National Library of Australia
View Catalogue Record
This collection comprises the papers and memorabilia of Dutch World War II veterans who migrated to Australia. This material was collected by Edith van Loo as part of the Dutch War Veterans in Australia Oral History project. The bulk of the collection comprises papers of Dutch war veteran Paul Couvret. There are also papers of Dutch war veteran Jacobus Johannes (Jack) Dalmayer, together with other material collected during the project.
Items from this collection should be cited as 'Dutch War Veterans Archive', National Library of Australia, MS 10405, [series/file/item number(s)]'.
Please note: This finding aid may comprise or contain descriptive information provided by donors, researchers and/or volunteers.
Originally a Dutchman, Paul Couvret was born and educated in Batavia (present day Jakarta). When war broke out in the Pacific he joined the Dutch Fleet Air Arm as a Cadet Pilot Officer. In March 1942 he was evacuated from Java to continue training at Pearce Airfield in Western Australia. However, two days from Fremantle, his ship was captured by the Japanese and he was taken first to Macassar and in October 1942 transferred to Nagasaki where he worked in a shipyard as a prisoner of war. He survived the rigours of prison camp and finally the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. After liberation he spent a month in Okinawa and three months in the Philippines before being repatriated to Holland. Couvret arrived in Australia with the Dutch Fleet Air Arm in December 1945 to assist with the evacuation of prisoners of war from the East. Both his parents had been killed in Indonesia in the war, and Couvret applied to live in Australia. He was accepted and arrived at Cowra Migrant Camp in February 1949. It was here he met and married his wife Hilja, an Estonian refugee. They had four sons. He joined the NSW Department of Education and taught for 17 years in country towns before coming to Sydney in 1966. He was elected to Warringah Shire Council in 1973 and completed seven terms in local government, including four as Mayor. He retired in 1995, but continued to work tirelessly promoting peace and the abolishment of nuclear weapons, taking interest in Dutch War Veterans in Australia, as well as local and community issues. Paul Couvret died in 2013.
Written in Dutch and English
Arriving in New Zealand, arrival Australia, Victory Camp Casino, funerals of Simon Snepvangers and Kees Van Esch,LSK volunteers, Het Camp Casino, sea voyage home with survivors from Japanese POW camps in Indonesia; in Parramatta
Photographs of childhood, Camp Casino, Victory Campers reunions
Naturalization Certificate, mobilisation papers, air force papers
Jack's Story - unpublished; The 'Casino Boys' Dutch Air Force Volunteers in Australia 1945-1946 published by Karla Weller, NSW 2007
Written for army unit
Unpublished book on the life of a soldier in the tiger brigade
A tad in the tropics'
Hilja is the wife of Paul Couvret
Manuscript 'From Karu to Cowra' the autobiography of Estonian born post-war migrant
After liberation in the Philippines; Arrival in Australia; Honeymoon logbook; Military theory
Cards from the Governor General, Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister
Peter Thysee, John Franken, Pieter Tromp, Johannes Budding, David Brandon, Ben Brodie, Peter Couvret
Footprints of Nagasaki'; 'The Records of the Atomic Bombing in Nagasaki'; 'We of Nagasaki'; 'The Atom Bomb'; 'Last Stop Nagasaki'; 'Peace Ribbon Hiroshima'; 'Nagasaki Under the Atomic Bomb'; 'A Song for Nagasaki'; 'The Meaning of Survival'; 3 Japanese language books
loose diary entry (in Dutch)dated 14 August 1945 - the day Japan surrendered unconditionally to the Allies
diagram showing strength and disposition during the construction of the Thai Burma railway
MLD translation 'Naval Air Fleet'
telegram appointing PC to Deputy Principal
VHS-Bathurst Cowra Hartley to Cowra Migrant Centre, 2 x videos of B Hilbrink Uitvaarty ZKH Prins Bernhard Deel 1 & 2; DVDs - DVA Australian at War Film Archive Discs 1-5, Temora Aviation Museum interview with PC; CDs - BE20EK Stas, It's ok to mention the war ABC RN recording 2006, 3 x discs Interviewproject Nederlandse Veteranen PC with Edith van Loo; Micro cassettes history interview tape with PC 1,2 and 3
Data CD (any content on recordable CD-R)
Verbatim DVD-R 8X
Consumer formats - VHS, S-VHS etc
Microcassette / mini cassette
1 plaque is of 'Ardenbraught', home to 280 officers and men of the Royal Netherlands Naval Air Force who operated from the Catalina Flying Boat Base at Rose Bay from Dec 1945 to July 1947
Books - Zangzaad voor Kampeerders; De Gravenserie in Zuid-West Pacific; Luchtvaartwoorden; Omong Kosong; je-lah-je-rot Humor uit het Oude Indie; Die Kaapse Hugenote
UFO report from Sydney University requested by PC 2006; map of Manila
Scrapbooks of Couvret's political career 1970s