Marrinup POW Camp Historic Site - WA

  Point of Interest


DEG: -32.703133 116.025574
DMS: 32º 42' 11.28" S 116º 01' 32.07" E
UTM: 50 H 6381203mN 408668mE
Altitude: 236.28m


Address & Contact

339-342 Marrinup Rd
Holyoake WA 6213
Phone: +61 8 9538 1108
Email: N/A


Marrinup POW camp held mainly Italian and some German prisoners from 1943 to 1946 approx 1,200 prisoners. The site is well preserved with many of the foundations of the original buildings still visible.

The Camp was basically a transit stop for workers on the way to farms or rural control centres. Prisoners only stayed for long periods for medical or disciplinary reasons. A strategically placed fence surrounded the compounds with triple concertina wire placed outside. Six watchtowers and powered floodlights encircled the area.

In the compound, huts had a wooden bed, mattress, blankets and a locker for each POW. Most of the buildings were constructed of material scrounged from disbanded internee camps and Army depots.Buildings included sleeping huts, hospitals, latrines, hot and cold showers, wash houses, mess room, administrative office, a drying room for wet winter clothes and an education hut.Gardening was a favourite occupation, and a fine example of their skills is a fishpond and garden beds in the shape of playing card suits and can still be seen adjacent to the powerhouse foundations.Camp life followed a strict routine starting at 6am with work finishing at 3pm and lights out at 10pm. Prisoners were expected to work eight hours a day either inside or outside the camp.The German woodcutters supplied Perth with firewood to fuel power generators, water pumping stations and industry. They supplied some 2,500 tonnes a week, half of Perth’s annual requirement.Prisoners were paid about one shilling and three pence a day in tokens to inhibit thoughts of escape. Tokens were used to buy chocolate, cigarettes and other items from a mobile army canteen.Free time was spent painting, sketching and carving wooden items. Classes were taught in Maths, Spanish, English, Italian, Biology, Physics and Accountancy.On Sundays prisoners were allowed out of the camp on parole walks and to play football matches and other sports.When the war ended, the POW’s were to be sent home but some wanted to stay in Australia to avoid returning to war-devastated Europe. While their employers supported them, they had to return home before they could apply to immigrate by sponsorship.Thirty men escaped and remained in WA after the final shipload of POW’s left Fremantle in December 1946.

The entrance to the Prisoner of War Camp (POW) camp now has information panels with photos of camp life in the 1940’s.In the Commanding Officer’s area, prisoners built flower gardens marked out in gravel stones that are still visible.Land around the camp was mined for Bauxite and has since been landscaped and replanted. Surrounding forest is native Jarrah and Redgum and mostly regrowth after the onslaught of the firewood cutters
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Closest Weather Station

Dwellingup at 13/12:30pm WST
Distance from Marrinup POW Camp Historic Site 3.26km E
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Distance from Marrinup POW Camp Historic Site 3.26km E
Mean Max. °C29.629.627.022.418.515.915.015.617.220.023.627.2
Mean Min. °C14.214.512.910.
Mean Rain mm15.620.926.366.6157.4241.3237.0192.7130.980.047.420.9

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