Colonel Peter Oxley & Surveyor General John OxleyPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Presser

Oxley Lookout commemorates Colonel Peter Oxley, who was the Military Commandant from 1969 to 1973, and Surveyor General John Oxley who explored the area in 1810.  Colonel Peter Oxley also had the old St Davids park military gravestones saved and placed in the St David`s Park Memorial Walls in Hobart.

Surveyor General John Oxley entered the English Royal Navy when he was aged eleven. He travelled to Africa in October 1802 as master’s mate of the naval-vessel Boo, which carried out coastal surveying.  In 1805 Oxley was promoted to second lieutenant, and in 1806 commanded the Estramina on a trip to Tasmania (Van Diemen`s Land).  He returned to England in 1807 and was appointed first lieutenant of 'Porpoise, joining her in 1808. In 1809 Porpoise visited Van Diemen's Land, carrying as a passenger Governor William Bligh who had been deposed in the Rum Rebellion.

Colonel Peter Henry Griffith Oxley OBE, a retired army officer who made a barracks one of Tasmania's top tourist attractions, died suddenly at his home in Fraser on Thursday.  Colonel Oxley, who entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon, as a cadet in 1939, retired from the Department of Defence last year as Director of Protocol and Visits.

As commanding officer of The Fifth Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, raised at Holdsworthy in March 1965, he was unwittingly responsible for its nickname, "Tiger Battalion", when at a parade one day he declared he wanted every man on the strength to "be a tiger".  The battalion immediately adopted the idea, and has a tiger – at Taronga Park Zoo, Sydney - as its mascot.

In 1969 Colonel Oxley was posted as officer commanding Tasmania Command, headquartered in the Anglesea Barracks, Hobart, an original British colonial forces establishment.  Between then and 1975 he worked tirelessly for the restoration of the buildings to bring them as close as possible to their original state while maintaining their military usefulness.

At minimum cost and by persuading soldiers and civilians to give their labour free, he began a program which even saw the craft of hand-making bricks re-established.  As the work progressed, the Government became interested, and in 1974 the project was given Federal funds to enable early completion.  

After the Wrest Point casino complex, it is the most popular tourist attraction in Hobart.  Colonel Oxley is survived by his wife and two daughters.

[ Canberra Times, Saturday 17th October 1981 ]


Address:Tinderbox Road, Pierson`s Park, Tinderbox, 7054
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -43.050868
Long: 147.341717
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Federal


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 15th April, 1973
Front Inscription

The Oxley Lookout Named In Honour Of
Colonel Peter Oxley, O. B. E.,
Military Commandant 1969 - 73
            And Of
Surveyor General John Oxley
Who Explored Area In 1810.
Unveiled By The Deputy Prime Minister
Hon. Lance Barnard, M. H. R.,
          15 - 4 - 73

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au