them the respect they deserve. Thank you (Walkley, 1994).
*Two faces of the Empire Air Training Scheme: The European Experience by Professor John Malcolm McCarthy (born 1933), Associate Professor, School of History, University College, University of New South Wales (Australian Defence Force Academy). The paper was delivered by Dr Alan Stephens of the Air Power Studies Centre owing to Professor McCarthy’s ill health; pages 4-11 in Conference Proceedings, (see Walkley, 1994).
**The RAAF in Coastal Command 1939-45 by Wing Commander Mark Lax (later Air Commodore Mark Roger Lax OAM CSM); pages 62-88 in Conference Proceedings, (see Walkley, 1994).
Thomas Lloyd Walkley (1915-1996) Obituary
Airman's skills earned high praise
Lloyd Walkley in 1940.
Thomas Lloyd Walkley, MBE DFM Royal Australian Air Force squadron leader, farmer and grazier. Born Brisbane, May 2, 1915. Died Canberra, September 19, 1996 aged 81.
Lloyd Walkley rarely spoke about what he did in the air war over Europe during World War II. But he served two operational tours, first as a gunner-engineer on Sunderlands, which fought a protracted war in the Atlantic Ocean against German U-boats, and then as an engineer on Lancasters conducting bombing raids on targets in Germany.
Among all the Bomber Command squadrons, Walkley's 460 Squadron suffered the highest casualty rate during the war. But he and the rest of the crew of the Lancaster named J for Johnny survived. The pilot, Flying Officer Joe Munsch, said they were just lucky. He often saw Lancasters falling from the sky over Germany like peas from a pod. Some were in mid-air collisions, some shot down by German night fighters and flak, and some hit by bombs dropped by other Lancasters.
The flight engineer's job was to monitor the performance of the four engines and ensure they received a continuous flow of petrol by switching from one fuel tank to another. Flight engineers were volunteers from the ranks of airmen/fitters. They were given a minimum rank of sergeant with a rate of pay of ten shillings per day. After six months on operations, they were promoted to flight sergeant.
Brisbane-born Walkley — known as Mo — answered the call relatively late. In April 1940, aged 25, he enlisted as an airman in the Royal Australian Air Force at Richmond, then trained in Sydney and Melbourne. While in Melbourne he courted Una, daughter of Troward Harvey, a grazier at Olrig, Craigieburn, and in December 1940 they married.
Walkley embarked at Sydney for the United Kingdom in June 1941 and on arrival was posted to No 141 Squadron Royal Air Force that operated Beaufighters at Ayr, Scotland. In May 1942, after further training, he joined the newly formed 461 ANZAC Squadron and flew Sunderlands with Flying Officer John George Pax Weatherlake. In 1942, U-boats prowling off the east coast of the United States were taking an increasing toll of ships bound for the UK. The RAF response was to send Sunderlands, which flew with a crew of 13 and were armed with depth‑charges and 10 machine guns, in sweeps over the Bay of Biscay to try to intercept the U‑boats between their bases in France and the US east coast.
For the Sunderland crews, this meant long and often unspectacular patrols of up to 14 hours. Air-sea rescue operations, fending off attacks by German Junkers Ju-88 bombers, and support for the north-west Africa campaign in October 1942 helped relieve the monotony.
Before he left 461 Squadron in November 1942, Walkley claimed to have shot down at least one Ju-88 over the Bay of Biscay. He had flown about 200 hours on Sunderlands with the squadron.
After a period training on Wellington bombers, he re-mustered as a flight sergeant-engineer. In June 1943 he joined 460 Squadron, then based at Binbrook in Lincolnshire. That year a vigorous Allied air bombardment began, aimed at destroying Germany's military, industrial and economic strength and undermining the spirit of the German people.
As soon as he arrived at Binbrook, Walkley was involved in almost nightly bombing raids against targets in the Ruhr, Germany's industrial heartland. His Lancaster J for Johnny flew in missions against Dusseldorf, Essen, Oberhausen‑Mulheim (described as one of the hottest targets ever encountered), Wuppertal, Krefeld and Remschied.
On the nights of July 24, 27 and 29 and again on August 2, the aircraft joined nearly 800 heavy bombers for attacks on the great German port of Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany and a centre for U-boat construction. The raids created huge firestorms in the centre of the city, with temperatures reaching over 1000° C. Code-named Operation Gomorrah, the destruction of Hamburg was a forerunner of the fate of Dresden. The results were devastating, with most of the city destroyed and 40,000-50,000 civilians killed.
The bombing of Hamburg, said Albert Speer, Hitler's minister for armaments, put the fear of God into me. It also troubled the conscience of Lloyd Walkley, but as he said afterwards, orders were orders.
For the RAF and RAAF squadrons, losses over Hamburg were relatively light — 86 aircraft were lost in four days, a rate of about 2.8 per cent. One reason for the low casualty rate was the use, for the first time, of light metal foil strip, codenamed Window. Bundles of the strips were pushed out into the slipstream of the bombers to confuse German radar-directed night fighters and anti-aircraft guns.
Decorated: Lloyd Walkley, far right, with other crew members at the tail of Lancaster J for Johnny in Britain in 1943.
Lancaster J for Johnny joined hundreds of other Lancasters in bombing raids against other German cities, including Hanover and the beautiful cathedral city of Cologne. It also flew over the Alps to bomb Turin and Milan. On August 18, 1943, the aircraft, together with 33 other Lancasters from 460 Squadron, joined a force of almost 600 bombers to attack the German V-1 research facility at Peenemunde on the Baltic coast. On the nights of August 23 and 31 and again on September 3, J for Johnny joined in the bombing of Berlin.
In November 1943, Walkley was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty against the enemy while with 460 Squadron. He was also commissioned as a pilot officer.
Walkley returned to Australia in 1944 and served as an engineer with a succession of RAAF units in Brisbane, Bradfield Park, Point Cook, Melbourne, Tocumwal, Laverton, Amberley, Woomera, Williamtown and finally Wagga Wagga. He was awarded an MBE in 1958 for services to the RAAF, including support for the London-to-Christchurch air race of 1953. He left the RAAF with the rank of squadron leader in 1958.
