My great grandfather John Frank Christina went to Australia in about 1914 from New Zealand.

He originally came from Austria(Northern Italy) and immigrated to NZ in 1868, where he naturalised in 1884.

Is it likely he was in an alien camp in Australia in during WW1?

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Hello Rosanna

It is possible that your great grandfather may have been interned as an alien during WWI.  When war broke out in 1914, the government enacted legislation that allowed them to hold citizens of enemy countried in internment camps.  However, internment was not applied universally.  Some enemy aliens merely had their movement restricted and they were only required to report weekly to police. 

Your great grandfather was naturalised in NZ in 1884, however, the local authorities may or may not have recognised his NZ/British citizenship. 

The National Archives of Australia holds records relating to the internment of aliens during WWI and WWII, and if your great grandfather was interned, we may have a record relating to him.  I recommend you submit an inquiry to our National Reference Service using the online form at  One of our reference officers will search the collection on your behalf.



(NAA staff)

Hi Tonia,

Thanks for your reply. I have submitted the form as you suggested.

Further searching of the archives has revealed a trip John's son Laurie Christini made returning to Fremantle on the Orsova on March 2 1924 series K269 from Naples.Can I submit a form to look at the complete passenger list?

I am fairly sure John died in the mid 1920's as his wife Bridget said she was a widow on the electoral roll (NZ).But I am not sure if John was in Australia or Italy at the time of his death. When he left NZ he said he was going to see his mother in Italy, but letters were received from him( to Laurie ) from Australia for several years.

He may have been on the pension in Australia. Are there any records for pensions?



Hi Rosanna

Yes, you can submit a reference inquiry form online for passenger records, the form is at  All of our reference inquiry forms can be located by clicking on the 'Ask us a question' link which can be found at various locations on our website  The direct link to our web forms is

We do not hold pension records in the National Archives of Australia, as these types of records are basically financial transactions and are not retained permanently. 

A useful index that is online is the Ryerson index, which can be found at This is an index to death notices appearing in Australian newspapers, with a focus on NSW but also some coverage of the other states.  You may find this gives you a clue.  also, you may find that there is a probate/will record - these aren't held by the National Archives of Australia, but one site that provides links to the different places where wills and probabte information can be found is at

One of our forum members, Debra, has extensive knowledge of the different family history resources and indexes that are available.  Maybe she will be able to provide you with more information next time she logs in. 




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