In 1912 Bare Island became the first war veterans’ home in Australia. The first seven occupants were veterans of the New Zealand Wars, the Indian Mutiny and the Abyssinian campaign. The fort was occupied by the army again in 1942, when Japan entered World War II. New rapid fire Hotchkiss machine guns and searchlights were built to support the electronic minefields in the bay. The veterans were forced to make way for the “Bare section” which consisted of 24 army personnel. In 1962 the army offered to sell the island to the War Veterans’ Home for a fee of £1. The offer was declined. It continued to operate as a retirement home until 1963, after this the Randwick District Historical Society became caretakers of the island. (Photo from Sydney Morning Herald 25th June 1925) Pictured are two metal ships made by veterans in the 1950s and on display in the Laperouse Museum.
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