For the next 25 years, he successfully pursued life as a farmer and grazier, in Wagga Wagga on a property he called Bimbrook, at Willsfield at Gundaroo and at Carlisle near Cowra.
He is survived by two sisters, his wife Una, son Peter and daughter Linda.
Dr Gary Klintworth was a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian National University. Dr Klintworth’s obituary for his father-in-law was initially published in the Time and Tide section on page 18 of The Australian newspaper on Monday 11 November 1996.
National Levelling Program 1962-1970
Under the Petroleum Research Subsidy Act 1959 Nat Map had obtained funding to advance the national levelling program using private sector contractors (Lines 1992). Nat Map’s initial Assistant Director Lindsay Rimington (1908‑1992) led the Division’s resultant national levelling program under the auspices of the National Mapping Council. In conjunction with the State Surveyors-General, Rimington selected the routes for the levelling traverses. Rimington continued to head this program until his retirement in 1968. But from 1966 the hands-on responsibility was taken by a specially created Precision Levelling Section in the Geodetic Branch as further outlined in Appendix E.
Bruce Lambert the then Director of National Mapping had opted for a national control levelling network to third order standard after giving due consideration to economy, efficiency and the degree of precision needed for national mapping purposes. Lambert recognised that national control levelling to higher standards would take many more years to complete, would involve the placing of many more permanent bench marks and be several times more expensive. Lambert also recognised that disturbances and movements in the Earth’s crust over time would impact more on a high precision levelling network such that it could involve a perpetual need for re-observations (Lambert, 1989).
Prior to 1956, about 3 000 miles of control levelling had been completed in three of the six states of the Commonwealth. Between 1956 and 1960 an additional 10 000 miles were levelled and by the end of 1966 the total amount of control levelling had reached some 76 000 miles and covered the whole of the continent (Leppert, 1967). At the end of 1970, some 100 900 miles of control levelling had been completed (Roelse et al, 1971). The National Levelling Network at the end of 1970 is shown in Figure D-1 below.
As mentioned above, in 1962 Lindsay Rimington had commenced the accelerated national program of control levelling surveys. For this major national program Rimington and his fellow Nat Map officers worked in cooperation with the various State Lands Departments. The resulting levelling surveys and associated tide gauge observations were used to determine the Australian Height Datum that was adopted by the National Mapping Council in May 1971 (McLean, 2019). From the overall National Levelling Network of over 100 000 miles of levelling, some 60 472 miles of Primary Levelling contributed to the determination of the Australian Height Datum. The other 40 000 miles of levelling was termed Supplementary Levelling but this term was not a reflection on its quality (Roelse et al, 1971).
The Australian Height Datum 1971 was the datum surface derived from the simultaneous adjustment of the two way levelling network holding 30 tide gauges fixed at their mean sea level values (Roelse et al, 1971).
Figure D-1: The National Levelling Network at 31 December 1970.
First and lower order primary levelling is depicted in black and supplementary levelling is depicted in red.
Source: Wise, 2014.
Nat Map’s Precision Levelling Section
In 1966 a Precision Levelling Section was established within the Geodetic Survey Branch of the Division of National Mapping. Later renamed the Geodetic Levelling Section, its functions were to:
· Make precise differential levelling surveys and undertake work required to complete the Australian levelling network for which contract levelling is not available; check the work of contractors; and connect the Australian levelling network to geodetic stations on the Australian Geodetic Datum
· Arrange and supervise levelling surveys by contractors and directly and through the Surveyors-General of the States and Territories, examine and recommend payment of accounts
· Arrange and supervise observations at tide gauges and the computation of tide gauge readings by contractors
· Determine and periodically review mathematical models of the Earth and compute and adjust all levelling surveys to produce an homogeneous series of heighted points over Australia on which mapping and other surveys can be based
· Investigate new methods of levelling and computation
· Make recommendations for, and assist in the drafting of national specifications and recommend practices for geodetic levelling (Roelse et al 1971).
Between 1966 and 1971, Nat Map’s Levelling Section’s field activity in the national levelling network was mainly confined to areas where because of access difficulties and remoteness private surveyors could not be expected to operate; to the completion of border connections; and to check levelling and inspection. (Circa 1970, the section was renamed as the Geodetic Levelling Section.)
In all between 1966 and 1971, 389 sections totalling 3 851 miles were check levelled and the marks on 1 717 miles of traverses were inspected following reports of sub-standard marking. A large number of level books were examined, in some cases as an investigation of excessive discrepancies between forward and backward runs, and in others following suspected malpractice and non‑compliance with specifications.
As a result of these investigations some 660 bench marks were replaced or improved by the contractors responsible for their original installation. Some contractors were required to carry out complete re-levelling and payment to others was withheld (Roelse et al 1971).
Nat Map’s Precision Levelling Section circa 1972.
Standing left to right: John McPhie, Adrian Ferguson, Ian Green, John Dickson, Rod Craven, John Birrell, Dick Mooney, Ken Byrne, Bob Cameron, and Jack Lamb.
Seated left to right: John Graham, Harry Granger, and Barry Sloane.
PAGEOS Baselines and other high precision traversing
Figure F-1: East-West and North South PAGEOS Baselines with ballistic camera sites and the Johnston Origin to Gulgoora high precision geodetic traverse.
Map prepared by Paul Wise.
Levelling in the Simpson Desert 1974
During 1974, Peter Walkley, then a Technical Assistant Grade 2, worked in a Geodetic Levelling Section field party led by Nat Map Surveyor Barry Sloane. That year the field party was making levelling connections to Aerodist survey control stations (25-centimetre square blocks of concrete with marker posts) in the Northern Territory. The field survey party included Nat Map’s John Woodger and others.
One task was to level through the Simpson Desert along the (dry) Hay River to Aerodist station NM/B/296 located on the Northern Territory-Queensland border at 25° South latitude and 138° East longitude. The Aerodist station was located over the sandhills some 17 kilometres or so from the end of the Hay River; see map composite below.
