22nd Garrison Battalion (VIC/NSW) Prisoner of War Camp - "Cowra Prisoner-of-War Group"

Normal 22nd

About This Unit

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Garrison Battalions were part of the Australian Army Reserve with the role of manning fixed defences and vulnerable points. The personnel were Class B men, those between 48 and 55 who had seen war service before September 1939, therefore mostly WW1 veterans. Prisoner-of-War and Internment Camp units were part of the Garrison Battalion organisation but were on a special establishment where the need for prior war service was waived and females were sometimes included.

The first seven Garrison battalions were raised in October 1939, rising to 33 battalions plus around four individual companies by the end of the war. From 1940, in commands where more than one Garrison Battalion had been raised, a small Garrison Brigade administrative HQ was also created, of which there were five by the end of the war.

From early on some battalions had adopted a secondary title indicating their specific role, such as (Internal Security). In 1942 this was formalised and most battalions were given an appropriate secondary title.

Initially, all Garrison Battalions wore the same shoulder patch, a black square on a green square. Numerous requests were made by battalions to individualise their patches and in late 1942 the system was adopted of geometric shapes, green on black in a reversal of the original design, approval for which was dated 11 December 1942. Source (www.iwm.org.uk)