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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 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 $ 4 concession $ 2 children under 12

Location

49 Hogan S 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.

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756 items with images

756 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.

Carving, sandstone.

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Sandstone piece with carved map of Austraiia, Tatura 1939-1940, and a 1939 penny inserted in the stone.

Historical information

Item carved by a German Internee who was held in Camp 1 in WW2. Came into the possession of one of the guards, whose nephew donated it to Tatura Museum

Inscriptions & Markings

"Tatura Vic.1939-40." Map of Australia/Bird.

Riding Crop

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Dark brown wooden crop or swagger stick with a wooden knob on one end and a horse hair plume attached with cord to the other end. Fine cord attached to knob end with a loop for hanging.

Historical information

Made by a German Prisoner of War in Camp 13 (Murchison) and given to a member of the garrison, R. E. O'Hara. Internees / POW's made many items from largely scrap material during their time in the camps.

Significance

This item holds historical and cultural significance as an example of the ingenuity of internees & how many occupied their time in camps, shaping the cultural and creative life of those in the camps. Also a possible indicator of relationship between garrison and internees.

Document and CD - Biography - Bernhard Hermann Gerstle

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Black plastic A4 display folder. CD soft case with CD. Folder contains printed biographical information regarding Bernhard Hermann Gerstle. CD contains copies of same documents and also copies of photographs of Bernhard & the Gerstle family.

Historical information

Bernhard Gerstle & his family (parents & siblings) were German nationals working in Tehran, Iran upon the outbreak of World War II. In 1941, after the installation of a pro-British ruler to the Persian throne, all German nationals were targeted as threats to national security. The women and children evacuated to Stuttgart, Germany via Turkey, while the men were handed over to British forces. Bernhard was taken by ship (the SS Rona) to Bombay & then to Australia (on the SS Rangitiki). He was then marched in to Loveday internment camp 10, South Australia. In January 1945 the German & Italian internees at Loveday were transferred to Tatura Camp 1. Bernhard remained there until after the war & his eventual release, on 29th August 1946. Bernhard chose & was granted permission to remain in Australia post-war, as did many civilian internees, after their examination by a Committee of Inquiry which investigated their political leanings & other criteria for their supposed suitability as Australian residents. The biography also recounts his employment post-war, marriage in 1952 & his later naturalisation as an Australian citizen. Other material includes Gerstle family history from the perspective of Bernhard's sister & family, who remained in Stuttgart; background on the Gerstle family's Russian origins; and a biography of Oskar Speck, famous kayaker, amongst other things, who was interned along with Bernhard & who became good friends with the family; a brief historical background of the Allied forces/Persia invasion; and extracts of Tatura Camp 3 internee Helga Griffin's book, "Sing Me That Lovely Song Again".

Inscriptions & Markings

Folder: Bernhard Hermann Gerstle/ Gerstle Family/ Loveday and Tatura Internment Camps 1941-1946/ Sydney 1946-1978/ Compiled by Mary Henderson 2013 CD: BH Gerstle; 1941 - Interned by British/ 1941-1946 - Internee at Loveday SA, Tatura VIC/ Sydney 1946-1978.

Brooch

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Butterfly shaped brooch made from Paua shell. Fixed to a brass safety pin.

Historical information

The Wied family were settled in Palestine upon the beginning of WWII. Being of German nationality, they were considered a threat to security by Allied forces & were interned in temporary camps, before being shipped to Australia. In Australia they were interned in Camp 3, Tatura, a family camp for enemy nationals. Many of the internees came with few possessions. This item is just one of the handmade domestic items fashioned in the camp from largely scrap materials to give some home comforts in the initially barren surroundings of the camps, particularly to those interned with families and young children.

Ring

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Small brown metal ring, with a small heart soldered to the ring.

Historical information

The ring was made for the donor by her father in Camp 3, Tatura. The Wied family were settled in Palestine upon the beginning of WWII. Being of German nationality, they were considered a threat to security by Allied forces & were interned in temporary camps, before being shipped to Australia. In Australia they were interned in Camp 3, Tatura, a family camp for enemy nationals. Many of the internees came with few possessions. This item is just one of the handmade domestic items fashioned in the camp from largely scrap materials to give some home comforts in the initially barren surroundings of the camps, particularly to those interned with families and young children.