About the Simpson Desert
The Simpson Desert was named in 1929 by Dr Cecil Thomas Madigan for Alfred Allen Simpson (1875-1939) grandson of the founder of the then Adelaide-based home appliance manufacturer. AA Simpson was the sponsor of a 1929 aerial survey of the desert by Dr Madigan and a 1939 expedition across the desert that was led by Dr Madigan. Cecil Thomas Madigan (1889-1947) was an Adelaide-based geologist and explorer who had been in Antarctica with Douglas Mawson.
Using around 20 camels, Madigan’s 9-man party made the second recorded European crossing of the Simpson Desert. On a scientific survey, the party headed generally east from (old) Andado homestead about 250 kilometres south east of Alice Springs to Birdsville; a distance of over 400 kilometres. Among the Madigan party members were palaeontologist Harold Oswald Fletcher (1903-1996) who had also been in Antarctica with Mawson and radio operator Robert Allen Simpson (1912-1996), a son of the sponsor.
Figure G-1: Topographic map composite showing NM/B/296 and the Hay River.
Map composite prepared and annotated by Paul Wise.
The first recorded European crossing of the Simpson was by Edmund Albert Ted Colson (1881-1950) and Eringa Peter, an Antakurinya man also called Peter Ains. On 26 May 1936 with five camels, they left Blood’s Creek on the Overland Telegraph Line about 150 kilometres north of Oodnadatta. Using a compass they headed east along the 26° South parallel to near the Poeppels Corner three-State (Territory) border junction and arrived at Birdsville on 11 June 1936.
Three days later Colson and Peter started their return to Blood’s Creek by a route that deviated to the south of the 26° South parallel for part of the journey. They arrived back at Blood’s Creek on 29 June 1936. Colson had relied on lush growth following good rains to sustain his camels.
The South Australian Government (under Premier Richard Butler) would not recognise Colson’s unofficial Simpson crossing. However, in 2011 the 75th anniversary of Colson and Peter’s first crossing of the Simpson Desert was commemorated with the of issuing a 1-ounce silver proof $2 coin by the coin and stamp dealer Downies Collectables Pty Ltd (Downies, 2011).
Nat Map Aerodist station NM/B/296 had been establish in July 1968 by a helicopter-borne survey party that flew out of Birdsville. In 1974 Barry Sloane used aerial photographs and observations on the sun and on selected stars to successfully navigate his vehicle-borne levelling party through the desert to the Aerodist station. During the trip Barry’s field party found a tree that had been blazed M 39 by Madigan’s party in 1939. On reaching the Hay River Madigan established his Camp 15. Madigan’s party then travelled down the Hay for about 15 or 20 kilometres to Camp 16 where the tree was blazed. After Camp 16 Madigan’s party moved east away from the river on their trek to Birdsville. The approximate area of Camp 16, based on a map in Madigan (1946), is shown on the map composite above.
At the Madigan Camp 16 tree, the 1974 Nat Map levelling field party placed a star picket with an aluminium plate attached. On the plate, Peter Walkley stamped the surnames and first initials of the Nat Mappers who were there at that time, namely: Barry Sloane, John Woodger, Peter Walkley, Rod Small, Phil (Blue Dog) Cardiff, and Ross Edmonds. Images of the Camp 16 tree in 1974 and in 1939 as well as the 1974 Nat Map plaque are provided below.
Peter Walkley at Madigan’s Simpson Desert Camp 16 tree in 1974.
Barry Sloane image.
Harold Fletcher at Madigan’s Simpson Desert Camp 16 tree in 1939.
Image from Madigan (1946).
Plaque placed at the Madigan Camp 16 tree by Nat Map in 1974.
Barry Sloane image.
Nat Map Levelling Party at Madigan’s 1939 Simpson Desert Camp 16 in 1974.
From left backrow: John Woodger, Phil Cardiff, and Barry Sloane.
From left front row: Peter Walkley and Ross Edmonds.
Image supplied by Linda Klintworth.
About Nat Map’s Surveying Training Courses at Oaklands NSW
During the early to mid-1970s the Division of National Mapping conducted surveying training courses for Technical Officers in the Oaklands area of the south eastern Riverina district of New South Wales. The village of Oaklands now has a population of less than 250 people and is located about 280 kilometres north east of Melbourne.
The Nat Map survey training courses at Oaklands were conducted by Senior Training Officer Reginald Arthur (Reg) Ford BEM (1914-1994) who worked with Nat Map from 1950 to 1979 and contributed greatly to the field survey work for the national geodetic survey. The Oaklands survey training courses were generally of two types:
· training to equip field staff who had at least 5 years survey experience with the knowledge to sit a Commonwealth Public Service Commission sanctioned eligibility test for employment in the Technical Officer (Surveying) grades
· training in field survey techniques for trainee staff undertaking formal trainee Technical Officer (Surveying) courses through the Canberra Technical College.
Figure H-1: Part of the Oaklands survey training area.
Source: SI 55-14 Jerilderie, Edition 1, 1:250 000 scale R502 series topographic map sheet (compiled in 1959) with Coreen annotation by Paul Wise.
The Nat Map survey training was held in the Oaklands area as it was relatively convenient to Melbourne (an easy half-day drive) and there were a number of survey control stations in the area that could be used for training purposes. One of these control stations Coreen (NSW 1643) is shown on the map above. The Coreen survey station is about 23 kilometres south east of Oaklands. Another advantage of Oaklands was that accommodation, meals (including cut lunches), and a training room were available at the then Department of Supply hostel in Oaklands (which is further discussed at Some Oaklands history below).
Oaklands survey training syllabus
The survey training at Oaklands did not cover the then emerging satellite positioning technology but generally involved the following matters:
Wild T2 theodolite use
· observations for azimuth on the magnitude 5.42 star Sigma Octantis
· ex-meridian observations for azimuth on the Sun
· horizontal and vertical angle observation techniques
· survey station reference mark observations.
Distance measuring methods
· electronic distance measurements using a Tellurometer MRA2
· with related atmospheric observations using barometer and psychrometer
· distance measuring with a steel band and a box tape.
