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Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum Tatura, VIC

Tatura Museum houses a unique collection based on 3 main themes which are: the History of Irrigation in Victoria's Goulburn Valley, the Local and Family History of Tatura and District since settlement and the history of the seven World War 2 Prisoner of War and Internment Camps and the Garrison and Hospital which were established in this area.
Tatura Museum is not the average small town museum. Our collection includes ONLY items which have a connection to Tatura.
Whether it is Local, Family, Irrigation or War Time Camps history every article on display has a direct connection with Tatura and is not just part of a general historical display.
The collection and our reference library are a valuable source of research material for academics, school children, relatives and former residents.

Contact Information

location
PO Box 156 49 Hogan Street Tatura VIC 3616 (map)
phone
+61 +613 58242111

Contact

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday 1.00pm - 3.00pm Saturday / Sunday / Public Holidays 2.00pm - 4.00pm Bus trips and groups by arrangement

Entry Fee

$5 Adults

Location

49 Hogan Street Tatura VIC

View on Google Maps

Photographs, art and craft work, records, recollections and other archival material recovered from the former Prisoners of War and Internees in the Tatura Area during WW2, many of whom remained in Australia after their release.
These include the collection of 54 works of Leonhard Adam completed over a 50 year period and donated by his daughter Mary-Clare Murvitz of Israel and a collection of war time sketches by Georg Rosenkranz.
We have many artefacts and documents relating to the HSK Kormoran and HMAS Sydney as the Kormoran survivors were prisoners of war in Tatura.
Books, records, maps, photographs and information on the history of Irrigation in Victoria's Goulburn Valley.
Books, photographs, memorabilia, maps and recollections regarding the Local History of Tatura and District including major industries and local families.

Significance

Much of the collection has originated from activities of prisoners from within the camps, and so it is unique and irreplaceable. Many of the internees brought to these camps from overseas countries were intellectuals, academically well qualified in their professions and some were gifted sports persons or in their trade. Many of these people chose to remain in Australia and have added immensely to the education and culture of this country. Their stories, most involving escape from Nazism, are inspirational.

The story of the development of Irrigation in the Western Goulburn Valley is the story of the first irrigation scheme in Victoria, and lead to the creation of the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission, and its involvement in Irrigation.

Guy McIntosh 24 January 2015 5:44 PM

Hello there, I have in my collection a threepence coin and with a swastika hole punched in the centre of the coin, it also is stamped REGD:787 on the back, can you please assist me in my research if you know anything about the 1910 three pence coin, Thankyou

Guy McIntosh 24 January 2015 5:44 PM

Hello there, I have in my collection a threepence coin and with a swastika hole punched in the centre of the coin, it also is stamped REGD:787 on the back, can you please assist me in my research if you know anything about the 1910 three pence coin, Thankyou

Caitlin 25 August 2015 7:46 PM

I have the same threepence coin. It has a swastika punched into it and also REGD787 stamped on the back. In my research, I haven't found any information about it. If anyone can help with this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Sandra M SMITH 12 October 2019 8:26 PM

At my own time and expense I compiling a profile on the service men and women on the Weethalle NSW War Memorial. This is not for profit but to give the village a legacy to be used for Commemoration,Education, Enjoyment and as a Resource tool. One of the men listed is Irishman Francis Irvine who was KIA at Tobruk. Private IRVINE's sister was the wife of Johann Heinrich SCHMITZ who died while in the internee camp at Tatura. Records show you are holding a document(s) on this gentleman. Is it possible to have a copy of what you have, to add to his brother-in-law's file please. The document is in an black 4 ring folder with your Registration Number C0713. I thank you for your assistance and consideration. All material will be professionally acknowledged. Sandra

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771 items with images

771 items with images

Abacus

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Wood & metal abacus with wooden base, sides & beads (100), & metal rails. Wood painted red & black.

