rabaul memorial

RABAUL MEMORIAL
Little Cyclone
By Airey Neave

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 Pollock, Francis Milligan

    SURNAME Pollock FORENAME Francis Milligan UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Corporal NUMBER VX51076 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 21 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 11 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Francis Milligan and Elizabeth Riddell Pollock,East...
  2. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Pickford, William John

    SURNAME Pickford FORENAME William John UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX57238 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 21 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Charles and Leah Pickford,Newtown,New South Wales POW...
  3. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Philpott, Alan Edward

    SURNAME Philpott FORENAME Alan Edward UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Sergeant NUMBER VX50161 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 29 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 11 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of David Charles and Clara May Philpott,Geelong,Victoria POW...
  4. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Petersen, Harvey James

    SURNAME Petersen FORENAME Harvey James UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER QX7985 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 23 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Peter William and Kathleen Sarah Petersen,Harvey...
  5. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Pemble, Neville Thomas Francis

    SURNAME Pemble FORENAME Neville Thomas Francis UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX55192 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 22 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Charles Edward and Kate Pemble POW 2.2.1942 at sea...
  6. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Pearce, Jack Norman

    SURNAME Pearce FORENAME Jack Norman UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX27364 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 25 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Jack and Christian Pearce,Leichhardt,New South Wales POW...
  7. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Patterson, William Stuart

    SURNAME Patterson FORENAME William Stuart UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Sergeant NUMBER VX20713 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 31 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 11 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Hugh and Grangie Stuart Patterson,Casterton,Victoria...
  8. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Patterson, Bruce George

    SURNAME Patterson FORENAME Bruce George UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX36777 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 22 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of George Henry William and Jessie Margaret Helen...
  9. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Paine, Robert Langsford

    SURNAME Paine FORENAME Robert Langsford UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER SX10876 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 29 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Arthur Robert and Alice Mary Paine,Bridgewater,South...
  10. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Olsen, Colin James

    SURNAME Olsen FORENAME Colin James UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER QX14904 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 22 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Samuel and Florence Olsen,Tuchekoi,Queensland POW 2.2.1942 at...
  11. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Norton, Ronald Edmund George

    SURNAME Norton FORENAME Ronald Edmund George UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER VX48165 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 23 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Percy Victor and Ida Violet Norton,East...
  12. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Noonan, Alexis Patrick

    SURNAME Noonan FORENAME Alexis Patrick UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Corporal NUMBER SX6384 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 28 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 11 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Patrick Joseph and Bridget Anne Noonan,Georgetown,South...
  13. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Nolan, Charles

    SURNAME Nolan FORENAME Charles UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER WX10520 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 23 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Charles William and Beatrice Nolan,Victoria Park,Western Australia...
  14. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Nicholson, Sydney Louis

    SURNAME Nicholson FORENAME Sydney Louis UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX66807 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 21 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 13 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Thomas and Nesta Violet Adele Nicholson,Merrylands,New...
  15. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Murray, Norman Joseph

    SURNAME Murray FORENAME Norman Joseph UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER VX35780 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 34 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 13 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of John and Edith Isabel Murray,Kew,Victoria POW 2.2.1942 at...
  16. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Munro, John Campbell

    SURNAME Munro FORENAME John Campbell UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Lance Corporal NUMBER NX65623 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 34 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 12 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of George Ross and Geraldine Edith Munro,Unley...
  17. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Morton, William Edward

    SURNAME Morton FORENAME William Edward UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX65604 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 30 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 13 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of William Louis and Louisa Morton,Strathfield,New South...
  18. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Morell, John Francis

    SURNAME Morell FORENAME John Francis UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NGX466 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 23 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 13 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of James Francis and Harriet Lucy Morell husband of Bessie...
  19. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Moffat, Albert Edward

    SURNAME Moffat FORENAME Albert Edward UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX58485 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 29 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 13 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Thomas and Jessie Emily Moffat,Annandale,New South Wales...
  20. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Miller, Hamish Williamson

    SURNAME Miller FORENAME Hamish Williamson UNIT 2/1 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX67436 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 38 GRAVESITE Rabaul Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 13 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Kenneth Fraser and Margaret Jane Miller husband of...
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