2nd / 40th Battalion ComradeshipPrint Page
A park seat commemorates the comradeship and valour of the members of the 2nd / 40th Battalion and the women and families who supported them.
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|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||03-September-1939|
|Actual Event End Date:||15-August-1945|
Dedicated to the comradeship and valour of the 2 / 40th and those women and families who stood behind them during 1941 - 45 and those Timorese people who assisted those who did not return.