Historical information

Camp 3 was one of the Tatura Group of civilian & prisoner of war internment camps during World War 2. Camp 3 was a civilian 'family' camp. The abacus was made by a German internee, for his son in the camp. It was made from scrap materials found in and around the camp & the beads & other wooden parts of the abacus were turned on a lathe also constructed by the internees.

Army Rehabilitation booklet - Australian Military Forces Army Rehabilitation

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Australian Military Forces Army Rehabilitation Booklet. Advice to Army personnel awaiting discharge 1944. Small paper booklet.

Historical information

In possession of James Colliver.

Inscriptions & Markings

A.A. book 84, Revised January 1944.

Badge - German

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Grey metal oval shaped badge with fastening pin on back. Features in centre army tank raised leaf the figure 50 below. At top swastike and eagle.

Historical information

Possession of POW at war camp

Badge - military

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Metal German paratroopers dual badge depicting a leaf design around outer edge and a swastika. A flying eagle in the centre of the badge.

Historical information

Found at Camp13 site, post war, by wartime guard

Bank note

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Encapsulated/laminated bank note to the value of six pence, with blue colour design(s) on white background with black printing. Features emblem of kangaroo, emu and merino ram above banner of the words "Camp seven bank". Display in plastic stand frame

Historical information

Designed by Dunera internee, Teltscher, and printed by Riverine grazier at Hay internment camp

Inscriptions & Markings

C41937, Printed on back of bank note "This note is valid only within the boundaries of Camp 7 Internment Camp Hay" "The bank is under no obligation to honour this note if presented by holder outside the Camp".

Banner

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Afrika Korps banners, embroidered, one piece of material. Large hemmed square of white/ cream cotton material embroidered with two unfinished Afrika Korps banners. Line drawn around both, to indicate edge / cutting point / unfinished embroidery point.|Banner 1 has a palm tree & swastika (emblem of the Afrika Korps). Swastika has been left outlined in pencil but not embroidered, probably so as not to create trouble by displaying the now banned swastika.|Banner 2 has red stylised German eagle.

Historical information

Captain Robert Ure Bain was Adjutant to Lt. Col. Bush, POW Group Commandant from 1942 - 1947. He was chosen to be one of the Australian Army officers who escorted the German POW's back to Germany in January 1947. A German POW and former member of the Afrika Korps made the item and donated it to Robert.|Please note that two almost identical banners were on loan to the museum from George Campbell, 1991.

Inscriptions & Markings

Banner 1: Afrika Korps (pink lettering); 1941 (light blue lettering).|Banner 2: Zullighau (brown/gold lettering); 4. KOMP / M. G. BATL. (green lettering). (Number 4 company of the Machine Gun Battalion).

Belt

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Hand woven leather belt with silver clasp. Pattern/weave of belt is intricate

Historical information

Made by internee at Camp 1. Leather used is from army boots

Belt - Macrame

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Cream coloured handwoven macrame ladies belt with copper coloured plastic buckle

Historical information

Made by internee at Camp3

Belt - Macrame

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

White macrame belt with silver buckle

Historical information

Made by internee at Camp3

Belt - Macrame

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Handwoven ladies macrame belt. Green bakelite buckle

Historical information

Made by internee at Camp3

Belt, Macrame

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Cream coloured macrame belt with silver buckle, zig zag patterm

Historical information

Made by internee at Camp 13

Belt, Macrame

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Belt is in traditional colours of royal blue, brown, red, blue, green, yellow and pink. The two tie cords are red and brown plaited on an angle

Historical information

Handmade by POW's at Camp 3

Belt - Macrame

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Macrame belt in colours of dark blue, light blue, red and cream. Pointed one end. Metal buckle attached to belt with redddish brown button and red and cream loop. Macrame insert in centre of belt. Buckle made from a penny rejigged

Historical information

Handmade by POW's at Camp 3

board game

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Rectangular wooden board game, hinged in centre. Base is marked for playing a game of backgammon. Handmade. Pair of dice made from kitchen bone.

Historical information

Made by German internee from Palestine held in Camp 3. The dice are made from bone from the kitchen.

