Hay, New South Wales (1940–46)
The Hay internment camp was located outside of the town of Hay in the Riverina district of southern New South Wales. The camp was purpose-built at the Hay showground and racecourse, with huts, roads, water supply and electric lights. It was built to accommodate Italian prisoners of war, but German, Italian and Japanese internees were also held there.
The camp consisted of three compounds, each holding 1000 people. The men lived in huts and living conditions were often difficult. Located on semi-arid grazing land, the camp was hit by dust storms caused by a drought during the war years. Clothing and personal items like toothbrushes were at times insufficient.
The internees did, however, have a successful market garden and farm, which provided the camp with vegetables, eggs, poultry, milk and animal fodder. The German and Italian internees also established camp schools, handiwork classes and a newspaper; they played soccer and designed a type of money to be used in the camp.
Hay camp closed in 1946.
The National Archives holds records about the Hay camp. A selection of these is listed below.