· third order levelling with a staff and spirit level
· barometric levelling procedure.
· chaining a sub-baseline over about a 0.8 kilometre distance
Other surveying procedures
· field observations and plotting using the plane table method
· prismatic compass and vehicle speedo traverse logs for survey control station access diagram preparation
· theodolite observation and differential calculus computations to correct for a leaning survey beacon pole
· eccentric reference mark adjustments to observed bearing and distance.
· undertaking the computations associated with each of the above field survey techniques to obtain true bearings, corrected distances, reduced levels etc
· from Tellurometer readings calculate slope distances, chord to arc corrections, and sea level distances
· preparation of a survey access diagram from a compass and vehicle speedo traverse log.
General survey knowledge
· map projections
· general explanation of the Australian Map Grid, including zones and origins
· calculation of map convergence
· local sidereal time
· compass use and magnetic bearings
· heliograph use
· spot photography techinques
· Tellurometer use
· eccentric station corrections
· ground control survey specifications
· step and slope chaining and Abney level use
(Documentation of the Oaklands survey training was included in the more extensive training instructions that Reg Ford compiled over the years as Training Notes for National Mapping Field Survey Staff, see Ford (1974) in the References.)
Eligibility test for Technical Officer (Surveying)
At the conclusion of a survey training course at Oaklands, candidates for the Technical Officer (Surveying) eligibility test were subject to a 3-part examination comprising:
· practical field survey work including observations for azimuth (by either the sun-shot or Sigma Octantis method); observing horizontal and vertical angles, use of Tellurometer for distance measurement; third order spirit levelling over 2 or 3 kilometres, sub-baseline chaining over 0.8 kilometres
· oral examination of general survey knowledge
· a 3-hour written computations examination.
The practical field work and the oral examination were carried out at Oaklands and Melbourne-based eligibility test students sat the written examination in the Board Room in the Rialto office.
(Note: The author undertook a Nat Map Technical Officer eligibility test training course at Oaklands with Reg Ford and fellow students in early 1974. Much of the information in this Appendix has been drawn from recall of that course.)
Some Oaklands history
During World War II the then Commonwealth Department of Munitions had its National Security Store at Oaklands, on the west side of the village. There were also other Commonwealth facilities including a Transport Depot at Oaklands. During the War the Department of Munitions built a number of hostels for its some 4 500 munitions workers including one at Oaklands that was constructed at a cost of £8 360.
Commonwealth facilities at Oaklands were still being used for storage into the late 1980s or early 1990s. Recently, Nat Mapper Andy Rodgers recalled seeing the Nat Map Johnson ground elevation meter vehicle (a 4-wheel drive GMC van) stored at Oaklands when he was undertaking a survey training course there in 1975. Some 15 Commonwealth aircraft were reported as being stored at Oaklands circa 1984. Recently, Nat Map pilot Harry Baker recalled that in the late 1980s or early 1990s a number of Nomad aircraft were stored at Oaklands.
Oaklands was located at the termini of 2 railway systems, namely the standard gauge (4’ 8.5’’) New South Wales branch line from The Rock (via Lockhart) and the broad gauge (5’ 3’’) Victorian branch line from Benalla (via Yarrawonga).
The New South Wales train line now runs only to Boree Creek about 65 kilometres north east of Oaklands. In 2009, the Victorian train line was converted to standard gauge and, as with the line to Boree Creek, continues to service the seasonal grain trade.
Dual gauge railway tracks at Oaklands, New South Wales in the 1950s.
Source John Leonard Buckland (1915-1989) collection at the National Library of Australia, Call Number: PIC P861/608 LOC Box N3 Folder 2 Row 44 Bays 6-9.
Associated Commonwealth Government administrative arrangements
A Department of Supply and Development became operational in June 1939 to carry out a number of functions some of which were previously within the Department of the Interior. Initially the new Department’s functions included:
· provision or supply of munitions
· the manufacture or assembly of aircraft, or parts
· establishment or extension of defence-related industries
· acquisition, maintenance and disposal of stocks of defence-goods
· arranging or coordinating surveys of Australian industrial capacity
· planning to ensure effective operation in time of war and to decentralise secondary industries, particularly those relating to defence
· investigation and development of Australian sources of supply of goods in time of war, particularly additional oil resources, production of power alcohol from sugar or other crops and the production of oil from coal or shale (National Archives of Australia, 1987).
Department of Supply and Development’s functions changed over time and later included:
· petroleum supply and distribution activities
· collect information regarding the civil and defence requirements of liquid fuels and supplies of liquid fuel
· essential civil supplies and jute and flax.
Department of Supply and Development’s functions changed over time and later included:
· petroleum supply and distribution activities
· collect information regarding the civil and defence requirements of liquid fuels and supplies of liquid fuel
· essential civil supplies and jute and flax.
However, as World War II progressed, complexities from sudden increases in demand for a huge range of goods led to the creation of a multitude of new agencies, each dealing with particular problems. The effect of this was to place strains on the administration of the Department of Supply and Development.
To speed up munitions production a separate Department of Munitions was created in June 1940 and operated until April 1948. This new Department comprised the following 9 sections: Directorate, Explosives Supply, Gun Ammunition Production, Ordnance Production, Aircraft Production, Machine Tools and Gauges, Materials Supply, Finance, and Labour Supply and Regulation. The Director-General of Munitions was responsible for:
· operation and management of factories, workshops and undertakings concerned in the production of munitions
· acquisition by the Commonwealth and the establishment of factories and workshops for the purposes of producing munitions
· securing of supplies of materials, plant, tools and equipment for that purpose
· employment and training of technicians, workmen and others for that purpose (National Archives of Australia, 1987).