Book - Silences and Secrets: The Australian Experience of the Weintraubs Syncopators

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Paperback book. Glossy black front cover, black & white photo of group of musicians. Blue & white text. Back cover glossy white, black & white photo group of men standing over bass drum labelled "Weintraubs Syncopators". 305 pages. Dewey no. 781.65092

Historical information

(From back cover): "The Weintraubs Syncopators, international musical celebrities of the 1930s, embarked on a four-year journey across Europe, Russia and the Far East in exile from the antisemitic ideologies of the German Third Reich. This band of mainly Jewish musicians arrived in Sydney, Australia, in 1937. The decision of some of them to stay brought them into conflict with the aggressively protectionist Musicians’ Union of Australia. They gained employment at a high-end Sydney nightclub but when war came, were forced to come to terms with a change in their status – from celebrities to enemy aliens. Denounced for alleged espionage activities in Russia, three were interned and the band broke up. In this major recounting of the experience of the Weintraubs Syncopators, Kay Dreyfus pieces together the complex personal, social and political forces at work in this story of migration at a time of insecurity, fear and dramatic conflict." The Tatura group of camps were built after the beginning of World War 2, and held prisoners of war (enemy military) and civilian internees (enemy nationals, regardless of political affiliation, either living in Australia or in Allied territories overseas). The Weintraubs Syncopators' members were just some of the civilians caught up in the conflict.

Book - Under Consideration

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Soft cover handmade/compiled book of typed poems. Covers feature maps (military). Inside front and back cover features sections of cartoons.

Historical information

Booklet of poems in two languages by Dunera internee Oswald Volkmann, No.35271, at Camp 4, Tatura.

Inscriptions & Markings

Tatura 28 Okt 1941

Book - Exodus. Ernst Wolf's story

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

68 pages, B&W and colour photos. Soft cover with a map of Germany superimposed on cover. Map of Victoria superimposed on back cover.

Historical information

Author Ernst Wolf was an internee who arrived in Australia aboard the Dunera.

Inscriptions & Markings

Celebrating the 90th birthday of Ernst Wolfe, December 30th, 2011, and for the Wolfe family everywhere

Book - Eine Handbreit Stacheldraht Unterm Kiel

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Historical information

Written in German - telling experiences of WW2 internee, Werner Buschmann, as an internee/POW in Camps 1&3 in the Tatura Region, Victoria , Australia.

Inscriptions & Markings

165 pages, B/W photos

Book - Beersheba - A journey through Australia's Forgotten War

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

339 pages - B/W Photos - slight water damage

Historical information

Telling of the deeds of the Australian Light Horsemen, Campaigns of the 4th Lighthorse Regiment - Middle East, Palestine. Australian Cavalry operations and Military History of Beersheba ( Israel). World War 1 1914-1918

Book - Trapped in Tatura

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Rectangle shaped, Cover has three water coloured sketches of Camp 3 Tatura. Book also has B/W sketches of camp. 164 pages

Historical information

Historical fiction based on the Auer family's experiences during W.W 2 at Tatura camp 3. Dominance of Nazism and deprivation of freedom imposed on all internees.

Inscriptions & Markings

Book dedicated to author's grandfather, Rudolf Auer Sr.

Book - Art Captured

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Oblong book. Colourfui sketch of Hans-Wolter von Gruenewaldt on cover as he sketches scenes from Camp 13.

Historical information

This is the art work of Hans-Wolder von Gruenewaldt and relates to his time when incarcerated as a Refugee in Camp 13 Murchison during World War 2. His personal story covering the years 1939 to 1947, was written by the author in March 1961 and translated into English by his son Axel von Gruenewaldt. His artwork, images and supporting material, was compiled and formatted by Kay Ball, President, Murchison and District Historical Society Inc

Inscriptions & Markings

Hans- Wolter von Gruenewaldt .Prisoner of War Camp 13 Murchison: his story and his art.

