Beasley praises ‘monumental’ Montevideo Maru discovery

The Montevideo Maru… discovered after 80 years.

THE discovery of SS Montevideo Maru within the South China Sea nearly 81 years after the tragedy is a “monumental second in conflict historical past”, says Australian Warfare Memorial chair Kim Beazley.

Greater than 1000 Australian troopers and civilians, captured by the Japanese following the autumn of Rabul died at sea on 1 July 1942 when the ship was torpedoed by the USS Sturgeon, unaware that it was carrying Allied prisoners.

Mr Beazley’s uncle, Syd Beazley, was amongst these misplaced within the tragedy.

“Discovering the positioning of Australia’s most devastating loss at sea and can assist heal Australia’s collective reminiscence for generations,” Mr Beazley mentioned.

“This has solved a World Warfare II thriller and my household’s historical past.”

Mr Beazley’s uncle was a resident of Rabaul in New Guinea’s East New Britain province, and was on board the ship.

The 2012 memorial within the grounds of the Australian Warfare Memorial commemorating these Australians who died within the defence of Rabaul, and those that later died as prisoners within the sinking of the Montevideo Maru.

“This discovery is linked to an infinite Australian tragedy, each from massacres on land and the large lack of life at sea,” Mr Beazley mentioned.

“It is a monumental second in historical past and for the households who’ve agonised and grieved about what occurred to their family members on this ill-fated ship.”

In 2009 Mr Beazley joined a gaggle of family members urging the federal authorities to launch a seek for the wreck.

Australian Warfare Memorial Director Matt Anderson mentioned: “The households on the ship had been unaware of their loves ones’ destiny till after the conflict.

“In keeping with an account from the handful of surviving Japanese crew, the Australians within the waters sang ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to their mates nonetheless trapped within the ship because it sank beneath the waves.”

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“We must always take each pleasure and luxury within the truth we stay in a rustic the place we’ve got continued, for 80 years, to search out the Montevideo Maru’s ultimate resting place. This can convey some measure of closure to the family members and, I hope, permit all those that perished, to lastly relaxation in peace.”

Final 12 months, households of those that died marked the eightieth anniversary of the tragedy on the Australian Warfare Memorial

The Australian Warfare Memorial commemorates the tragedy by a commemorative sculpture and the Memorial’s Roll of Honour.

Ship discovered 80 years after Australian maritime catastrophe

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Ian Meikle, editor