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National Archives of Australia:

A3560, 189 Like


Molonglo internment camp.

Date Range

January 1921–December 1935



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Amy Lay updated the location of this photograph.
August 21 2012 Reply
Ann Gugler says:
April 20 2013

The Molonglo Internment Camp was constructed in six weeks in 1918 and used to house enemy nationals of the 'superior' type. The camp was built for the British Government to take German POW's but the German Government said they didn't want their POWs to be so far from home and we said the equivalent of alright. Following the end of WW 1 around half the buildings were sold off - and some were moved to new sites around Canberra. JB Young of Queanbeyan suggested that the barracks could be converted into accommodation for married men with families and another section for single tradesmen. This was duly carried out. In 1926 the barracks where the married couples were accommodated were converted into a number of single dwellings. The first tenants moved into accommodation in 1921 and shortly afterwards a primary school was established at Molonglo. This was the first accommodation arranged for married construction workers in FCT - the population in 1925 was around 750 - only 50 more that those living at Westlake (Stirling Park, Yarralumla). The total population of the FCT was around the 4,000 mark in 1925. The above photograph shows the main area where the soldiers were accommodated in 1918 etc - the barracks where the prisoners lived and later the married quarters of the Molonglo Settlement are in the background. In between the barracks were the shared utilities area - lavatories, washing (clothes etc) and in an upstairs section - bathing - tin baths. The water for the baths had to be heated in wood fired coppers and carried upstairs (two or three steps) to fill the bath. Ann Gugler

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