Book - Art behind the wire

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

rectangular, white cover, with a black pen and ink sketch of two horses. behind barbed wire with a tree in the forground. B/W photos, colourful pictures

Historical information

The untold story of refugee families interned in Australia during the second world war

Book - Dunera Lives. Volume 1 A Visual History.

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Blue soft cover, with front cover painting by Emil Wittenberg. Painted at Tatura on 23rd May 1941, depicts a group of Dunera internees behind barbed wire. B/W and colour photos, sketches, paintings and watercolour.

Historical information

A remarkable, thoroughly researched and detailed record of "Dunera" internee artists with examples of their varied styles of water and colour paintings, sketches and cartoons. Vivid reminders of the whole experience of internment in Australia during World War 2 for these men. Launched at the Jewish Museum in St Kilda, Sunday July 8th and Monday July 9th at Readings Books in Melbourne.

Significance

Visual history of camp life of the Dunera boys

Inscriptions & Markings

To the memory of Amirah Inglis. A photograph of Kenneth Stanley Inglis, 7 October 1929 - 1 December 2017

Book - Rodney Recollections

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

A4 sized book recording history of Shire of Rodney 1886-1986. Soft cover, dull picture of water and bush with title and early writing over the picture. Also Shire of Rodney crest and authors names.

Inscriptions & Markings

as above

Book - Stalag Australia

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Black hard cover book, white dust cover with black and red text and a photo of the monument in Murchison POW Camp 13 on the front cover.

Historical information

Stalag Australia vividly and accurately reconstructs the story of Germans and their experiences as prisoners of war.

Book - Captured Lives

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Soft covered book. Front cover has 6 photos of internees with their id numbers. In middle is title. Authors name at bottom. Spine is brown coloured with title, author and photo of internee. Back cover has two photos, Group of adults and children and a soldier with gun and five men with hands in air. 266 pages

Historical information

Story of the internees and pow's behind the barbed wire veil that was drawn around people deemed threats to Australia's security.

Inscriptions & Markings

Captured Lives Australia's Wartime Internment Camps

Book - The Story of the Beilharz Family

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Beige hard cover book. Gold text front cover and along the spine. Yellow dust cover with map of Germany on the front cover and Palestine on the back cover

Historical information

The story of a family of Black Forest farmers and trades people, from the 15th to the 20th Century in Germany, Palestine and Australia

Inscriptions & Markings

Presented to this Museum by Mr. HW Beilharz, Bellvue Hill, NSW 1989

Book - A German Church in the Garden of God

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Charcoal grey to beige at the top, of a hard cardboard cover book. Cover depicts Melbourne 1887 and title in black text. Back cover depicts "The Sower" window donated in 2004. 2 copies

Historical information

Published for 150 years of Melbourne Trinity Lutheran Church, 1853-2003, not only as a source of reference and awareness about its own background but also as an incentive and motivation for continued active engagement of a large membership

Inscriptions & Markings

Presented to Tatura & District historical Society In. with the compliments of Trinity Lutheran Church of Melbourne.

Book - Australian Migrant Ships - 1946-1977

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Yellow soft cover with photo of "New Australia" on the front and "Fairstar" with the author in the foreground and precise of the contents of the book on the back. Black, red and white text.

Historical information

Contains information on ships that brought migrants to Australia - 1946-1977, including ten pound poms.

Book - Sing Me That Lovely Song Again

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Blue/green front soft cover, red and white printing, white back cover and spine, black printing.

Historical information

Helga Griffin, daughter of Austrian engineer father and German mother. Interned aged 6 years and sent to Australia with her parents and young brother. Five years interned in Camp 3 near Rushworth, then released to Melbourne. Helga vividly describes her early childhood in Persia. The mixed emotions of her whole family during the internment experience and postwar, trying to adjust to a new country, new culture, new language. Very evocative memories of wartime dislocation.

Inscriptions & Markings

With my very best wishes to the Tatura museum and the sterling work of the volunteers that contribute to its valuable presence. Helga 26.5.06