Discussions on the history and historiography of Australia's New England

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The story of Camp Victory and the Casino Boys

Last year I wrote a series of Armidale Express columns telling the story of Camp Victory and the Casino Boys. It's a fascinating story set in the context of WWII that begins with the fall of Holland to the Nazis.

This post on my general New England blog, New England Stories - Camp Victory and the Casino Boys - brings that story together.


Hels said...

What a sad story. War is nightmarish enough when everyone knows who the enemy is. Imagine the nightmare if no-one was certain any more, or if old allies changed sides. The chaos you mentioned last time was when the Japanese troops fought independence forces, British and Dutch forces fought independence forces and Indonesians fought each other. If the political situation was intolerable in Indonesia, I would not have wanted to be in Camp Victory.

Johnb said...

Complex indeed Hels, an Uncle of mine was in the 5th Parachute Brigade which was sent to the Far East, they were sent to protect and secure Dutch East Indies interest and property as Holland was in no position to do anything itself. As well as dealing with internal security in Java and Singapore they were disarming members of the Japanese Army up till VJ Day 1946 and a little beyond. On VE Day he was to the East of Hamburg meeting up,with the Russians then a fortnights leave before embarking for Java. He became good friends with a Chinese family they were billeted with but subsequently heard the family had succumbed to one of the many pogroms against the Chinese. Sukarno ultimately came to power in 1949 when the Dutch relinquished any claims and recognised an independent Indonesia. I still have a wonderful carving that was given to him as a farewell present by the family.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi both. It is complex and messy when the previouse order collapses. The same thing happened at the end of the First World War. In both cases war brought mass movement of people. The position at Camp Victory was a microcosm where order was at least maintained although there were some casualties. .