Tag Archives: S13 Penola Hostel

Andrea in Australia

Andrea Favatella arrived in Australia on 26th April 1944 and by 29th August 1944, he was working within the State Conservator of Forest plantations in South Australia.

There were three forestry areas where Italian prisoners of war worked: Mt Burr, Penola and Mt Gambier. The hostel camp sites were at Rocky Camp-Millicent for Mt Burr, Nangwarry for Penola, Wandilo for Mt Gambier.

Additional information from Peter Dunn at ozatwar.com indicates that Andrea was at Nangwarry [Penola]. Andrea departed the S13 Hostel on 22nd March 1946.

Forestry Work Nangwarry South Australia: Andrea Favatella is the first standing on the left.

 (photo courtesy of Nino Favatella)

There were a number of state and commonwealth government projects throughout Australia which employed Italian prisoners of war.  Forestry work was one project; others were wood cutting for firewood, rice growing, vegetable production for armed forces; railway maintenance on the Trans Australian Railway Line. The relevant government department was the employing authority and responsible for providing appropriate accommodation.  Numbers of Italians in these hostels ranged from 75 to 250.  Andrea’s Australian books indicate that he used his free time in learning a little English and reading about Australia. Nino shares that his father had an elementary education, but he used language books to study a little English. Piccola Guida was issued free to Italian Prisoners of War.  Produced for Italian migrants in Melbourne it contained relevant information about Australia and also information to assist migrants to learn English.  Andrea’s copy was distributed by the Apostolic Delegate in Australia: Giovanni Panico.

The other two language books: Hugo’s Dictionary and Grammatica-Enciclopedia would have been purchased by Andrea.

Andrea Favatella’s Italian-English Language Books

(photo courtesy of Nino Favatella)

Andrea departed Australia 4.35 pm 8th November 1946 on the Strathmore which was moored at Outer Harbour Adelaide. It was reported: “The first large scale embarkation of Italian prisoner of war from South Australia was carried out smoothly…Clad in burgundy POW uniforms which many of them have worn for six years, [they] marched in from a special train from Loveday Internment Camp… Each man is allowed to take two kit bags containing his personal belongings”. Records report that there were 1500 Italian prisoners of war onboard.  The Strathmore arrived in Naples 6th December 1946.