Thursday, 13 December 2007

From the Dunera Boys to this...Jones Bay

"On 10 July, 1940, the troop ship Dunera, owned by the British India Company, left Liverpool England for Australia. On board were almost 2000 German and Austrian internees, most of them Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. Also sailing with the refugees were 200 Italian Fascists and 251 German Nazis.

The eight week voyage was not a happy one, with many of the internees being mis-treated and humiliated by the British armed guards. The vessel was also attacked by a German submarine and hit by two torpedoes, both of which failed to explode.

After disembarking, the Italian and German prisoners, along witha few "doubtful" internees in Melbourne, the Dunera continued on to Sydney. Despite the obvious delight of most of the internees when they landed at Jones Bay, Australian authorities took no risks. The Sydney Morning Herald reported:

'Every thirty feet along the wharf were men armed with revolvers, and the entire wharf was surrounded by a cordon of police...' [sounds like APEC!]

Each year surviving 'Dunera Boys' and their families and friends gather to remember the day they first set foot in Sydney.

- from a commemorative plaque on the wharf.

Dunera Boys reunion 1990

A memoir of a Dunera Boy

No comments:

Post a Comment