World War II internee, alien and POW records held in Sydney – Fact sheet 101

Introduction

During World War II thousands of men and women were interned in 'camps' around Australia, some for the duration of the entire war. These people consisted of 'enemy aliens' (especially Germans and Italians), naturalised and Australian born persons of enemy alien descent, enemy aliens arrested overseas and transferred to Australia, and prisoners of war transferred to Australia. Some Australians were also interned because of their political activities.

Tracing individual internees or prisoners of war

The camps in New South Wales were at Liverpool, Orange, Cowra and Hay. It was not uncommon for internees to be moved from one camp to another and to camps in other states. This can make it difficult to identify information on an individual because records may be held in more than one office of the Archives.

The office in Sydney holds a large collection of records of people who were interned in New South Wales during the war. Reference staff will assist you in using the control records listed below to identify the dossier on a particular internee.

Holdings on individual prisoners of war are not extensive, and those record items held relate only to the prisoner's internment in a New South Wales camp.

Records held in Sydney relating to individual internees

Creator and description of records

Date

Series no.

Commonwealth Security Service, NSW (CA 946)
Control records

Nominal index cards (by citizenship) to service records on internees

1942–1945

C125

Nationality index cards to service records on internees

1942–1945

C126

Location index cards to service records on internees

1942–1945

C127

Key to service records

1939–1945

C124

Commonwealth Security Service, NSW (CA 946) (to 1945)
Commonwealth Investigation Branch, NSW (CA 904) (1946)

Service records concerning internees

1942–1945

C123

Transcripts of internees' appeals before the Aliens Control Tribunals and Advisory Committees

1939–1945

C329

Investigation files (persons and organisations)

1942–1946

C320

Commonwealth Investigation Branch, NSW (CA 904) (1919–1946)
Commonwealth Investigation Service, NSW (CA 912) (from 1946)

Criminal investigation files

1914–1962

SP1714/1

Correspondence re naturalisation and internees

1914–1946

ST1233/1

Service records of Italian prisoners of war in Cowra and Liverpool camps repatriated on vessels Chitral and Katoomba

1946–1947

C131

Headquarters, Eastern Command [I], Australian Military Forces (CA 1876) (to 1942) Headquarters, NSW, Lines of Communication Area, Australian Military Forces (CA 1877) (from 1942)

Personal files of prisoners of war

1939–1946

SP196/2

General correspondence, 'S' (secret) series

1922–1951

SP1048/7

General records on internment

There are many series which contain records relating to internees and internment generally during World War II. These general records can be a useful source of information about individual persons. Included in the records are nominal rolls of internees, memoranda noting internees released on particular dates, and notes regarding internees' personal correspondence.

General records relating to internment held in Sydney

Creator and description of records

Date

Series no.

Headquarters, Eastern Command [I], Australian Military Forces (CA 1876) (1939–1942) Headquarters, NSW, Lines of Communication Area, Australian Military Forces (CA 1877) (1942–1946)

General correspondence files

1871–1965

SP1008/1

Correspondence

1912–1964

SP459/1

General correspondence, 'S' (secret) series

1922–1951

SP1048/7

Subject files to POW and internees

1939–1946

SP196/1

Commonwealth Security Service, NSW (CA 946)

Various exhibits re internment of Italians

1939–1941

ST2476/20

Security Service weekly reports

1941–1945

C128

General correspondence files

1942–1945

C417

Transcripts of the Australia First inquiry

1944–1945

C418

Directorate of Manpower, Central Office (CA 533)

General correspondence

1942–1945

SP191/1

For more information

See the following fact sheets for more information.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2014