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.

Photo - Rodney Cash Boot Shop

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

vintage motor vehicle out front of Rodney's Cash Boot Shop

Photograph - Sadler's Pharmacy 1940

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Black & white photograph of Dorothy Sadler's Pharmacy, opposite the post office 1940. Later Colliver's Shop, demolished in 1989. Storefront with female standing in front.

Photograph - Flood Streetscape

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Hogan Street 1955 flood

Photograph - Thrashing the wheat

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Thrashing wheat; horses; children in old style dress

Photograph - State Rivers & Water Supply Commission

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Photograph - Railway Station & Goods Yards

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Railway station and goods yards; c1920

Photograph - Hogan Street

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Streetscape of Hogan Street; featuring horse-drawn buggies; Bank of Victoria

Photograph - Wheat Delivery

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Bags of wheat delivered to Tatura Flour Mill (Reilly's Flour Mill) by train, with workers posing.

Photograph - Mechanics Institute c1980

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Mechanics Institute, c1980.

Photograph - Tatura Free Press

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

John Stephen Hill came to Tatura in 1912 and became Manager of the Tatura Free Press in 1916. He died in 1953 having being very involved in community affairs throughout his life in Tatura.|Photo features two men posing in front of the Free Press, with a bicycle in the background.

Photograph - Rodney Shire Councillors 1906

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Headshots of the councillors and officers of the Shire of Rodney; 30th of April 1906; presented by the President Cr. John Gilford, J.P.

Photograph - Ross' Store c1874

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Ross' Store c1874, Ross Street; East side, south of Hogan Street. Features two women posing on verandah.

Photograph - Hogan Street West

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Hogan street looking west; features Criterion Hotel, horse-drawn cart, motor vehicles

Photograph - Early Hogan Street

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Early Hogan Street, with Post Office and Criterion Hotel in view

Photograph - Early Hogan Street

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Early Hogan Street looking East towards Court House; with horse drawn cart; lamppost

Photograph - Reddie Saddler

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Sepia photograph of Reddie Saddler. Photograph is on a fawn coloured board.

Historical information

Wal Reddie Saddler, South side of Hogan Street, East of Ross Street. Features Wal Reddie and youth posing in front of shop, another employee at far right, with men standing behind and two young girls aside. Features saddles hanging in front of shop.

Inscriptions & Markings

about 1900. T. Hunter and another signature.

Photograph - Hogan's Commercial Hotel and Cash Drapery

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Thomas Hogan's Commercial Hotel and Cash Drapery Store on the South West corner of Ross and Hogan Streets. Features a number of townspeople posing, men, women, workers, and children; three horse drawn buggies. 2 photographs. Original in colour on board; copy black and white.

Photograph - Bazeley's Victoria Hotel 1899

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Bazeley's Victoria Hotel 1899, Hogan Street. Features two women posing on balcony; horse trough; streetlamp attached to hotel.

Photograph - Commercial Bank of Australia

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Features R-L: Commercial Bank of Australia, C. Mitchell Newsagency, Charles Brady Draper. East end of Hogan Street. Features a girl child crossing the street; womand and child at newsagent's shopfront.

Photograph - Ross Street Water Tower

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Second Water Tower under construction, Ross Street, 91 feet high, 80000 gallon capacity. Official opening April 1912. The first reinforced concrete tower of its type in Australia.

Photograph - Commercial Hotel c1900

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Sepia photograph on thin card. Commercial Hotel c1900; features horse-drawn buggy; men; streetlamps

Inscriptions & Markings

T. Hunter Tatura

Photograph - Railway Station c1880

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Railway station and goods yards, c1880

Photograph - Methodist Church Harvest Festival

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Early Methodist Church Harvest Thanksgiving, Kerferd Street; adjoining rear of Anglican Church c1900