House of Representatives, Thursday 25 June 2009
What we know of this tragedy comes from Japanese survivors who eventually reached
Through the war, Australian authorities sought information on the whereabouts of those captured at Rabaul. However, they were never informed that the Montevideo Maru was sunk with the loss of all prisoners during the war. It was not until after the war that Australian authorities discovered the tragic story. With 1 July this year being the 67th anniversary of the sinking of the ship, we will pause to remember the loss.
The servicemen lost on the Montevideo Maru are among the 12,104 casualties of World War II who have no known grave.
On 1 July this year, the Australian Ambassador to the
The families and associations with connections to the Montevideo Maru have never lost sight of the tragedy that occurred 67 years ago. That it is still shrouded in mystery must also add to their sense of loss. It is something that we as a nation should never forget, as I am sure all members would agree.
Mrs MARKUS (Greenway) (3.56 pm)—I rise on indulgence, Mr Speaker. I would like to associate the coalition with the minister’s remarks. The sinking of the Montevideo Maru with the loss of 1,053 Australian prisoners of war and civilians on 1 July 1942 is the greatest single tragedy in
More importantly, it is also one of our lesser known.
The Montevideo Maru sank after being torpedoed off the
In placing my condolences on the record today, I wish to help to bring to the attention of the Australian public this little-known sacrifice of 1,053 Australians on board the Montevideo Maru so many years ago. In particular, I wish to thank and acknowledge those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, a sacrifice that has contributed to the peace that we enjoy today.
I understand that on 1 July on the 67th anniversary of the tragedy the Australian Ambassador to the