Today I want to tell you about the POW camp in South Australia
South Australia consisted of one main internment camp at Loveday, near Barmera on the River Murray. Opened in 1941, it was supported by centres at Bordertown, Clare, Lameroo, Maitland, Mount Gambier, Mount Pleasant, Morgan, Murray Bridge, Naracoorte, Tumby Bay, Willunga and Woodside from 1943—45 and a transit camp at Sandy Creek near Adelaide from 1944—46.
The Loveday Internment Group accommodated German, Italian and Japanese internees from various states of Australia, and international internees and POWs from the Netherlands, East Indies, the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Britain and the Middle East. It consisted of six compounds and accommodation for personnel of the 25/33 Garrison Battalion who kept guard.
During its peak, the camp held over 5000 internees who produced goods and cultivated crops for the Australian war effort.
Some Italians were deployed to work as farmhands, while other Italian and Japanese internees were separated and even paid to harvest wood at Katarapko, Woolenook and Moorook West. 300 Italian internees were employed as railway workers at Cook on the Trans — Australia line.
One POW and 134 internees died at Loveday, while another two POWs were killed during an escape attempt while en route to Loveday.
Cause of death varied from illness and fragility brought on by old age, suicide, and at least one homicide.
Loveday Internment Camp closed in December 1946.