On Liberty in Melbourne

| Wartime Melbourne

| George Washington’s Birthday ParadeRober Knapp and Bill Christie


The Marines were accommodated in the covered spectator stands of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, soon known as Camp Murphy and only a short stroll from the city centre. Smaller camps were set up at the South Melbourne Cricket Ground and at Mount Martha and Ballarat in regional Victoria. Officers lived in greater style, often enjoying private apartments.  

When ‘on liberty’ and eager to forget about the war, the Marines found much to like about Melbourne. Favourite places and pastimes recalled include:  the seaside suburb of St Kilda and Luna Park; walks along the Yarra River and in the Botanic Gardens; dancing at the Palm Grove and the Trocadero;  riding the trams; shopping in department stores; attending movies and the races; and viewing the  famous nude portrait of ‘Chloe’ publicly displayed in Young and Jacksons’ hotel.



Image (right): U.S. Marines Bill Christie and Frank Knapp on liberty in Melbourne, 1943
~ Rachel Jenzen Private Collection

Reavis Montrey & Friends

The men of G Company, 1st Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Division outside the Melbourne
Cricket Ground, 1943
~ Melbourne Cricket Club Library Collection ~


An RAAF Beaufighter over the Melbourne Cricket Ground and its boarded-up stands in 1944
~ Melbourne Cricket Club Library Collection ~

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