Holden Wartime Production – Not Just Cars

From the Boer War to WWI, Holden and Frost of Adelaide, South Australia produced ammunition bandoliers, bayonet holsters, saddlebags and other leather products. However, by WWII the dynamics of the company had changed dramatically into motor vehicle assembly. During that period, they oversaw 700 Manufacturing and Engineering companies. Their WWII War effort was truly staggering. At the beginning of the war, 750 employees had enlisted in the armed forces.

Overview list of the type of manufacturing products:-

  1. Truck assembling and manufacturing in hundreds of configurations
  2. Artillery
    1. 2-Pdr Anti-Tank Gun
    2. 6 Pdr Anti-Tank Gun
    3. 20mm Polsten Anti-Aircraft Gun
    4. 25-pdr Field Gun was a gun/howitzer, also artillery gun limbers
  3. Caravan and trailers, included Jeep trailers
  4. Aircraft parts and components, included aero engines
  5. Bridging pontoons and boats, tents haversacks
  6. Munitions, ammo boxes, magazines and bombs
  7. Late war 250 Holden Jeep Ambulances

Post WWII Holden products for the Defence Force

  1. Station wagons, sedan staff cars and Utes supplies to the Defence Force
  2. 2. Holden supported the CMF Army Reserve, Army Cadets and Civil Defence Teams by allowing many of their employees to service in the above organisations


This page is dedicated to the Holden employees who made the supreme sacrifice in WWI and WWII.


Story & Photos by Jeff Pinney and Maggie Bogar

Jeff Pinney (36 years employment with Holden, 17 years serving in 3/9 South Australian Mounted Rifles, on retirement from Holden is now Public Relations Officer at the National Military Vehicle Museum overviewing Holden WWI and WWII History).