Ballarat POW Memorial Victoria Australia

Discussion in 'Memorials & Cemeteries' started by spidge, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. spidge

    spidge Active Member


    A Dedication Service was held at the Ballarat Botanical gardens on Friday 6th February 2004 for the Australian ex-Prisoners of War Memorial. The service was officially opened by the Chief of the Defence Force, General Peter Cosgrove, AC MC.
    The Memorial honours more than 35,000 Australian men and women who were held prisoners during the Boer War, the First World War, the Second World War and the Korean War. About 8,600 Australian Prisoners of War died in captivity and of these, 4,000 have no known grave. The Memorial also honours 59 Australian Nurses who were captured and held as Prisoners during World War 2.

    The POW Memorial - Joan and Brian Turner (Joan, nee Ashby - ex Kavieng - was evacuated 28 December 1941
    The Monument is a stark 130 metre long, highly polished black granite wall, engraved with the names of all Australian Prisoners of war who were in the Australian Forces. At the end of the granite wall where the pathway ends there is a large stone simply engraved “Lest We Forget”. Water flows from beneath the stone along the base of the granite wall and into the Reflection Pool in which Obelisks stand. This cycle of flowing water symbolising spirituality, healing, cleansing, birth and re-birth.

    At the centre of the Memorial are six large basalt obelisks with the names of all countries where Australians were held as prisoners of war. As mentioned, the Obelisks stand in a large Reflection Pool with one falling across the pool to represent those who have no known grave.

    The Obelisks
    Local sculptor Peter Blizzard designed the Memorial, which was built by a Ballarat Construction firm.

    On Saturday 7th February, a Commemoration Service was held for those who died on board the Montevideo Maru. On the 22nd June 1942 the Japanese ordered 945 Prisoners of War and 208 Civilians to board the Montevideo Maru for transport to Japan. On 1st July 1942, an American submarine attacked and sank the ship; it bore no markings to indicate that it carried 1153 Prisoners of War that were locked in its holds. There were no survivors and no indication of its sinking was given by the Japanese Government. The sinking of the Montevideo Maru is the larges maritime disaster in Australian history.

    Mr John Clark represented the relatives of all those who died on the Montevideo Maru. Mrs Lorna Johnston (nee Whyte) was a nurse taken prisoner and sent to Japan 1942-45. Mrs Johnston spoke of her time as a prisoner with other nurses in Japan. Mrs Margaret Henderson laid a wreath for the relatives of civilians that were lost. The civilian’s names are not recorded on the Memorial.
  2. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Montevideo Maru Memorial at Ballarat POW Memorial - Lost Lives - The Second World War and the islands of New Guinea

    Montevideo Maru Sinking

    The memorial reads:-
    to those who died on the
    Montevideo Maru
    1st July 1942 On the 23rd January 1942, the Japanese invaded Rabaul on the island of New Britain and quickly defeated the small Australian Garrison - Lark Force
    About 160 of the Australian soldiers who surrendered were massacred in February at Tol Plantation
    On 22nd June 1942, the Japanese ordered 845 POWs and 208 civilian internees to board the Japanese ship, Montevideo Maru, for transport to Japan. The ship bore no markings to indicate that it carried POWs. The POWs were members of the 2/22 Battalion AIF, New Guinea Rifles, an Anti-Tank Battery, an Anti-Aircraft Battery, Coastal Defence Battery, a RAAF group and a detachment of the 2/20 Field Ambulance. (Uniquely, the members of the 2/22 Battalion Band were all members of Salvation Army Bands).
    On 1st July 1942 an American submarine, the USS Sturgeon, attacked and sank the Montevideo Maru unaware that more than 1000 POWs were locked in its holds. There were no survivors. No indication of its sinking, or of the tragic loss of life was given by the Japanese Government.
    The sinking of the Montevideo Maru is the largest maritime disaster in Australian History
    [​IMG]Montevideo Maru Memorial, Ballarat
    7 February 2004
    [​IMG]Ballarat POW Memorial
    7 February 2004
  3. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    MIght check that out in December when over in Vic, Geoff.

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