Walking in their Boots


Walking in their Boots

Italian Prisoners of War in Queensland 1943-1946

Walking in their boots JPEG

North Queenslander, Joanne Tapiolas, has been delving into the history of Italian prisoners of war in Queensland and slowly the stories and memories of this chapter in Queensland history have emerged.

Walking in their Boots incorporates the facts and the personal narratives  from the ten districts where the POWs worked and lived.  Queenslanders and Italians sharing their memories, artefacts, photos and letters have added a richness and diversity to this chronicle.

Walking in their Boots is a record of this history and a valuable reference to the background and context of Italian POWs in Australia.

Book now available

$25.00 plus postage and handling

200+ pages

English version only

For further details and to place an order:

contact Joanne Tapiolas e. joannetappy@gmail.com

Precis of Walking in their Boots

Over 1500 Italian prisoners of war, captured in the battlefields of North Africa, came to Queensland during World War 2.  The Italians provided a much-needed workforce for farmers throughout nine south-east Queensland districts.  Additionally, 250 Italians worked at the Commonwealth Vegetable Farm on the Burdekin River, to supply fresh produce to the north’s military forces.

Queensland farming families welcomed the Italians onto their farms and into their homes.  A temporary refrain from life behind barbwire fences, friendships were forged, and lasting memories remain clear over seven decades later.

The Italian prisoners of war left their footprints in the landscape and in the memories of Queenslanders. Walking in their Boots traces the history of Italian prisoners of war in Queensland and tells the stories of a time when POWs worked on our Queensland farms.


Footprints in Concrete

Farm of Ron Niebling Lake Moogerah via Boonah

(photo courtesy of Pam Phillips (nee Niebling)


17 thoughts on “Walking in their Boots

    1. JoanneinTownsville Post author

      Jennifer, Thank you for your interest and comment. Please email me at joannetappy@gmail.com and I will email you the details. I am taking orders and then will do a print run. The book is $25.00 and postage $10.95. I will not be selling them through retailers. It is such a small interest group. Joanne


  1. Nadia Bates

    Hi Joanne. I am very interested in this book. Both my parents being italian. Congrats on this book. How and where can I order a copy
    Kind regards


  2. Nadia Bates

    Hi Joanne sorry about my last email spell check changed my spelling my Mum was born in Crespano del Grappa and dad wad born in Trevino. North of italy


    1. JoanneinTownsville Post author

      Spell check can a difficult tool. Yes, same region. I had plans to visit this year, but might have to wait until 2019. By then I might have learnt a little Italian. My grandparents went to Innisfail then Mossman Qld. Italian pattern of migration in Australia is very interesting.


    2. Merle Giovannoni

      Nadia , read your post ,just wanted to say I have been to Crespano del Grappa a few years ago , I have friends that come from there Torresan is the family name , your family might know the name , ?? always interesting to hear from people from different parts of the world , My husband comes from a little place near the lake of Como , we have a house there & spend a few months every second year over there .enjoy your trip 2019 ??


  3. Bev Lando

    HI Joanne

    Congratulations on completing and publishing this important history. We would like to order 4 copies for our family. Let me know how I can pay for them please. We leave for Spain on 20th March so not sure if we will have them before then. No problem – just want to pay before we leave.


  4. Pingback: Escaped P.O.W. at Bowen | Footprints of Italian Prisoners of War in Queensland

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