Greta

Greta is a small town in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, approximately 40 kilometres north-west of Newcastle. During the Second World War it was the site of one of the Australian Army's largest training camps. The camp was one of several initially built for the concentration and training of the 6th Division of the AIF because existing military facilities were already occupied by militia units. In November 1939, 2,930 acres of land were compulsorily acquired from various farmers in the Allendale-Greta area and building began almost immediately. The first unit to move into the camp was the 2/11th Battalion who arrived on 15 December 1939 and were later joined by the 2/10th. Camp facilities were progressively expanded and improved during the war, and both AIF and militia troops were trained there. The camp had two nicknames, "Chocolate City" and "Silver City". The first was a result of the brown-coloured weatherboard buildings initially built in the camp, the second was due to corrugated iron Nissen huts that were constructed later on. After the war, much of the field training areas were returned to grazing but the camp remained open as a site for the training of troops preparing to join the occupation forces in Japan. In 1949, Greta Camp was transferred to the Department of Immigration and until 1960 it was used as a reception camp for European migrants. The Army resumed control of the camp in 1962 and, after being used intermittently for training exercises. It was sold at auction in 1980.