Sandy Creek Camp No. 17 July 1944
The camp was established on April 24, 1944. It is a camp-depot from which the prisoners of war are directed in the various centres of control, according to the constant needs.
As of July 12, 1944, the strength of this camp was as follows: 423 army, 1 navy, 4 protected personnel = 428
The men of confidence of this camp are:
Camp Leader: Sergeant Major Ferrara, Luigi 45690
Deputies: Sergeant Scabari Antonio 46729, Sergeant Pisido Francesco 46538
Soldier Ventresca Ercole 58996
The houses of this camp consist of barracks and tents. The electric light is installed in the barracks, while in the tents the lighting is in oil.
The prisoners of war are staying in tented dormitories which house six men each. The tents have a wooden floor. The bedding includes a protective cloth, a bench and 4 blankets. There is no furniture. The doctor has an room in the infirmary. It has an iron bed base, a mattress, a pillow, pillowcases, sheets and 4 blankets.
Prisoners of war would like to have better protection against rain and they would like to have beds. The military authorities have informed us that the Australian troops have identical tents and have no beds. In addition, the authorities have promised to examine the possibility of providing wooden beds to camp prisoners of war or, where appropriate, to provide them with equipment for making these beds. In addition, the authorities have pointed out to us that the prisoners of war are in this camp in a temporary manner and that soon almost all will be employed on farms.
The prisoners each have 4 blankets of Indian manufacture. They would like to have Australian-made covers that are of better quality and, if possible, an additional cover.
The authorities made us know that they will exchange these covers for Australian-made covers. The issue of additional coverage will be considered with kindness.
The infirmary of the camp is in a hut and has 10 beds.
Kitchen and Mess
The camp has 2 refectories, furnished with long tables and benches and heated in winter.
A special barrack is reserved for the canteen.
The kitchen of the camp includes a room for the ovens, a room for the meats and 3 rooms for the provisions.
Ablutions and Laundry
The camp has a barrack containing 28 cold showers and 12 hot showers. There are also two barracks for ablutions with 20 cold water taps each. Prisoners of war have hot water every day.
The camp has two barracks containing latrines. Each barrack has 12 seats. There is no pipeline, and the tanks are transported every morning out of the camp. There is also a large urinal.
The laundry room contains a boiler, 3 sinks and hot and cold water faucets. However, the majority of prisoners of war do their laundry in the ablutions facilities.
Recreation and Sports
The camp has a barracks serving worship and recreation.
This camp has no organized school. This camp does not have a library.
An orchestra of 7 musicians has been organized and concerts are given from time to time.
The camp has a large sports field. Practical sports are football and basketball.
The prisoners have left in India sums of money credited to their individual accounts. They would like these credits to be transferred to Australia as quickly as possible.
The authorities have informed us that these credits will be transferred shortly and that the finance department is actively involved.
Many prisoners have been without news for a long time. We offered them our services [Red Cross ] for the transmission of family messages and news via cable.
The envelope below was posted from Italy on 23.1.44 and sent to Gino Graziani Bombay. From India, Gino was sent to Murchison, and arrived in Sandy Creek Camp on 10.6.44. Mail did take a long time and a circuitous route.
By the end of the war, Italian prisoners of war were withdrawn from farms and placed in camps until repatriation to Italy was organised. Italian POWs from around South Australia and Tasmania transited through Sandy Creek PW Camp before onward movment to Loveday PW Camp.
1946 ‘P.O.W. ON FARMS RECALLED BY CANBERRA’, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954), 21 February, p. 25. , viewed 01 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93153986
By May 1946, Sandy Creek PW Camp had been abandoned and all Italian prisoners of war were accommodated at Loveday PW Camp.