Marrinup Prisoner of War Camp (Camp No 16)

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Marrinup POW.jpg
Model of camp
Marrinup POW 1.jpg
Camp Personnel accommodation

Brief History

In April 1942 the internees from Western Australia were moved to the eastern states after completing their work on the Trans Australian Railway. However, in Mid 1943 it was decided to bring some back to W.A. to increase the agricultural workforce. The Marrinup Camp was established in August 1943 near Dwellingup where it was manned by the 8th POW Guard Company. Operating for three years between 1943 and 1946 Marrinup No.16 POW camp housed, in total, 3500 Italian and 300 German prisoners of war. Mostly captured in the Middle East, only prisoners considered low risk were send to Marrinup and put to work cutting wood or sent off to work unguarded as farm hands in the local community. The camp covered 15 hectares and could house up to 1200 men at a time. The men were only expected to work for 8 hours a day, allowing for some down time. Sundays were a day of supervised walks and sports outside the camp walls. To deter prisoners from escaping they were paid in tokens that they could exchange for luxuries such as chocolate and cigarettes. Despite the relatively humane conditions, escape attempts did happen. Escapees were found having a drink at the Dwellingup Pub on more than one occasion.

These men were supervised by 5th POW Control Company which was formed in May 1944 and had detachments at Bridgetown (W1); Korenup (W2), Darkan (W3); Kojanup (W4); Tambellup (W5); Wagin (W6) and Popanyinning (W7). In October 1944 8th POW Guard Company and 5th POW Control Company were absorbed into Marrinup POW Camp which by May 1945 was supervising 26 detachments as well as a satellite POW Camp at Northam.

Unit Personnel

Detached from Employment Companies


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