MacArthur Museum Brisbane Review

Brisbane Queensland Australia
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Have you ever walked past an old building & wondered about what had gone on there in the past. The Macarthur Chambers building on the corner of Edward & Queen Streets in Brisbane Australia is an example of this.

Opened in 1934 as the Queensland HQ of the AMP Society it has a central location & a reinforced concrete roof. This made it a good building for the headquarters of the Allied Forces in the South-West Pacific during the Second World War.

General Douglas MacArthur, Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces in the South West Pacific Area, occupied the Board Room on the 8th floor & his staff were in the rest of the building. On the 8th today you will find the MacArthur Museum which shows visitor about the life of General Douglas MacArthur. It is also a history of Brisbane & Australia at war & how people lived during those times.

Most of what I knew about Douglas MacArthur came from the movie staring Gregory Peak & what I had read about World War Two so I was looking forward to visiting the museum.

There is a self guide to help you find your way around & the staff are always handy to ask questions.

I always thought MacArthur was younger than he was at the start of the 2nd world war so I was surprised to find out he was born in 1880. I also learned about his service in world war one.

He was ordered out of the Philippines when the battle was lost & sent to Australia to plan its defense.

His old office has been recreated in the same room & visitors can go about halfway into the office & imagine the conversations & planning that went on there.

There are several short films to watch on the history of Brisbane during the war, it was cool to see tanks driving on an old bridge I had walked over the day before. There was also a piece of trams going over the old bridge from what is now southbank to the city. All that remains of the bridge today is a single archway.

There are examples of the uniforms, copies of how to dig a trench for a school & stories about war brides.

One of the best features is scans of the newspapers during world war two, it was amazing to read the news as it was reported rather than as I had read it in history books. Of course once the war started there was a lot of censorship & there is a great cartoon about this. There are also some original newspapers about the bombing of Pearl Harbour which show the story unfolding during the day as new editions were printed. These are spread out on the original conference table which was made from a single tree.

Around the museum are also stories about the internment process in australia, the code breakers secret work & Australia’s involvement with MacArthur in post war Japan & later in Korea.

This is a great place to visit for a history buff or a local who wants to know more about their hometown.


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Address Brisbane Queensland Australia
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