World War I internee, alien and POW records held in Canberra – Fact sheet 58

Introduction

Internees are prisoners of war (POWs) or enemy aliens who are obliged to reside within prescribed 'camps', generally unable to leave until the termination of the related conflict or war.

During World War I internment in Australia was regulated by the War Precautions Act 1914 and its regulations. The main internment camp was at Liverpool, New South Wales. Most of the internees were Germans living in Australia who were subsequently deported.

The Archives holds many records specifically relating to internment and internees. However, references to individuals often occur in files with general titles. Also, it was not uncommon for internees to be moved from one camp to another, even to another state. Thus records that relate to individual internees may be difficult to identify, though they may exist in the collection of more than one office of the Archives.

This fact sheet identifies records of World War I internees, aliens and prisoners of war held in Canberra. Records in other offices can be identified by using the Archives' publication Finding Families: The Guide to the National Archives of Australia for Genealogists, or the Archives RecordSearch database.

Records relating to World War I internees, aliens and prisoners of war held in Canberra

Governor-General's Office (CA 1)

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesCorrespondence relating to the war of 1914–18 ('war files')1914–19A11803
SeriesGeneral correspondence (excluding 'war files')1914–20A11804

Attorney-General's Department, Central Office (CA 5)

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesCorrespondence files1904–27A456

Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesCorrespondence files1904–20A2
SeriesCorrespondence files1921–23A457
SeriesCorrespondence files1923–34A458

Investigation Branch, Central Office (CA 747)

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesEnquiries by German Red Cross about Germans in Australia1920A390
SeriesPersonal and subject files1919–46A402

2 Military District, New South Wales (CA 6335)

Clearing Office (Enemy Debts) and Public Trustee (CA 557)

Special Intelligence Bureau (CA 746) (to 1919), Investigation Branch (CA 747) (1919 to 1946), Commonwealth Investigation Service (CA 650) (from 1946)

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesCorrespondence files of the Commonwealth Investigation Service1916–60A8911
Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017