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 National Archives.
The National Archives 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
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
Directorate of Manpower, Central Office (CA 533)
|Title or description of record
For more information