Gaythorne Internment and Prisoner of War Camp

Enoggera (Gallipoli) Army Barracks

Internment/POW facility
Brisbane City

Bliss and Newman Streets, Gaythorne 4051

The Gaythorne concentration camp was established during WWI, initially to hold the crews of German merchant vessels arrested at the outbreak of war. The camp was adjacent to the existing military camp at Enoggera. It was closed in 1915 but was re-established at the same location in 1940 by the Australian military authorities.


Enlarged by 1942 to accommodate 1800 internees, the Gaythorne camp was comprised of five compounds. While many of the camp’s original occupants were civilian nationals of Germany or Austria, others included Indonesian, Finnish, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese and Albanian citizens.

From early 1943 Chinese internees at southern camps were being transferred to Brisbane to work on dockyard construction. There were still 87 Chinese at Gaythorne in August 1944, though the following month their release was ordered. Their release was comparatively slow and there were still a number being released from Gaythorne in February 1945 to work as labourers at the US Army base at Bulimba. The last Chinese internees appear to have been transferred to the Liverpool PW&I camp in May 1946. A large number of Albanian internees were sent to Gaythorne in 1942, while Portuguese nationals detained there were moved to Liverpool camp in NSW in September 1943.

Military prisoners were also detained at Gaythorne. Japanese servicemen were held in large numbers from 1942. A number were interrogated at the ATIS compound at Indooroopilly. From mid-1943 to March 1944 there was a gradual transfer of Japanese prisoners of war to Cowra in NSW, the site of the infamous Japanese POW breakout in August of that year. From 1943 Italian prisoners of war at Cowra were transferred in batches to the Gaythorne camp, some remaining there until at least 1946.

The PW&I camp was maintained by 2 Australian Prisoner of War Guard Company of the 1st Australian Garrison Battalion. The 112 AGH treated prisoners during 1942, however by late war the Warwick-based 67 Australian Camp Hospital maintained a hospital in the camp. The camp appears to have been dismantled in 1946.


NAA Series A10857, IV/120B, Gaythorne Prisoners of War and Internment Camp, barcode 7761642.

NAA BP129/1, NCCR 255/2/617, Chinese Prisoners of War [POWs] recaptured in New Guinea - barcode 335367

NAA Series BP242/1, Q30728, List of Albanians transferred from Cowra to Gaythorne for release 1 December 1942] barcode 3385297

NAA Series BP242/1, Q39917, Nominal Roll - Transferred Internees [Italian Prisoner of War 1.11.44, Japenese POW tranferred from Gaythorne to Cowra, and Italians POW from Cowra to Gaythorne]. barcode 336208.