Hill, James A (Merchant Seaman)

Accession Number MSS2045
Collection type Manuscript
Measurement 1 wallet: 1 cm
Object type Manuscript
Maker Hill, James A
Date made 11 January 1974
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Related to the Second World War experiences of Merchant Seaman James A Hill . Photocopy of typescript entitled 'Empty Horizons' by James A Hill. He was 3rd Engineer on SS Mareeba, when it was sunk by the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran (HSK-8) on 16 June 1941 in the Bay of Bengal. Subsequently taken prisoner by the Germans, Hill first travelled by boat and then was interned at a series of POW camps in Europe including the Vannes area in France, and finally near the village of Kirchtimke in the district of Rothenberg, Germany. Hill spent almost four years in captivity and the memoirs contain quotations from the diary he kept, as well as retrospective comments on his time as a POW. Theatre productions, sports programs, poor rations and illness, war news trickling into the camp, and the tortuous wait for Red Cross parcels, are all vividly described. Hill was liberated around 19 April 1945 and the last section details his passage to Brussells, a stay in and around London, and the journey back to Sydney.

History / Summary

James A Hill was an engineer in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War. After the war he worked as an engineer at the Morwell Briquette and Power Station in Victoria. His memoirs were typed up in 1974.