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April 21, 2016
HE Special Air Service
Regiment has reclaimed part
of its history in a replica
1 SAS Coy Hut unveiled in
Corrugated iron-clad huts made
up the 1 SAS Coy lines at Campbell
Barracks from 1957 until the forma-
tion of the regiment in 1964, but were
removed in the mid-1990s, leaving a
gap in the record.
“Clearly we have had to make
some compromises,” SAS Historical
Foundation chairman Maj Greg
Mawkes (Retd) told VIPs and guests
at the opening of the exhibit, the lat-
est addition to the SAS historical
“The building standards applicable
when the original buildings were con-
structed would not pass muster today.
Corrugated iron has been replaced by
Colorbond sheeting with a specific
“If we painted the Colorbond
to match the original buildings, the
10-year warranty is voided.
“Lighting of yesteryear will con-
tribute to the deterioration of histori-
cally important objects.”
Among the exhibits are mementos
of the WWII-era Special Operations
Australia, forerunner of today’s
Socomd, and original uniforms and
equipment from 1 SAS Coy days.
“Importantly, we included access
for visitors with a disability, which
includes some of our own,” Maj
Mawkes added, reflecting on seven
decades of SASR at Swanbourne.
The hut was officially opened by
the Colonel Commandant of SASR,
Brig Jim Wallace, a former CO of the
Current CO Lt-Col B welcomed
special guest Brig Brian Wade, one of
five officers who marched in with the
first contingent of SASR at Campbell
Barracks, and was later OC 2 Sqn in
Vietnam from 1968-69.
“Also with us today are 20 former
members of the SAS Coy,” Lt-Col B
said. “I’d like to publicly thank you
not only for coming, but for everything
you have done to lay the foundations
of today’s regiment.”
The CO traced SASR’s heritage
back to WWII Special Operations
units featured in the exhibit.
“We draw significant heritage from
the concepts, techniques and mindset
they developed, and I know the con-
temporary members of the unit feel a
strong affinity with these remarkable
men,” Lt-Col B said.
“Indeed, the seed-corn funding
for this project was provided by the
Z Special Unit International, further
solidifying these links.”
The Z Special donation of
$100,000 in 2011 largely went towards
the hut. In addition, five corpora-
tions were recognised for their con-
tributions: McGrath Modular Homes
(building the hut off-site and within
budget); Ashburton Crane Hire (placed
it on site, gratis); CPR Electrical
Services (power connection and
accessories, gratis); AirPro (provid-
ed air-conditioning units, gratis); and
Lighting Options Australia (provided
50 per cent of museum-standard lights,
The CO also thanked donors to the
SASR Golden Jubilee Lottery – the
family of Jack Sue for loan of WWII
equipment – and John Burridge for the
original medal miniatures of Lt-Col
Joseph Campbell, whose name adorns
Maj Mawkes commended architect
Duncan Jordan, who has supported
the SAS History and Research Centre
from its start in 1987, and regular ben-
efactor Bill Crowe.
“The Historical Foundation’s next
project is to extend the aircraft hangar
another 90 feet to house the Chinook
helicopter which is sitting on the regi-
mental headquarters car park,” Maj
“This project has been costed at
about $850,000, which will require a
massive fundraising effort.”
Replica of the 1 SAS Coy Hut.
Left: The former company hut.
Curator WO2 Nigel Bennett shows visitors around the 1 SAS exhibit.
A replica of 1 SAS Coy’s accommodation is now part of an historical exhibit, Flt-Lt David Cusworth writes
SASR hut back to serve
The contemporary members of
the unit feel a strong affinity with
these remarkable men.
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