|Western Australia in Australia,|
|Area||62 hectares (150 acres)|
|Owner||Department of Defence|
|In use||5 December 1948– present|
It was previously known as Karrakatta Camp and Irwin Training Centre.
The barracks were originally named the Irwin Training Centre on 5 December 1948 in honour of Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Chidley Irwin, the first military commandant of Western Australia (1829–1833).
Prior to this the area was known as Karrakatta Camp and was set-aside as a military training area by the Western Australian Colonial Government in 1895. The site was used for short camps (in tented accommodation) and courses for Militia and School Cadet units until the beginning of World War II.
In 1896 a rifle range was constructed at Karrakatta and equipped with seven sets of Jeffries patented "Wimbledon" targets – only the fourth range in the world so equipped. The range replaced the original rifle range located at Mount Eliza, which was used by all metro-based troops including the Western Australian contingents, which trained at Karrakatta camp for the Second Boer War (1899–1902).
On 6 October 1898 completion of buildings for use as magazines for storage of powder and ammunition for Perth No.1 Battery were completed. The buildings were constructed of local coastal limestone with slate roofs. These buildings have walls 698.5 millimetres (2 ft 3+1⁄2 in) thick and floors of concrete lined with timber flooring. They still exist within the Barracks. The magazine buildings are included on the Commonwealth Heritage List as evidence of colonial defence infrastructure.
Following Federation, the site was transferred from the State of Western Australia to the Commonwealth for A£750. The site formed part of the 5th Military District and was also used for the training of citizen forces (militia) under the Commonwealth.
The camp was modernised and expanded during World War II, housing various units, as well as 1,000 Italian prisoners of war. After the war the camp served as an accommodation centre for former members of the Polish forces who had elected to migrate to Australia. In mid-1948 the camp was chosen to serve as a training camp for the Citizen Military Forces, and on 5 December 1948 it was ceremonially renamed the Irwin Training Centre. Most of the original wooden buildings were replaced by modern brick buildings during the 1950s and 1960s, though the last wooden buildings were not demolished until the 1980s.
The 13th Brigade currently consists of the following units:
- Headquarters 13th Brigade
- 'A' Squadron, 10th Light Horse Regiment
- 13th Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers
- 109th Signals Squadron
- 11th/28th Battalion, Royal Western Australia Regiment
- 16th Battalion, Royal Western Australia Regiment
- 13th Combat Service Support Battalion
The barracks also house:
- 3rd Light Battery, Royal Australian Artillery. Formerly (until 2018) a component of the 13th Brigade.
- 3 Squadron, Pilbara Regiment.
- Western Australia University Regiment This unit has moved to Leeuwin Barracks in Fremantle.
- Headquarters Western Australia Australian Army Cadets Brigade
Stolen tank incident
On 27 April 1993, 27 year old Gary Alan Hayes stole an M-113 armoured personnel carrier (APC) from the barracks. He drove it through the Perth CBD, ramming police targets and government buildings, causing damage to police and government buildings, 7 police vehicles, 5 private vehicles, and a bus stop. He was subsequently forced out of the APC via tear gas dropped into the tank. Hayes was charged with 19 counts of criminal damage, burglary and assault of police officers and was sentenced to four and a half years in Casuarina Prison with the possibility of parole after 17 months. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
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- "Renaming Camp". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 6 December 1948. p. 6 Edition: 2nd Edition. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
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- "Rifle Shooting". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 14 July 1913. p. 10. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
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- Galliott, Ray (October 2011). "What's in a name? : Irwin Barracks history" (PDF). Artillery WA. Royal Australian Artillery Association of Western Australia. 11 (3): 4–5. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "Rampage in the City". Western Australian via Geocaching. The Western Australian. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- Hughes, Judy (29 April 1993). "Army Vehicle in two-hour city rampage". The Canberra Times. p. 1.
- "Jail for 'rampage'". The Canberra Times. 19 December 1993. p. 4.
- Birch, Helen; City of Nedlands Library Service (2005). A Guide to Historical Military Sites in the City of Nedlands. Nedlands Library Service.