In 1948 most of the functions of the Department of Munitions reverted to the Department of Supply and Development that continued until March 1950 when it was superseded by the Department of Supply. The initial functions of the new Department of Supply included:
· Australian Aluminium Production Commission
· Control of materials used in producing atomic energy
· Manufacture, acquisition, provision and supply of war material involving operation and management of factories, workshops and undertakings concerned in the production of war material
· Acquisition by the Commonwealth and the establishment of factories and workshops for the purpose of producing war material
· Securing of supplies of materials, plant, tools and equipment for that purpose
· Employment and training of technicians, workmen and others for that purpose
· Arrangements and all action necessary to secure the supply, manufacture, processing and delivery of war material
· Building of merchant ships and other vessels (other than naval vessels) and repair and maintenance of all merchant ships and the provision of dry-docking and repairing facilities for merchant ships
· Control and limitation of profits in relation to the production of war material by private enterprise
· Promotion and production of liquid fuels, and in particular, the production of power alcohol and benzol
· Importation and use of tin plate
· Procurement of supplies and foodstuffs for the Services and control of the production and distribution of supplies where their conservation is necessary (National Archives of Australia, 1987).
The functions of the Department of Supply were changed over the 24 years of its existence. It was dissolved in June 1974 with many of its functions being devolved to the Department of Manufacturing Industry or to the Department of the Special Minister of State.
The National Bathymetric Mapping Program
In the late 1960s a Commonwealth Government inter-departmental committee was formed to investigate Australia's requirements for bathymetric mapping. One of the main findings of the committee was an urgent need for bathymetric mapping to strengthen Australia's position in United Nations conferences on the Law of the Sea. The committee also found that bathymetric mapping would increase the efficiency of subsequent geological and geophysical surveys. Also scientific programs, research on oceanography and meteorology would benefit from bathymetric maps. Without such maps much of the scientific data gathered over the Continental Shelf would be of ephemeral value (Vassil, 1984).
In 1970 following consideration of the committee’s report on bathymetric mapping, the Commonwealth Government made the Division of National Mapping responsible for a bathymetric program to map the Continental Shelf from an inshore depth of 20 metres to a depth of 300 metres at the outer edge of the Shelf (Vassil, 1984).
The area of the Continental Shelf is some 2.3 million square kilometres; one of the largest undersea shelves in the world. A total of about 280 map sheets at 1:250 000 scale was required to cover this vast area. The bathymetric maps showed isobaths at 10-metre depth intervals supplemented by spot depths as well as features such as islands, reefs and cays that broke the sea surface. The extent of the National Bathymetric Map Series is depicted below in Figure I-1. As shown in this figure the planned bathymetric map coverage extended to Australian and State territories that were far off-shore: namely Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Heard and McDonald Islands, Mellish Reef, Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island (New South Wales) and Macquarie Island (Tasmania).
Nat Map’s first bathymetric survey charter vessel TSMV Coralita.
(It is seen here on a later private charter at Osprey Reef.)
In 1971, then Nat Map Supervising Surveyor (later Assistant Director) Leonard George (Len) Turner (1932-2002) commenced bathymetric mapping operations over the Continental Shelf.
Len Turner decided to commence bathymetric survey operations by letting tenders for private sector contractors to undertake all the sea-borne survey work in the presence of a Nat Map observer. To help develop tender specifications, Nat Map engaged the services of a former Royal Australian Navy Hydrographer, Commander Edward Ronald Ron Whitmore RAN, (1925-2015) who had retired as Hydrographer in March 1970.
The initial bathymetric survey contract covered an offshore area from Sandy Cape on Fraser Island south to Point Danger on the Queensland-New South Wales border. The contract was let to Australian Maritime Services; a new start‑up firm that had submitted a sound proposal. The company’s front man was another experienced former Royal Australian Navy officer Tony Cooper. (Commodore Anthony Hawtrey Cooper RAN [1920-1987] joined the Royal Australian Navy at age 13 years and served for some 38 years including three terms as the Hydrographer RAN. Commodore Cooper formally retired from the Navy in May 1972. He was the Surveyor in charge of Nat Map’s first bathymetric survey that initially used the TSMV Coralita and later used the MV Murphy Star.)
The TSMV Coralita was a wooden hull passenger boat of 69 feet 6 inches in length (21 metres) and was certified for world-wide charter work. As mentioned, she was the vessel used for the start of the first bathymetric survey contract. Her twin screws were powered by a pair of Caterpillar diesel engines and she had a sea-going endurance of some 14 days. (The Coralita was built in 1969 by Norman R Wright and Sons at their Bulimba ship yard on the south bank of the Brisbane River adjacent to the Apollo Road ferry terminal. The company continues today and has now been in operation for over 105 years.) Len Turner was the initial Nat Map observer on the Coralita’s first bathymetric survey and joined the ship at Mooloolaba after the summer wet season in early 1972.
As well as the TSMV Coralita other vessels used by contractors on Nat Map bathymetric surveys were the HV Ataluma, the MV Murphy Star, the MV Manly Cove and the MV Bluff Creek.
From 1972-1973 onwards Nat Map used its own survey staff and mainly Department of Transport Navaids vessels for most of the further offshore work; principally the Melbourne-based MV Cape Pillar but also the Perth-based MV Cape Don; both of 2 106 Gross Register Tons.
The Cape Pillar was built as a lighthouse tender at Newcastle State Dockyard in 1964 by the New South Wales Government Engineering and Shipbuilding Undertaking. Like her two sister ships (the Cape Don and the Cape Moreton) the Cape Pillar had a length of about 78 metres, a breadth of about 12.8 metres and a draught of about 4.4 metres. She was powered by a 5 cylinder Polar 2‑cycle diesel engine that developed some 2 000 brake horse power (about 1 500 kilowatts) at 250 revolutions per minute. The Cape Pillar was driven by a 4‑blade, controllable pitch propeller that weighed about 5 tonnes and had a diameter of 2.75 metres. The Cape Pillar had a service speed of some 10.2 to 12.7 knots.
The availability of the MV Cape Pillar and the MV Cape Don and other Navaids vessels was a result of the increased use of automated navigation lights that in turn reduced the Department of Transport’s operational use of such vessels. Nat Map used the two Cape ships with Nat Map’s own survey staff and equipment.
Nat Map also chartered two other Navaids vessels from the Department of Transport. These vessels were used for closer inshore work with Nat Map survey staff and equipment. The first of these vessels was the 28-metre MV Lumen of 264 gross tons that was used in Torres Strait during 1976-1977. The second vessel was the 11-metre motor launch Candela that was used in Spencer Gulf during 1977-1978.
