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Slide of 11th Australian Detention Staff 1944


Small, black and white slide of a group of men in military uniform, with tall foliage in the background and a small white picket fence visible in the far right of the image. The group consists of 43 men arranged into five rows, with the back three rows standing, the second front row sitting on chairs and the very front row consisting of three men sitting on the ground. All of the men in this image are in military uniform. Information accompanying the image identifies it as the 11th Australian Dentition Unit staff at Fremantle Prison in 1944.

Historical information

Image of the 11th Australian Detentions Staff, at Fremantle Prison, 1944. The original frame lists the names of those in the photograph as follows:
Back Row 1: S/Sgt Mottram, Cpl Paterson, Cpl Brown, L/Sgt Curry, Sgt Traynor, Sgt Robb, Sgt Prior, Cpl Bawler, Cpl Young.
Back Row 2: Cpt Sharp, Cpl Stedman, Cpl Tonkin, Sgt Dawes, Sgt Burwood, L/Sgt Bowler, Pre Johnson, Cpl Cook, Pte Rudeforth, Cpl O'Brien.
Back Row 3: Cpl Trout, L/Sgt Burton, Sgt Smith, Cpl Porter, L/Sgt Stuart, Sgt Calder, Cpl Bacon, Sgt Pearce, Cpl Lambert, Cpl Coen, Cpl Morell.
Sitting: Sgt Welch, S/Sgt Hillier, S/Sgt Oates, WO1 Hodge, Lieut Counsel, Major Watson, WO11 Ferguson, S/Sgt Jordon, L/Sgt Morris, Cpl Cooper.
Front Row: Cpl Wilkinson, Cpl Wood, Cpl Wilson.



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Contextual Information

Sgt Dawes, (full name Samuel Dawes), featured in this photo in Back Row 2, was the owner of the Convict Baton in the Fremantle Prison Collection (2018.3), donated by his grandson Lindsay Kippin.

In March 1940, the Australian Army took over part of Fremantle Prison as a military detention centre, becoming the 11th Australian Detention Barrack. Prisoners were separated as SNLR (Services No Longer Required - men discharged from the army prior to serving their sentences) and SUDs (Soldiers Under Detention), who were still considered members of the Australian military forces. The SNLR were housed in New Division, and SUD in 3 and 4 Division.

There was tension between the state-operated Prison and the Commonwealth-run Detention Barracks. In 1943 Prison authorities were instructed to remove all civilian prisoners, prompting a protest to the Premier, who then wrote to the Prime Minister. This led to a re-examination of the original Order-in-Council, which revealed that only the area known as New Division was demarcated to be used by the Military.

Records dating from as late as 1945 show that Fremantle Prison was still housing military prisoners, though it is possible that use for this function extended until 1946.

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Western Australia
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Related Objects

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Fremantle Prison

Fremantle Prison

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Slide of 11th Australian Detention Staff 1944

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