NORTHAM POW CAMP, WA
COMPOUNDS 1 - 4
DURING WW2

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LOCATION - 95 kms east of Perth WA, 5 kms west Northam on Great Eastern Highway

 

DATES - January 1946-October 1946

 

CAPACITY - 3500 Italian POWs

No of COMPOUNDS 4 areas of ex-AIF barrack lines of Northam Army Camp set aside as un-fenced POW compounds 

 

COMMANDANT
Lt Burgess January 1946- May 1946

Maj Hector Stuart Foley May 1946-October 1946 (transferred his command of No 16 camp to Northam)

 

2IC/ADJUTANT - Capt Lambe May 1946-November 1946

 

MEDICAL OFFICER - Capt Ken Morrison

 

GUARDS - Returning servicemen from SW Pacific area of operations, unit known as attachments to Northam POW Camp (up to 200 all ranks) No 8 POW Guard Company disbanded June 1946

 

CAMP FUNCTIONS - Hold all Italian POWs returning from rural regions of WA in preparation for repatriation to Italy. This commenced in May 1946 with all Prisoner of War Control Centers being closed. Repatriation to Italy commenced in September 1946 and was complete by November 1946.

 

CURRENT STATUS - The camp is still a current military installation however it has been downgraded from its war time importance.

Many constructed features still remain that were built by the Italians, such as the parade ground, drainage channels and two monuments to the Italian POW experience in Australia. These monuments have been placed on the Register of the National Estate as being the only monuments known to be built by an enemy, still standing on Australian soil. Peter Smith from Perth has advised me that he was born in Harvey, WA and as a child in the early 1950's Peter remembers seeing a shrine which was built by Italian POW's and internees at Camp 11 Harvey Internment Camp in what later became the public golf course adjoining the POW camp which was then an Agricultural Junior High School at which his father worked. There was also a fairly crude small cement statue of the Roman "Romulus and Remus" being suckled by a she-wolf. Recently the local Italian community built a small Chapel for the Shrine, and it is already a local historical landmark.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I'd like to thank Ernie Polis and Peter Smith for their kind assistance with information for this home page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 19 January 2002

This page last updated 31 January 2017