Nat Map had also provided its own survey staff and equipment for survey work using the 30-metre DT Burrowaree of about 280 tons in the Tasman Sea off Tasmania’s east coast during 1975-1976. The 22‑metre TSMV Febrina built in 1972 was used by Nat Map on various charters during the 1980s for inshore work in Great Barrier Reef waters.
On the MV Cape Pillar, a Doppler satellite system and Doppler sonar navigation system were used to position the vessel. The former system interrogated satellites in the world-wide Navy Navigation Satellite System to periodically fix the position of the ship. The Doppler sonar system was linked to a gyro compass to obtain course and speed data that was used to calculate the ship’s position between satellite fixes.
Water depth measurement was made with Atlas Deso 10 echo sounders. A bottom mounted tide recorder was deployed to gather tidal data to correct echo sounder readings for tidal influences. Also an expendable bathythermograph was occasionally deployed to determine the temperature profile of the water that was then used to set the echo sounders.
The Doppler system was initially installed on the Cape Pillar by experienced United States Surveyor George Earl Williams who worked with Nat Map from 1972 to 1978 (Murphy, 2019-2020). More details on the bathymetric survey systems are provided in Wise and Watson (2014-2015).
TSMV Febrina now based at Walindi, Kimbe Bay New Britain.
Image from PADI Travel website.
On smaller vessels such as the Febrina which used Nat Map survey staff and equipment, positioning was achieved through a Decca Hifix 6 radio positioning system (that worked on signal phase comparisons). There was also a back-up positioning system, namely a Motorola Mini-Ranger (that was a radar-based time phase system).
MV Cape Pillar that was used for much of the bathymetric survey work.
An XNatmap image.
During 17 years of steady progress between 1971 and 1987 (despite overall annual budget allocations reducing), some 76 per cent of the bathymetric survey program was completed and about 60 per cent of the then planned 280 bathymetric map sheets were published. By mid-1987, it was envisaged that with the current annual levels of funding, the bathymetric mapping program would be completed within five years. However, that was not to be (Wise and Watson, 2014-2015).
Bathymetric mapping after July 1987
During 1985-1986 a Review of Topographic Mapping Services was conducted by barrister and former Dean of Law at the Australian National University Jack Edwin Richardson AO (1920-2011). In his 1986 report to the Commonwealth Public Service Board arising from this review, Professor Richardson was of the opinion that the Commonwealth should revert to having National Mapping and the Australian Survey Office located in the one Department under the one management (Richardson, 1986, page 132).
In his report Richardson also suggested that National Mapping’s bathymetric program and associated staff be transferred to the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic Service and that hydrographic and bathymetric activities be combined (Richardson, 1986, page 135).
The Commonwealth Government concurred with Professor Richardson’s views. Consequently, under Commonwealth Government administrative arrangements gazetted on 24 July 1987, Division National Mapping functions were undertaken within the Department of Administrative Services by the subsequently formed Surveying and Land Information Group (Commonwealth of Australia, 1987, page 2). (The Group was later renamed the Australian Surveying and Land Information Group.) These administrative arrangements followed the double dissolution Federal elections that were held on 11 July 1987 and saw the re-election of the Australian Labor Party federal government under Prime Minister Robert James Lee Hawke (1929-2019).
Initially after July 1987 a Bathymetric Survey Unit was established within the then Surveying and Land Information Group’s Operations and Resource Management Branch. This Unit operated until at least November 1987. However, the bathymetric function and staff were not formally transferred to the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic Service within the Department of Defence until 1 July 1988 (Watson, 2019-2020). The promulgation of the administrative arrangements for this transfer was not discovered during research for this article.
Apparently under an earlier informal arrangement, as then part of the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic Service within the Department of Defence, the Bathymetric Unit moved within the Cameron Offices at Belconnen from Unit 3, floor 1B to Unit 3, floor GC on 28 March 1988. The Bathymetric Unit next moved to NCR House, opposite the Belconnen Bus Depot in Cohen Street on 26 August 1991 (Cowling 2019‑2020).
A year or so later only about 14 former Nat Mappers remained with the Department of Defence. Only 4 of these people were at Campbell Park Offices, namely: Simon Cowling, Graham Brassil, Alan Deck, and Belinda Hodgson. The other 10 former Nat Mappers were dispersed across Canberra: namely: Jim Clarke, Chris Ferguson, Paul McCormack, Ian Norton, Allan Pilley, Rod Small, Andrea Prince, John Coochey, Steve Yates and Geoff Starkey (Cowling 2019‑2020).
In the mid-1990s the Hydrographic Service shifted its office from North Sydney to a new building in Station Street Wollongong adjacent to the railway station (on the eastern side). It is believed only 4 former Nat Mappers were to work in this building, namely: Alan Deck, Paul McCormack, Rod Small and later Bruce Willington who undertook contract work there for around 10 years (Cowling 2019-2020; Willington, 2019-2020).
After the bathymetric function moved to the Hydrographic Service there were final surveying seasons with the Febrina in 1988 and 1989 (in Great Barrier Reef waters) and with the Cape Pillar in 1989 (in the Coral Sea). Afterwards only Swain Reefs, the northern Great Barrier Reef, the Archipelago of the Recherche off the southern West Australia coast and an area off the Arnhem Land coast of the Northern Territory were then left to be completed under the bathymetric survey program.
However, the latter two areas were considered too dangerous for the Cape Pillar to survey without extensive small boat assistance. (The Cape Pillar had come close to sinking in January 1982 after she grounded on an unchartered rock pinnacle in the Archipelago of the Recherche.) Unfortunately, after 1989 the Cape Pillar was no longer available and with no suitable replacement vessel, the bathymetric survey program was curtailed. At that stage the planned bathymetric survey work was some 90 per cent complete (Wise and Watson, 2014-2015).
