Cowra Peace Pathway Print Page
The main theme of the 60th commemoration was reconciliation and various works were carried out between Australian and Japanese organisations to facilitate the process.
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.
|Address:||Len Whitely Drive, Japanese Garden Precint, Cowra, 2794|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -33.826188|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||05-August-1944|
|Actual Event End Date:||05-August-2004|
|Approx. Monument Dedication Date:||August -2004|
Cowra Peace Pathway
(inscription in Japanese)
The First Acts of Reconciliation
On the 13th August 1944, eight days after the Breakout of Japanese Prisoners from Cowra Camp, two prisoners who had survived undetected with only rudimentary shelter and sustenance, were recaptured on "Rosedale" , a farming property owned by the Weir family. This photo shows the two POW, believed to be the last two recaptured. Much to the concern of the Army and Police, Mrs, Weir insisted upon giving the Japanese some tea and scones before they were taken back to the camp. This was in fact the second time that Mrs. Weir had done this as another three POW had been recaptured on the same farm eight days earlier. Forty years later, one of the Japanese from the second group, returned to the farm and was welcomed by the Weir family.
Cowra Breakout 60th Anniversary
Lawrence Ryan (Chairman)
Graham Apthorpe (Vice Chairman)
Tony Mooney OAM
This sign was erected in August 2004, supported by Japanese Society of Sydney Inc: Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sydney Inc.
Japan Club of Sydney Inc.