Friday 16 March 2018

The "Gut Factory" - an update

After publishing our previous blog about the "Gut Factory" at Ingleburn, we were lucky enough to be contacted by a grandson of Wilhelm Klages, who was able to give us some more information about the family.
Wilhelm Klages was born in Elberfeld, Germany, on the 17th September 1885.  He studied Chemistry at the University of Kiel. He married his first wife Katarina Roeser at the age of 22 in Berlin in 1908. They had a son, Frederick, but after Katarina and Wilhelm divorced, Frederick lived with his Roeser grandparents for some of his early years.
Meanwhile, Wilhelm moved to Switzerland and married Dora Ziegler, gaining Swiss citizenship. He returned to Germany to reclaim his son Frederick and took him back to Switzerland.

Wilhelm Klages (Campbelltown City Library)
In 1921 the family moved to Japan. There, Wilhelm worked for the Tansan Kobe mineral water company. Whilst there, the family lived through the Great Japan Earthquake of 1923.
During 1927 and 1928 the family, Wilhelm, Dora, Frederick, and Frederick's three half-brothers Ulrich (later known as Eric), Arthur and Arnold moved to Australia.
It was from this time that the family settled in Ingleburn and Wilhelm started up the gut factory - (see previous blog).
The boys grew up during the years between the wars. Unfortunately, all but Frederick had Swiss citizenship, so when WWII broke out, Frederick was interned while his son James was still a baby, being sent to Alice Springs and Butlers Gorge in Tasmania.
Thanks so much to James, Frederick's son, who provided this great information to us!

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