(By November 1988, the Department of Transport had announced that it intended to sell the Cape Pillar and her two sister ships (Anonymous, 1988). Consequently, the Cape Pillar was not available for bathymetric survey work after 1989. She was decommissioned in 1991 and sold in 1992, later becoming the Panamanian registered livestock carrier Kalymnian Express.)
With the former Nat Map Bathymetric Section’s own dedicated drafting staff resources then within the Hydrographic Service of the Royal Australian Navy, the bathymetric cartography was able to be accelerated and some 26 bathymetric map compilations were completed in one year alone. By 1991, some 75 percent of the bathymetric map publication program was complete. After that date no map publication statistics were available but apparently some 81 per cent of the planned bathymetric program maps were eventually published (Wise and Watson, 2014-2015). However, the original national program for the bathymetric mapping of Australia’s Continental Shelf was never completed.
Figure I-1 National Bathymetric Map Series
Figure I-1: Extent of the National Bathymetric Map Series as at 30 June 1985.
Source: Division of National Mapping Statement of Activities 1984-1985.
Provided by Paul Wise.
Abreu, David Keith William (2020), Personal communication.
Allen, Philip George (2019-2020), Personal communications.
Allman, John Stuart and Veenstra Con (1984), Geodetic Model of Australia 1982, Technical Report 33, Division of National Mapping, Department of Resources and Energy, Canberra; accessed from the XNatmap website at: http://www.xnatmap.org/report_tdnm/gma82.pdf
Anonymous (1862), Married: Feguson-Feguson, notice in The South Australian Advertiser, Friday 28 March 1862, page 2, Family Notices; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/31809067
Anonymous (1865), Married: Harvey-Gill, in the Geelong Advertiser, Monday 25 September 1865, page 2, Family Notices; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/147564729
Anonymous (1866), The Civic Elections-Gawler Town, an article in the South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide), Saturday 8 December 1866, page 3; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/94743500
Anonymous (1867), Anglo-Australian Guano Company, an advertisement in the Bunyip (Gawler), Saturday 30 March 1867, page 2; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/130962659
Anonymous (1870), Died: Isabella Mary Ferguson, notice in The South Australian Advertiser, Saturday 26 March 1870, page 2, Family Notices; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/28590258
Anonymous (1889), Harvey, Dann & Company Limited, an advertisement in the Geelong Advertiser, Friday 3 May 1889, page 3; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/150156613
Anonymous (1897), Thomas Lloyd Walkley Death Notice in The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, Saturday 19 June 1897 page 1338, Family Notices; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/163790395
Anonymous (1897 A), Equity Court before Mr Justice Manning, Chief Judge in Equity: Davies and Another v Frost and Another, a report in The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 26 November 1897, page 3; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/14151225
Anonymous (1903), Ellen Fyfe, results reported under Musical Students Trinity College, London, in the Music and Drama section of The Week (Brisbane), Friday 4 September 1903, page 3; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/181131851
Anonymous (1907), Marriage: Troward Underdown Harvey –Sybil Primrose Ferguson, Family Notice in The Argus, Wednesday 16 October 1907, page 1; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/10150787
Anonymous (1912), Music Students Theory Examinations Trinity College, London, results reported in The Telegraph (Brisbane), Tuesday 5 March 1912, page 2; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/175863649
Anonymous (1914), Ferguson, Helen Scott (Peewee’s great grandmother) Death Notice, in The Age, Tuesday 1 September 1914, page 1, Family Notices; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/198641794
Anonymous (1915), Thomas Lloyd Walkley Birth Notice in The Queenslander, Saturday 15 May 1915, page 9, Family Notices; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/22296976
Anonymous (1916), Harvey, Dann & Co’s New Premises, an article in the Geelong Advertiser, Friday 14 January 1916, page 4; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/119729154
Anonymous (1916 A), Crow’s Nest, a news item in the Darling Downs Gazette, Monday 24 January 1916, page 7; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/188043892
Anonymous (1916 B), Pigeon Shoot at Crow’s Nest, a news item in the Darling Downs Gazette, Saturday 5 February 1916, page 6; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/188051219
Anonymous (1918), Crow’s Nest, a news item in the Toowoomba Chronicle, Monday 1 April 1918, page 3; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/252893600
Anonymous (1919), Birth: 17 December 1919 (Patricia) Walkley, notice in The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 23 December 1919, page 6, Family Notices; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/20399209
Anonymous (1920), Hotel Sales: Blue Bell Hotel Gladstone, in the Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), Friday 7 May 1920, page 10; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/53892990
Anonymous (1920 A), Hotel Sale at Gladstone, in the Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), Tuesday 6 April 1920, page 8; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/53894465
Anonymous (1922), Bridget Fyfe Death Notice, in The Brisbane Courier, Thursday 13 April 1922, page 4, Family Notices; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/20554980
Anonymous (1923), John Perry Adkins, Obituary in the Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga), Thursday 19 April 1923, page 2; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/143186738
Anonymous (1940), Una Harvey and Lloyd Walkley Engaged to be Married, in The Argus, Saturday 21 December 1940, page 10, Family Notices; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/11312533
Anonymous (1945), Duke of Gloucester holds investiture, an article in The Argus, Friday 11 May 1945, page 6; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/1095606
Anonymous (1945 A), Peter Royston Walkley Birth Notice in The Argus, Tuesday 11 December 1945, page 2, Family Notices, accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/12157881
Anonymous (1945), Linda Christine Walkley, Birth Notice, in The Argus, Saturday 30 August 1947, page 11, Family Notices; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/22450360
Anonymous (1949), Disastrous Fire at Crow’s Nest, new article in The Northern Miner (Charters Towers), Tuesday 31 May 1949, page 2; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/81608832
Anonymous (1952) Lydia Janet Adkins Death Notice, in The Sydney Morning, Wednesday 15 October 1952, page 26, Family Notices; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/18286077
Anonymous (1968), 700 leap as NZ ship sinks, an article in The Canberra Times, Thursday 11 April 1968, page 1; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/107046299
