Pensioner's BarracksThe Barrack Arch, a four storey Tudor arched gateway, is all that remains
of the Pensioner's Barrack which was built to house soldiers (and families) of the Enrolled Pensioner Forces.
These soldiers known as the Pensioner Guards were sent to Western Australia to guard the convicts that were
transported to the Colony from 1850-1865. The Pensioner Guards were made up of soldiers and veterans who had
been honourably discharged from the British Army.
Public Works DepartmentThe Pensioner's Barrack was built in 1863 by the British Imperial
Establishment and the Public Works Department of the Western Australia Colonial Government. The original
design of the barracks was by Captain E.M. Grain and James Manning and included wings extending either side
of the arch. The wings consisted of a 120 rooms. Richard Roach Jewell was responsible for the detail and later additions. The building was
constructed by convict labour using hand made bricks from Brickfield Reserve, now Queens Garden.
Many of the soldiers stayed on after the removal of the British troops in 1868. Following the
eventually disbandment of the Pensioners Guard in 1878 some of the soldiers stayed on at the Barracks until 1904
while many retired to farming lots which had been granted to them in return for their services.
In 1904 The Barrack became the Public Works Department headquarters and it was from there that the
Goldfields Water Supply was planned. The Chief Engineer C.Y.O'Connor had his office immediately above the archway.
In 1966 two wings of the Pensioner's Barrack were demolished to make way for the Mitchell Freeway and give the
newly built Parliament House a clear view down St George's Terrace. Needless to say the public were outraged.
Unfortunately despite the public's disapproval the State Government went ahead and demolished the Barracks. What a
different landscape Perth's Central Business District would have been had it been preserved. The only compensation
was that the Barracks Arch was saved from the same fate.