Experience WWI History at Fort Lytton night tours

Experience WWI History at Fort Lytton night tours

Tours of Brisbane’s historic Fort Lytton are now operating at night, with lantern-lit theatre promenades bringing to life the wartime experiences of a decorated soldier from Brisbane at Gallipoli and the Western Front.

The highlight of the official launch of the tours on 3 March will be a rare night firing of the fort’s cannon.

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef Dr Steven Miles said the tours at Fort Lytton National Park, near the mouth of the Brisbane River, were developed by the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing to mark the ANZAC Centenary.

“We’re now commemorating the first year that Australian troops served on the Western Front,” Dr Miles said.

“By the end of 1915 more than 218,000 Australians had enlisted and by early 1916 many had left for the front lines in all theatres of the war, while those at home debated the conscription issue.

Member for Lytton Joan Pease said the site was a well-preserved window into Brisbane’s Past.

“Fort Lytton played a major role in World War I and was Queensland’s foremost historic military site.

“It was the training base for all Queensland volunteers before WWI. All servicemen returning from the Great War, by ship to Brisbane during the 1919 Spanish ‘Flu outbreak, were quarantined at the Fort,” Ms Pease said.

Ranger in Charge Roland Dowling said staff were proud to have developed the tour that pays tribute to the sacrifice of Australian men and women in wartime.

“‘Fort Lytton at Night – A Lost Story from the Great War’ unfolds in a theatre promenade, and is an enlightening and moving experience,” Mr Dowling said.

“Visitors in groups up to 25 are walked through the historic fortifications to hear the recently discovered story of Raymond Augustus Stanley, a decorated WWI hero, who served at Fort Lytton before serving overseas at Gallipoli and the Western Front.

“Ray Stanley was also an enthusiastic photographer and many of his original images are featured in the production.
Fort Lytton at Night Qld Govt 011215 (17)
“The actor’s performance is enhanced by recorded sound and light projections. The show also features new lantern technology, invented and developed by local Brisbane company Link Electronics Solutions.

“Ray Stanley’s original story reflects the broader Australian experience of the First World War, and the staged production throughout the fortifications is a great opportunity for people to learn more about this important part of our history during these centennial years.

“We’ve had interest in the night tours from river tour operators who intend bringing visitors down the river to the fort from April,” he said.

The performance will run throughout 2016 and costs $30 per person (12yrs+) and $25 for concession card holders. Discounts are available for groups of 15 and over. The tour is not suitable for children under 12. Reasonable mobility and closed shoes are needed.

Bookings are essential – please call 07 3393 4647. For tour dates see http://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/fort-lytton/events-calendar.html

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