2nd / 40th Battalion CasualtiesPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth

A park seat commemorates the members of the 2nd / 40th Battalion who did not return from World War Two and who died or were killed in Timor, the Burma-Thai Railway, Nagasaki and the sinking of the ship "Tamahoko Maru".

The 2nd / 40th Infantry Battalion was the only battalion in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) recruited almost entirely from Tasmania. After months of training at Brighton Army Camp, it joined a detachment called Sparrow Force, sent on an impossible mission to defend the island of Timor from imminent Japanese invasion.

In February 1942 they were confronted by a force of 23,000 Japanese troops. After four days of heavy fighting, cut off, low on supplies and completely outnumbered, most of Sparrow Force had to surrender.

Consequently, the bulk of 2/40th became prisoners of war. The 2nd / 40th prisoners spent the first seven months of their captivity interned in a camp at Usapa Besar. From Java the 2/40th prisoners were dispersed throughout Japan’s conquered territory. They were liberated in late-August and early September 1945.


Address:Paterson Street, Kings park, Launceston, 7250
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -41.440143
Long: 147.129954
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Seat
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event STart Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945


Front Inscription

Dedicated to the 2nd / 40th members who did not return from WWII.  
Timor, Burma-Thai Railway, Nagasaki and those 81 lives lost on the sinking of the "Tamahoko Maru" June 25th 1944

Lest We Forget

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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