Ensign raised for the first time at Anglesea Barracks

12 Sep 1949

In 1811, Governor Macquarie ordered the construction of a barracks on a site subsequently called Barracks Hill in Van Diemen’s Land. The foundation stone of the former Officer’s Quarters was laid in 1814 with other buildings partly built by 1818. The Barracks was headquarters for British military forces in Tasmania and was named ‘Anglesea’. The last British regiment left Anglesea Barracks in 1870.

Between 1870 and 1901, most of the Barracks was put to civilian use however, following Federation in 1901, ownership of Anglesea Barracks passed to the Commonwealth and was returned to military control.

In January 1926 Squadron Leaders Drummond, Royal Air Force (RAF), and Cole of the newly formed Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) arrived at Anglesea Barracks to interview applicants for flying training. In 1940, Tasmania’s young men applied in such large numbers to join the RAAF and participate in the Empire Air Training Scheme to the extent that No. 6 RAAF Recruiting Centre was opened to process their applications.

The Resident Air Force Officer (RAFO) supported by a small section, was created at Rifle Range Sandy Bay, Hobart on 16 August 1946. First to hold that appointment, was Squadron Leader A.A. Doyle, the incumbent Commanding Officer of No. 6 Personnel Depot. RAFO Section finalised the discharge of members leaving the wartime Air Force and those re-enlisting in the Interim Air Force. RAFO Section moved to Anglesea Barracks from Sandy Bay on 30 January 1947 and Wing Commander K.E. Wedgwood, AFC, was appointed RAFO on 12 February the same year.

Despite RAAF being present at Anglesea Barracks for nearly 3 years, the RAAF ensign was raised there for first the time on 12 September 1949.

From the 1950s RAAF activity was centred on two historic buildings within walking distance of Anglesea Barracks; Beaumaris House and Fitzroy Place.  RAAF Support Unit Hobart was formed at Fitzroy Place on 7 February 1977 under the command of Wing Commander D.J. Stubbs, Senior Air Force Officer (SAFO) Tasmania. On formation the unit had an establishment of 2 officers and 4 other ranks. The unit disbanded at the end of June 1992, when it was reorganised into a tri-service establishment.

Defence has no permanent airbase or bare base in Tasmania.   No. 29 (City of Hobart) Squadron, which was formed at Anglesea Barracks on 1 September 2001, provides limited combat support to designated forward mounting and operating bases in Tasmania, with combat support elements from Combat Support Group deployed to the location on an as required basis.  The 29 Squadron Commanding Officer is the Senior Air Force Officer Tasmania controls the safety, emergency and security of the working environment.  The Commanding Officer No. 29 (City of Hobart) Squadron is also Commander Australian Contingent, Operation Southern Discovery, an enduring contribution by the ADF to the whole-of-government, Department of Environment and Energy-led activity in the Antarctic Region – the Australian Antarctic Program.

The Headquartered No. 29 (City of Hobart) Squadron occupying the Garrison 'Tap Room', or soldiers’ canteen.  This historical building within the Barracks was originally erected in 1834.