Liverpool

Liverpool, then a town 30 km to the west of Sydney, was the site of the main camp for the reception and basic training of recruits for the AIF in New South Wales during the First World War. The first military presence in Liverpool commenced with the building of a barracks for British troops in 1811. In the early years of the 20th century the countryside around Liverpool was widely used for exercises by the citizens' forces and, during his visit in 1910, Lord Kitchener recommended that land in the Holsworthy area, near Liverpool, be used to establish a permanent military camp and training area. By 1938 the Liverpool Military Area comprised 54,000 acres. In 1914 there were few facilities on the site, and the initial influx of recruits were accommodated in tents. Conditions were generally poor, and were compared unfavourably to the conditions in the nearby internment camp for enemy aliens. In 1915 a Royal Commission was appointed to investigate conditions at the Liverpool Camp. It recommended considerable changes to the administration of the camp and the improvement of its facilities, which were progressively implemented. A move to conduct basic training in regional centres, combined with a fall-off in recruiting also improved conditions at Liverpool. The Liverpool Military Area has remained in constant use until the present day.