This situation in 1946 was that there were 18,000 Italian prisoners of war in camps awaiting repatriation. At the same time, the Department of Army had army bases scattered around the country needing a workforce for clearing, maintenance, reconditioning, repairs, salvage work, improvements, revegetation.
A very special thank you to Malcolm Davis for providing this information.
One South Australian project where Italian prisoners of war were employed was the Gladstone Ammunition Depot in the Beetaloo Valley. Known as the 5 CAD (Central Ammunition Depot), it “became host to Italian prisoners of war, but it was not a gaol like atmosphere. These men were set to work cutting wood and doing other menial tasks, and from all accounts their stay was not a harsh one.
The only reminder of the POWs stay left today is a stone wall, which enclosed the then parade ground. the stone was quarried from the depot area, and as cement was unavailable, lime was burned for mortar. The POWs also took up gardening and produced prolific crops of all types of vegetables which went to supplement the rations. Some were also purchased by the married quarter members at nominal charges…With the assistance from the POWs, the billboard room was built, also from local stone which was shaped by a monumental mason stationed here at the time. The POWs were paid for their work and had to buy their own cigarettes etc. but it was mainly a transit camp for them as most of them returned to Italy from 5CAD.” from “Gladstone a meeting of creeks – a breaking of gauges“. Published by The Gladstone Centenary Committee, in 1980. Printed by “Gillingham Printers Pty Ltd Adelaide. SA”.
Gladstone and the Aerial of 411 Supply Company base
( from Gladstone a meeting of creeks – a breaking of gauge and https://location.sa.gov.au/viewer/)
Are there any remnants of the 411 Supply Company base? Can you help pinpoint the location of this site?
I have found a number of terms used for the Gladstone Ammunition Depot:
No 4 Advanced Ammunition Depot
5 Central Ammunition Depot
411 Supply Company Gladstone
4AAAD Gladstone: Abbreviation used on Service and Casualty Forms
So far we have the following Italians at the 4AAAD:
Giovanni Soppelsa bricklayer from Cencenighe Belluno (18.7.46)
Bruno Angelini, mason from Sala Bolognese Bologna (7.8.46)
Giuseppe Armanini, farmer from Storo Trento (7.8.46)
Michele Di Bari farmer from Montesantangelo Foggia (7.8.46)
Alfredo Goduto, painter from Roseto Valfortore Foggia
Verified is that Italian prisoners of war were sent to 4AAAD from July 46 until repatriaton. But not all paperwork was completed as we know Alfredo Goduto was at the 4AAAD but there is no notation on his Service and Casualty Form.
Were there other South Australian army bases where Italian prisoners of war were employed in 1946?