Anonymous (1968 A), Back after a 16 000-mile journey, an article in The Canberra Times, Thursday 7 November 1968, page 9; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/136954019
Anonymous (1988), Cape Moreton Sale Concerns Crew, an article in the Torres News (Thursday Island), Friday 11 November 1988, page 1; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/255929258
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Commonwealth of Australia (1945), Flying Officer TL Walkley DFM (21082), promotion to temporary Flight Lieutenant in Royal Australian Air Force, Citizen Air Force, General Duties Branch, with effect from 25 September 1945, promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 224, Thursday 22 November 1945, page 2522; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/232765787
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Commonwealth of Australia (1951), Flight Lieutenant TL Walkley DFM (02110), Appointment to a permanent commission, 1 June 1951, Royal Australian Air Force, Permanent Air Force, Technical Branch, promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 68, Thursday 13 September 1951, page 2337; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/232185135
Commonwealth of Australia (1954), Flight Lieutenant TL Walkley DFM (02110), Promotion to rank of Squadron Leader, Royal Australian Air Force, Permanent Air Force, Technical Branch, promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 1, Thursday 7 January 1954, page 37; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/232902958
Commonwealth of Australia (1959), TL Walkley MBE DFM (02110), Appointment to a commission, 20 November 1958, with the rank of Squadron Leader, Royal Australian Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Technical Branch, promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 47, Thursday 30 July 1959, page 2696; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/240885981
Commonwealth of Australia (1961), Squadron Leader TL Walkley MBE DFM (02110), Transfer from Reserve, 1 August 1960, Royal Australian Air Force, Active Citizen Air Force, Technical Branch, No 22 (City of Sydney) (Auxiliary) Squadron, promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 10, Thursday 2 February 1961, page 449; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/241004182
Commonwealth of Australia (1961), Squadron Leader TL Walkley MBE DFM (02110), Transfer to the Reserve, 22 May 1961, Royal Australian Air Force, Active Citizen Air Force, Technical Branch, No 22 (City of Sydney) (Auxiliary) Squadron, promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 74, Thursday 21 September 1961, page 3445; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/241022062
Commonwealth of Australia (1971), Peter Royston Walkley, Appointment as Technical Assistant, Department of National Development, Australian Capital Territory; promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No 100, 21 October 1971, page 6622; https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/241055107/26090122
Commonwealth of Australia (1975), PR Walkley 233-72368, Promotion from Technical Assistant, Grade 2, Fourth Division, Canberra to Technical Officer (Surveying), Grade 1, Fourth Division, Department of Minerals and Energy, Division of National Mapping, Geodetic Branch, Geodetic Levelling Section, Canberra, promulgated in the Australian Government Gazette, PS49, Thursday 11 December 1975, page 61; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/26319369
Commonwealth of Australia (1987), Administrative Arrangements, in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, Special Issue No S183, Friday 24 July 1987, pages 1-2; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/240701952/25891869
Connellan, DJ (1920), National Democratic Council, a letter, in the Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), Wednesday 7 April 1920, page 7; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/53889397
Conway, Christopher Peter Leslie (2020), Personal communication.
Cook, David Patrick and Murphy, Brian Anthony John (1974), Crustal Movement Survey Markham Valley-Papua New Guinea 1973, Technical Report 18, Division of National Mapping, Department of Minerals and Energy, Canberra; accessed from the XNatmap website at: http://www.xnatmap.org/report_tdnm/png73.pdf
Cook, David Patrick and Steed, James Bryan (1974), Heighting by Vertical Angles Torres Strait Islands 1973, Technical Report 19, Division of National Mapping, Department of Minerals and Energy, Canberra; accessed from the XNatmap website at: http://www.xnatmap.org/report_tdnm/torresst.pdf
Cook, David Patrick and Steed, James Bryan (2013), Heights for Tide Gauges, Torres Strait Islands 1973; an article on the XNatmap website accessed at: http://xnatmap.org/adnm/ops/proj/tideht.htm
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Craigieburn Historical Interest Group (undated), Summer Hill Homestead, an entry on the Craigieburn Historical Interest Group Incorporated website; accessed at: http://chig.asn.au/summer-hill/
Craigieburn Historical Interest Group (undated A), The Ferguson Family of Craigieburn, an entry on the Craigieburn Historical Interest Group Incorporated website’ accessed at: http://chig.asn.au/ferguson/
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Craigieburn Historical Interest Group (undated C), Olrig Homestead, an entry on the Craigieburn Historical Interest Group Incorporated website; accessed at: http://chig.asn.au/olrig/
Downies (2011), 2011 $2 First Crossing of the Simpson Desert 1 oz silver proof coin, an advertisement on the Downies Collectables Pty Ltd website; accessed at: https://downies.wordpress.com/tag/ted-colson/
Elder Smith Goldsbrough Mort Limited (1973), Willsfield Clearing Sale, an advertisement in The Canberra Times, Saturday 6 January 1973, page 21; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/110701273
Ford, Reginald Arthur (1974), Training Notes for National Mapping Field Survey Staff, Division of National Mapping internal document; accessed from the XNatmap website at: http://www.xnatmap.org/adnm/ops/specs/raftrain/chaps.htm
Gibbs, WJ and Company et al (1967), Willsfield public auction, an advertisement in The Canberra Times, Saturday 21 October 1967, page 26; accessed from the National Library of Australia’s Trove search service on the National Library of Australia website at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/106993655
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Klintworth, Linda Christine (2019-2020), Personal communications.
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Norwood Park Crematorium (various dates), Thomas Lloyd Walkley, Una Jean Walkley, and Peter Royston Walkley cremation memorial details; from memorial searches on Norwood Park Crematorium website at: https://www.norwoodpark.com.au/
Queensland Government (undated), Marriage registration: Royston Walkley and Ellen Fyfe (1914) and Birth registrations for Thomas Lloyd Walkley (1915), Joan Fyfe Walkley (1916), and Patricia Fyfe Walkley (1919) from family history research searches from Births, Deaths and Marriages registries on the Queensland Government website; accessed at: https://www.familyhistory.bdm.qld.gov.au/
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Ryerson Index (various dates), Searches of numerous newspaper death notices on the Ryerson Index; accessed at: http://ryersonindex.org/search.php
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