Dunera Boys MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

The memorial commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the arrival of European internees known as the "Dunera Boys". The memorial was unveiled in 1990 at the site of the internment camp. 

Shortly after war was declared on Germany, those Jewish refugees who had arrived before the war from Germany, Austria and Hungary were labelled as "enemy aliens". It was feared that they would act as spies for the Nazis, no consideration being given to the fact that they were themselves victims of the Nazi regime. The internees ,German and Austrian nationals, had escaped from Nazi persecution to Great Britain. Many were young men studying in England.

In mid-1940, 2542 internees (including 200 Italian Fascists and 251 German Nazis) were sent to Australia on the "Dunera", a hellish voyage where all suffered privation, while many were robbed of their property and suffered brutality and physical abuse at the hands of their British guards. Arriving at Darling Harbour they were placed on trains then sent to Hay. During their 9 months in Hay they set up a university, a symphony orchestra and printed their own currency.

After 9 months they moved to Tatura and were eventually released. Many of the men felt bitter and hurt at being interned, especially as they were often housed with "enemy aliens" who were Nazi supporters. After a period of time the injustice of their situation was realised and they were permitted to return to Britain. About half of the "Dunera" internees returned to Britain while many of the rest volunteered for service in Australian Military Forces (AMF) employment companies.


Address:Dunera Way, Hay, 2711
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.497151
Long: 144.833659
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:07-September-1940
Actual Event End Date:20-May-1941


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:September-1990
Front Inscription

This Plaque Marks The 50th Anniversary Of
The Arrival From England Of 1,984 Refugees
From Nazi Oppression, Mistakenly Shipped
Out On H.M.T. "Dunera" And Interned In Camps 
7 & 8 On This Site From 7.9.1940 To 20.5.1941.

Many Joined The A.M.F. On Their Release From
Internment And Made Australia Their
Homeland And Greatly Contributed To Its

Donated By The Shire Of Hay - September, 1990.


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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