Summary

Australia New South Wales Liverpool
Souvenir of Liverpool Camps c. 1916 (AD)
Mint: not recorded
Other Details: Brass badge with green enamel ring, issued to commemorate the experience of Prisoner of War held in the Liverpool Camps during World War I. The obverse features a kneeling soldier, aiming a rifle.

Obverse Description

At centre within green enameled ring, soldier kneeling aiming rifle left; around, *.* A SOUVENIR OF *.* LIVERPOOL CAMPS

Reverse Description

Plain

Edge Description

Plain

Significance

In response to the outbreak of war in 1914, the Federal Government passed a War Precautions Act that allowed citizens of enemy countries to be interned for the period of the war. German subjects in Australia were immediately required to report to their nearest police station. Austrians were soon included in this directive. Internment was not applied universally. Some 'enemy aliens' merely had their movements restricted and were required to report to police each week. Those interned included women and children from British possessions in Asia, sailors arrested on ships in Australian ports and Germans held as prisoners of war (including the crew of the raider, Emden)

Until November 1915 destitute alien men could be interned on a voluntary basis, with a small weekly allowance paid to their families. Many who were unemployed because of their German connections took advantage of this provision. By 1916 the War Precautions (Alien Restriction) Regulations required all non-British subjects aged fifteen and over to register with the authorities.

The largest internment camp in Australia during World War I was at Holdsworthy (later spelt Holsworthy), near Liverpool. The camp held 6,890 internees, most of German or Austrian ancestry. Most were of the 4,500 Australians held were residents of New South Wales, although later in the war interstate internees began to arrive as camps elsewhere were closed. Many were gold fields workers from Western Australia, originally from states within the Austro-Hungarian Empire such as Serbia, Croatia and Dalmatia.

Many internees were deported after the war.

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