This stone monument located in the Arakoon National Park at Trial Bay is dedicated to all residents of German descent who were interned in the Trial Bay Gaol.
The gaol was initially built in the period 1877 to 1886 to house prisoners who were constructing a breakwater to make the bay safer. In 1903 the gaol was abandoned but was re-opened in 1915 to house German wartime internees.
The Germans constructed a monument on the hill above Laggers Point in memory of five detainees who had died. The bodies of three internees were buried at the monument:
There is an interpretation on the western side of the monument: 'The Hidden Cost of War' with details of three of the internees.
The monument was destroyed in 1919 [German Monument, (1919, July 11). The Urana Independent and Clear Hills Standard, p. 1.] and then rebuilt in 1959-1960 with funds provided by the German Consulate and assistance from the Macleay Shire Council and Kempsey Rotary Club. A detailed history of the monument has been published here: World War One Prisoners of War at Trial Bay [Zivil Lager (Internment Camp) (viewed 20/6/2018)]
Inscription In German
Built 1918, DESTROYED 1919, RESTORED 1960
The original Monument was built by internees in memory of five compatriot Germans held at Trial Basy: another had drowned off Laggers' Point.
Two others died in Sydney.
In a wartime climate of paranoia and suspicion, a rumour began that signals were being relayed from this location to a German Raider Ship - the Wolf - reportedly on patrol just north of the Bay.
Fearing a rescue mission, military authorities swiftly moved internees to Holsworthy, south-west of Sydney and the camp was closed.
A year later, thousands of Australian diggers returned home wounded or gassed from the war.
In 1960, as a gesture of goodwill, the Rotary Club of Kempsey with the local Council, acting as Administrator, restored the Monument with funding from the German Consul. The Monument is now recognised as a German War Grave.
Help us record history by adding to its record.