Harvey Internment Camp (Camp No 11)

From Our Contribution

Harvey Intern.jpg
The internment camp in Harvey where up to 1,000 Italians were detained during WWII.(Source: Harvey Historical Society)

Brief History

The Harvey Internment Camp was established in September 1940, manned by a detachment from the 10th Australian Garrison Battalion, was constructed to house around 100 German and 800 Italian Internees transferred from an earlier camp on Rottnest Island. In January 1941 a full time company from the 5th Australian Garrison Battalion moved to Harvey to become the 11th Internment Camp Guard Company, soon after renamed 'M' Australian Garrison Company. With Japan's entry in the war it was decided to move all internees tothe eastern states, and they were moved in April 1942, leading to the closure of the Harvey Internment Camp and the site made available for the 3rd Australian Corps School.

The built form included 68 barracks, several workshops, shower rooms, dining huts, recreation huts, detention cells and officers quarters surrounded by a 1.8m high barbed wire fence topped with rolls of barbed wire.

In 1941 a section of it was used to house and interrogate the survivors from the German Raider ship "Kormoran" which had sunk HMAS Sydney off the Western Australian coast. They stayed at Harvey until their transfer in December 1941 and January 1942 to No 13 POW Group at Murchison, Victoria.

Unit Personnel


Some of the content has come from The Unit Guide - Volume 2 - The Australian Army 1939-1945, page 2.413 - Graham R McKenzie-Smith - Big Sky Publishing - 2018 along with photo and description of the camp from accessed 4 Jun 2021.

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