2020 marks 75 years since the end of the Second World War. To commemorate this important year, the NSW Government is interviewing WWII veterans about their experiences. Read our 75th Anniversary Stories.
A memorial in the form of a relief sculpture, with accompanying explanatory panel, attached to a brick wall. The memorial is dedicated to the four Australians killed in the 'Cowra Breakout' during the Second World War.
On 5 August 1944, Japanese Prisoners of War (POWs) housed in the detention camp in Cowra, New South Wales staged an outbreak. Armed with improvised weapons including baseball bats and sharpened mess knives, they stormed the perimeter fences and overcame the machine gun posts. Never likely to be successful, the outbreak resulted in the death of 231 Japanese prisoners, with a further 108 wounded. All survivors were recaptured in the surrounding countryside in the days that followed. Four Australians were killed. Privates Benjamin Gower Hardy, Ralph Jones and Charles Henry Shepherd were killed in the breakout. Lieutenant Harry Doncaster was killed when ambushed during the recapture of the prisoners. Hardy and Jones were posthumously awarded the George Cross.
Pt. Ralph Jones Pt. Benjamin Hardy Pt. Charles Shepherd Lt. Harry Doncaster
The winding stream flows on, and knows not to what it flows
And on the surface float the fallen leaves of autumn.
They, too, are swept on, unknowing
Shiohibe Makiushuna d. 5.Aug. 1944
In the early hours of 5 August 1944 more than 1000 Japanese prisoners of war attempted a mass break-out from the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp. A total of 231 Japanese died during the break-out and in the nine days afterwards. Four Australians were killed on that day. Private Benjamin Hardy, Private Ralph Jones, Private Charles Shepherd and Lieutenant Harry Doncaster. Privates Hardy and Jones were subsequently awarded the George Cross for outstanding gallantry. This memorial is dedicated to the memory of the four Australians who lost their lives and to the spirit of understanding which exists fifty years after the event.
5 August 1944.
LEST WE FORGET
Bill Peterson President Cowra Services Club
A (Phil) Cooper President Cowra Breakout Assoc.
Rod Blume Mayor Cowra Shire Council.
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