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(3934, 52 km S, Mornington Peninsula Shire)

This Mornington Peninsula locality is situated near Balcombe Creek, which flows into Port Phillip Bay at Mount Martha. Alexander Beatson Balcombe had owned the neighbouring pastoral property, The Briars, from 1846 to 1874. The historic homestead, featuring the Dame Mabel Brookes Collection of Napoleonic artefacts, is now managed by the National Trust. In 1940 the Commonwealth Department of Defence purchased land from local farmers and established a permanent army training camp, named Balcombe Camp. Strategically placed to defend the Mornington Peninsula from attack, Balcombe Camp was said to be the most pleasant army camp in Australia. From 1948 until 1981 it served as the Army Apprentices School. After the Army huts were removed, the camp area was subdivided for private housing.

Jill Barnard