During the Second World War, the 2nd/1st Machine Gun Battalion was based at Deception Bay which became an army camp for around 3,000 soldiers including Australians recalled back from overseas after the Japanese entered the war in 1942. Local resident Viv Tucker recalls dramatic changes when Deception Bay became an army camp to retrain Australian troops for the war in the Pacific.
“The atmosphere of ‘total war’ and tear of invasion pervaded. Over 40 ships were sunk, with many more damaged, along the east coast during the war. Identification cards were required, even to go fishing in the bay.” Viv also remembers local children collecting aluminum and rubber tires for the war effort and playing war games with discarded bullets and helmets.
Both the Wallin and Lovekin families’ kiosks provided services for campers and soldiers throughout the Second World War at the Deception Bay army camp.
Alf Lovekin first visited Deception Bay as a child with his parents. They were guests of Joseph Bancroft In 1885. He built his first house around 1920 and opened a kiosk in 1939. During the Second World War his shop was designated an emergency food supplier for the army. Ellen Lovekin and Tucker (Nell), who married Alf in 1921, would often be up until midnight, serving soldiers tea and a slice of rainbow cake for five pence, and using 17 hams a week for her popular sandwiches.
Private Jim Moody, one of the soldiers retrained here, smuggled the battalion’s unofficial mascot, Horrie, an Egyptian Terrier-cross into Australia. Although Horrie did not visit Deception Bay, it’s worth findingout more about him at the Australian War Memorial website, www.awm.gov.au