rabaul memorial

RABAUL MEMORIAL
SAS with the Maquis
By Ian Wellsted
SOG Chronicles: Volume One
By John Stryker Meyer

RABAUL MEMORIAL​

HISTORY INFORMATION
Between 1884 and 1914, New Britain was known as New Pomerania and part of German New Guinea. On the 11th September 1914, in one of Australia's first actions of the 1914-18 war, its troops seized the German wireless station at Bitapaka near Rabaul. After the war, the island became part of the Territory of New Guinea, which was an Australian mandated territory. The site of the wireless station became the War Cemetery.

In January 1942, after three weeks of air bombardment, Rabaul was attacked by the Japanese from the sea, and overwhelming odds soon broke the defence. It is estimated that against the original garrison of 1,400 the Japanese landed 17,000 men in the immediate vicinity of Rabaul. The defenders split into small groups and while some 400 managed to escape by sea a great number were killed or captured. Of the latter, some 160 were murdered by the Japanese near Tol in February, whilst most of the remainder, plus some 200 civilians, were drowned when the ship, the Montevideo Maru, was torpedoed and sunk whilst moving them to the Philippines. Nevertheless a number of the original garrison ran the gauntlet of the Japanese patrol and reached Australian territory in small vessels, overlooked when the Japanese commander sent destroyers steaming up and down the coast smashing all the boats to be found.

Small forces on New Ireland, which lies near and north-north-east of New Britain, had been attacked and overwhelmed on January 21st, 1942. It was not until November 1944 that New Britain was again the scene of fighting, when the 5th Australian Division landed at Jacquinot Bay, and the 11th Division at Wide Bay. The two Divisions cleared the north and south coasts and bottled up the enemy in the Gazelle Peninsula. Here the Japanese were contained until the final surrender in August 1945, when the number of their troops was found to be nearly 90,000.

The Rabaul Memorial commemorates over 1,200 members of the Australian Army (including personnel of the New Guinea and Papuan local forces and constabulary) and the Royal Australian Air Force, who lost their lives in New Britain and New Ireland in January and February 1942 or who were lost as a result of the sinking of the S.S. Montevideo Maru in July 1942 and those in New Britain from November 1944 to August 1945, who have no known grave. Men of the Royal Australian Navy who lost their lives in the south-western Pacific region and who have no graves but the sea, are commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial in England along with many of their comrades of the Royal Navy and other Commonwealth Naval Forces.

The Memorial takes the form of an avenue of stone pylons leading from the entrance building to the Cross of Sacrifice. Bronze panels bearing the names are affixed to the faces of the pylons. A central stone lectern at the commencement of the avenue carries a bronze plate with the following dedicatory inscription:

AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM

IN THIS PLACE ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS WHO DIED DURING THE 1939-1945 WAR IN THE NEW BRITAIN AREA, ON LAND, AT SEA AND IN THE AIR, BUT TO WHOM THE FORTUNES OF WAR DENIED THE KNOWN AND HONOURED BURIAL GIVEN TO THEIR COMRADES IN DEATH

The memorial was unveiled in October 1953 by Field Marshal Sir William Slim, Governor-General of Australia.
  1. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Yerbury, Ronald Henry

    SURNAME Yerbury FORENAME Ronald Henry UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX66145 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 23 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Edgar Charles and Annie Catherine Terbury,Swansea,Wales POW...
  2. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Woolley, Frank Sydney

    SURNAME Woolley FORENAME Frank Sydney UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX66421 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 29 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Frank Allwood and Anne Woolley,Earlwood,New South Wales POW...
  3. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Woodward, Cyril John

    SURNAME Woodward FORENAME Cyril John UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Lance Corporal NUMBER NX41199 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 37 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 12 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of John and Cecilia Woodward husband of Lavinia Mary...
  4. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Willding, Lindsay Roy

    SURNAME Willding FORENAME Lindsay Roy UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX32294 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 25 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Alfred George and Emmeline Edith Willding,Forbes,New South...
  5. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Watson, Thomas John

    SURNAME Watson FORENAME Thomas John UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER WX7307 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 27 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of William John and Sarah Ann Watson,Mount Lawley,Western...
  6. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Walker, Walter Henry

    SURNAME Walker FORENAME Walter Henry UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Corporal NUMBER SX7253 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 37 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 12 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Benjamin and Marian Eliza Walker POW 2.2.1942 at sea lost...
  7. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Uhlman, Stanley Gordon

    SURNAME Uhlman FORENAME Stanley Gordon UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER VX44347 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 31 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Claud John and Mabel Florence Uhlman,Brunswick,Victoria...
  8. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Turner, William Samuel James

    SURNAME Turner FORENAME William Samuel James UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Lance Corporal NUMBER NX66006 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 28 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 12 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Sydney James Jelly and Elsie May Turner...
  9. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Turner, Sidney Stewart

    SURNAME Turner FORENAME Sidney Stewart UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Lance Corporal NUMBER NX57050 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 26 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 12 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Mark Sylvester and Jessie Turner,Willoughby,New...
  10. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Turner, Dudley James

    SURNAME Turner FORENAME Dudley James UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX57052 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 22 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Mark Sylvester and Jessie Turner,Willoughby,New South Wales...
  11. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Turner, Daryl George

    SURNAME Turner FORENAME Daryl George UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX57051 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 19 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Mark Sylvester and Jessie Turner,Willoughby,New South Wales...
  12. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Turnbull, Harold Patrick

    SURNAME Turnbull FORENAME Harold Patrick UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER QX10965 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 23 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of John Thomas and Jessie Mary Veronica...
  13. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Tole, John Francis Michael

    SURNAME Tole FORENAME John Francis Michael UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX55921 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 27 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Clarence Frederick and Henrietta Tole,Paddington,New...
  14. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Tippetts, William Alan

    SURNAME Tippetts FORENAME William Alan UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Corporal NUMBER SX3594 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 26 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 12 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of William Lucas and Florence Emily Tippetts,Boronia,Victoria...
  15. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Thornton, Jack

    SURNAME Thornton FORENAME Jack UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX55649 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 26 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Norman Featherstone and Pearl Whitaker Thornton,Newtown,New South...
  16. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Thomson, John Allan

    SURNAME Thomson FORENAME John Allan UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Corporal NUMBER NX60643 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 25 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 12 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Harold William and Ruth Isabel Thomson husband of Dora Janet...
  17. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Thompson, William Henry

    SURNAME Thompson FORENAME William Henry UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER QX10964 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 27 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of A. and Mrs Thompson,Neutral Bay,New South Wales POW...
  18. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Taylor, Wilfred Edward

    SURNAME Taylor FORENAME Wilfred Edward UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Corporal NUMBER VX39812 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 24 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 11 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Robert and Edith Blanche Taylor,Geelong,Victoria POW...
  19. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Stewart, Leslie Walter

    SURNAME Stewart FORENAME Leslie Walter UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX25683 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 26 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Walter Anderson and Ada Beatrice Stewart,Bankstown...
  20. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Starkey, Alan George

    SURNAME Starkey FORENAME Alan George UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Sergeant NUMBER NX59082 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 41 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 11 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of William A.G. and Theodosia Isobel Starkey,Brookvale,New...
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