About Clare McMurray
Clare McMurray, with her strong upbringing of compassion and social justice, left her home in Scotland to do relief work in the Displaced Persons Camps of Europe.
At the age of 27, Clare volunteered with 'Save the Children Fund' to do welfare work amongst the refugees and displaced persons.
Over the next 4 years, (1948-1951) Clare worked in a number of camps in Austria and Trieste (now Italy) and this collection includes photos, camp reports, paintings and handcrafted gifts from refugees given to Clare in appreciation of her work, support and care.
Clare worked for several voluntary organisations (Save the Childrens Fund, The International Refugee Organisation, The Worlds YMCA/YWCA) undertaking welfare work with displaced people.
Clare made a deep impression on fellow workers as well as people living in the camps. The collection of material assembled here by Clare's daughter Katherine is testament to Clare's skills and compassion that resulted in making a difference to the lives of many people who were displaced in Europe after World War 2.
On discovering the depth of material that Clare had kept from her time in the camps, (sadly thirty years after Clare's sudden death in 1991) Katherine recognised that in this material there are many peoples' stories.
Clare migrated to Australia in 1956 with her husband Frank Wositzky (formerly spelt Vosicky) a refugee from Czechoslovakia whom she met in the camps, son Jan and daughter Katherine. The youngest child Helen was born in Australia where Clare and Frank continued to advocate for refugees and for social justice. Clare was one of the key speakers in World Refugee Year (1960) and Co-founder of Amnesty International in Australia (1961).
This website has been put together in the hope that anyone searching for information on their families or life in the camps, will be able to find out more – possibly even identify people in the photos.
I am happy to hear more or receive information that can add to this collection.
This is a personal collection and reflection of life in the camps, intended as information share. It is not an official website of the Displaced Persons Camps nor of the organisations that worked in the camps.
Clare was awarded the 'Order of Merit' and the 'Diploma of Merit' from the International Union of Child Welfare in Geneva (in 1950) for outstanding service to the cause of child welfare, and the 'City of Vienna Medal for Refugee Work in Austria.