Model Air Raid Warden Training Buildings - hinged exploded church

Accession Number REL/12577.010
Collection type Technology
Object type Model
Physical description Metal, Paint, Wood
Maker Read, William Henry
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 1942-1943
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Wooden model of a church which is designed to hinge into an "exploded" building. The four parts of this building include the back wall to which is nailed the red tin roof and three hinges (one is missing); the front wall of the church which includes a covered porch; and two separate sides. The exterior is painted an orange/red colour; the windows (three on each side, one on the rear and three on the front) a purple/blue with a silver outline, and the interior is cream. The side and front walls of the church are designed to hinge outwards.

History / Summary

Collection of twelve (12) painted wooden and metal buildings representing houses, churches and civic buildings, some with bomb damage. They are meant to represent the section of the northern Sydney suburb of Wahroonga for which Dr William Read was the responsible warden and were regularly used for weekly Air Raid Precaution (ARP) training and large scale exercise planning sessions at his home at Cleveland St, Wahroonga. A keen carpenter, Dr Read created the buildings, originally based on a board painted to represent the streets in his suburb, and his daughter states "He used these to play 'war games' with his fellow wardens and had them set up on the verandah of his home." This model of a church represents St Andrew's Church of England at the corner of Cleveland and Water Sts, Wahroonga, where Read's daughter Margaret had been married in 1933. The church was replaced after 1945. Dr Read had served in Egypt at No 2 General Hospital with the Australian Army Medical Corps (AAMC) during the First World War, to the extent of moving his wife and three children to Cairo to be close to him. Upon his return to Australia, he ran the Hospital at Georges Heights which had been set up to receive the Gallipoli wounded.