The POW camp in South Australia

pow camp sa 1944

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.

pow camp sa 1943

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.

pow camp hay today


2 thoughts on “The POW camp in South Australia

  1. The internment camps were a…sorted ordeal. Particularly in the U.S. where innocent Japanese Americans were interned without true cause and lost everything they had.
    You know I like your history posts. Always interesting and informative.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s