Birdum, Northern Territory
While the town remains virtually unheard of, even amongst Territorians, it features on an unusually high proportion of vintage 20th century world globes, thanks to the position it once held at the end of the line.
From World War II onwards trains terminated at Larrimah, nine kilometres to the north, and Birdum lost not only its position of importance but also its pub, which was uprooted and shifted to Larrimah as a result.
Much of the railway infrastructure remained in place until the line closed in 1976.
World War II
After the bombing of Darwin during World War II, the Darwin civilian population was evacuated and the evacuees were transported by rail to Birdum siding where they were transferred to an army convoy to take them to Alice Springs.
The Royal Australian Air Force constructed a Base Personnel Staff Officer (BPSO) and Telcommunications Camp near Birdum.
No. 11 Signals Unit RAAF, which was part of No. 55 Operational Base Unit (OBU) was based at Birdum. The unit would be on aircraft listening watch and have to listen for a word which would indicate the air raid against enemy forces or bases had been successful or not. The equipment used was Kingsley AR7 receivers.
- Harvey, J The Never-Never Line Hyland House 1987, ISBN 0-947062-20-3
- Northern Territory Library and Information Service
- The Wireless Telegraph Station at Birdum during WW2. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Birdum.|
- "Birdum Town Site (Place ID 102990)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment.
- Friends of the North Australia Railway
- Around the World in a Morris Minor. Pictures, made by Kerry Whitfield in 2004.
- Military Units based at Birdum during WW2.
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