A FW 200 model made at Camp 13 during the war. This model still exists and is in a private collection locally now.
(the photo with the caption is from the 'After The Battle' magazine's story on Camp 13).
09-18-2016 12:07 AM
Speaking of things that have survived, there still stands a wartime built memorial, which was put together by the survivors
of the surface raider 'Kormoran' (KL Detmers) which was sunk after her battle with HMAS Sydney, and the Sydney later sank
with the loss of all hands several hours later.
This monument still sits in the middle of what is now a basically empty paddock, with a few old relic MG concrete posts dotted
about, and some foundations of the old huts. The old memorial had a replacement Iron Cross added to the top of it a few years
back, and the inscription was re-painted, other than that it still sits in situ to this day. An unsubstantiated rumour has it that the
original Iron Cross that stood on top during the war is still surviving and with a private collector somewhere in central Victoria.
(I would love to be able to find confirmation of this rumour).
Some photos of the Memorial, and some of the Kormoran survivors. (All officer POW's were housed in a separate PW compound
nearby at Dhuringile, which is still operating as a low security prison to this day).
Some photos of funeral services at Camp 13, Murchison....
Those that passed away (for whatever reasons, including one that was shot and killed during a small uprising) are buried at
Tatura, which isn't too far away from Murchison....
The POW's made another monument with an eagle & swastika, and it was knocked down and buried at the end of the war,
it is still buried there to this day, whether it was just knocked over and buried, or completely destroyed and buried I
have no idea.
Here is another photo showing the use of German steel helmets being used for a ceremony held at Camp 13 during the war,
the gum trees in the background look a little out of place though....
I hope this isn't too far off topic, if so, feel free to delete it Mister Mod, but.... items from the old camp still surface to this day,
here is a German Erkennungmarke from a member of Stuka Geschwader 77 that was captured in north Africa that was unearthed
about 2 years ago, as well as some camp internment coinage, several other relics have been dug up over the years too, including
metal cap insignias, breast badges, buttons and so on. I also know of another ID tag that was from a member of Oberst von Ponath's
8th MG Bn., who was captured at Tobruk (where von Ponath was killed), and his attack was one of the very first attempts to take Tobruk,
and his unit was basically wiped out with just about all being either killed or captured. The lucky survivors were all sent to Murchison,
and thus, here is a photo of 'Ponath Way/Ponath Weg' in the early days of the POW Camp, when it was still using tents.
I have also added a photo that took me a bit to figure out, it is also a wartime mosaic that was done using pebbles, and if you look closely
at it, an eagle is sitting on a figure ' 8 ', and I am guessing that this was something that members of the 8th MG Battalion also put together
to remember their commander, Oberst von Ponath. A friend of mine was up in Murchison recently and he told me that this was now gone,
sadly destroyed by the local farmer. I took the photo over 25 years ago.....
LW & GJ being transported. Note the missing national insignias:
You may find this little film of interest, especially the segment between 0.28 - 0.48. This shows German, and possibly Hungarian, POWs in Stalingrad in 1947. If any of these soldiers survived they may well have had to face another eight years of captivity ahead of them. I doubt that these men were actually captured in the fighting around Stalingrad but probably elsewhere in Russia or even Germany and brought here after the war to help rebuild Russia. Maybe they were some of the lucky ones?