Stories Organisations Projects About Login

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.

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

Leave a comment

5338 items

5338 items

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.

Documents- Archives - Kuhne

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Copies of archival documents obtained from AWM, specifically Australian Army war diaries / intelligence summaries pertaining to Murchison POW group (Camp 13). For periods: 1. Jan-Mar 1946; 2. April-May 1946; 3. Jun-July 1946. Printed A4 pages. 3 separately bound parts. Series number: AWM52; Control Symbol: 8/7/40. Part 1 (Jan-Mar) - 110 pages. Part 2 (April-May) - 171 pages. Part 3 (June-July) - 99 pages.

Historical information

Donor is daughter of a member of Australian armed forces who served during WW2, and was member of garrison at Camp 13 after the war, in 1946. Donor was researching her father's service & obtained at her expense copies of these archives held by the AWM, related to daily activities in the camp during the time that her father was posted at Murchison. Records show, amongst other things, troop (garrison) movements, routine orders, outcomes of disciplinary proceedings.

Document - Memoir - Memories of Tatura

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

13 page document, A4 paper. 7 pages of English translation, 6 pages German original.

Historical information

An account of the author's family background & early life, more particularly those events leading to their internment in Tatura, Victoria, Australia during World War 2. The author's parents (author Hermine Wedel, nee Strauss) were of German nationality & practicing as missionaries in New Guinea. Upon the outbreak of WW2, those German nationals were ordered to the coast by the Australian authorities and the men were transported to internment camps in Australia. The women remained behind, reporting regularly to the authorities, until they too were brought to camps in Australia at the end of 1941. They were eventually reunited in a family camp for internees, Camp 3 at Tatura, in 1943. They were released from the camp to work in Australia in 1947 and the family returned to New Guinea in 1949, and eventually went back to Germany. The author also briefly recounts her marriage & married life in Brazil & Germany.

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 - First Water Tower in Tatura

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Iron watertank, the first water tower in Tatura, erected at rear of Rodney Shire Offices, built c1888

Photograph - Rollinson's Hairdressing Salon

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Rollinson's Hairdressing Salon c1950; 1950s motor vehicles

Photograph - Stevenson's Grocery

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Frank Stevenson's grocery store, east of railway line, Hogan Street c1940

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 - Mills' Garage; Croom & Beckwith's Blacksmith & Wheelwright

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Mills' Garage; Croom & Beckwith's Blacksmith & Wheelwright, Hogan Street, c1925.

Photograph - Johnson Newsagency

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Johnson Newsagency, Hogan Street, c1930s. Mrs Johnson and Jean Davies (nee Hill) in photo. The shop was opposite the Criterion Hotel, next to Saddler's Store.

Photograph - Boomerang Cafe 1930

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

"Boomerang Cafe" operated by Bridget and Nell Myers at 177 Hogan Street. Photo shows Nell Myers and Sarah "Girlie" Colliver in front of the shop in 1930.

Photograph - R. Walker & Miss McGilton Shopfronts

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Shopfronts of R. Walker Watchmaker & Jeweller; and Miss McGilton Dressmaker; male youths posing; sign for horologists

Photograph - Hogan Street

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

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

Photograph - Kilmartin Homestead c1900

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Homestead of D. Kilmartin, Springvale Road, early 1900s. Kilmartin on verandah, man and horse, birdcage handing from verandah.

Photograph - Contemporary Thomas Hogan House

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Historical information

Previous Owner/Occupiers of this house:|1889 Thomas Hogan|1890 Walter Scott Murray|1895 Dr A. Park|1909 Marion Reilly|1909 Dr Ley|1911 Mrs I. Maidment|1913 Pat McNamara|1935 Reilly Bros.|1971 James Reilly|1980 Ray Carr|1985 Alan Tillett|1987 Shire of Rodney|Rodney Shire|Shire of Rodney|Tatura

Photograph - Johnson's Newsagency Streetscape Looking West

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Johnson's Newsagent & Stationer, streetscape of Hogan Street looking west. Solicitor's Chambers, CBA Bank. c1935.

Photograph - William Rooney

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

William Rooney, first Shire of Rodney Secretary - Enquirer

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 - Post and Telegraph Office 1895

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Post and Telegraph Office Ross Street 1895; features four men posing out the front.