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Heritage Interpretation, Cowra POW Camp ruins

This suite of signs focuses on heritage interpretation – the stories of the POWs and guards. As of 2014 there are 13 signs/stories. All the timber buildings were removed at the time the camp was closed in March 1947. All that remains in the area are concrete and brick foundations plus a ‘Stone Hut’.

Date: August 2013 – July 2014
Service: Interpretive planning, shelter design, research, identify themes, write content, design, mapping, installation design, image sourcing, and project manage production.
Specs: Camp Ruins – 13 interpretive signs revealing human interest stories – showcased here

Related Projects:
Viewing Platform – 4 large interpretive signs covering the main nationalities involved – Australians, Japanese, Italians and Indonesians. Two smaller signs 900mm wide x 900mm high, one with Japanese text and the other as a tribute to the four Australians who died during the breakout.
Wayfinding – a linking walk from the Japanese Gardens to the POW Camp – 6 signs
Blades – at the entrance to the POW Camp – upright panels fixed to corten steel
Arrival Area – overview of WWII in relation to Cowra – 2 signs “War” and “Peace”
Mobile website to work as a mini tour guide – still in development

Client: Cowra Council

Cowra POW Camp – heritage interpretation in the camp ruins

Cowra is the site of the breakout by Japanese prisoners from the No 12 POW Camp, on the 5th August 1944. This is the largest prisoner of war breakout in modern military history. 231 Japanese prisoners died during the escape attempt. Four Australian soldiers also died.

Cowra POW Camp Ruins Heritage Signage

Cowra POW Interpretive Sign – Camp Ruins, Private Shepherd

The Cowra POW Camp site exists within a landscape that remains essentially the way it was during WW2. The site is the area of the only land engagement on the Australian mainland during WW2. The camp housed prisoners and internees from many countries; Japanese, Chinese (Formosan), Korean, Italian, Indonesian, Albanian and small numbers of other ethnic groups.

Arrival Area – overview of Camp Grounds and WWII in relation to Cowra – 3 signs map, war and peace

Cowra POW Camp Map Layout Heritage Signage

Cowra POW installation of map signage in camp ruins

Cowra POW Camp Arrival Area Heritage Signage

Cowra POW Interpretive Sign – Camp Arrival area – war history

Cowra POW Camp Arrival Area Heritage Signage

Cowra POW Interpretive Sign – Camp Arrival area – peace history


War History Signs, Cowra POW Camp


Categories:   Historical & Heritage, Interpretive Projects, Signage