2nd / 40th Battalion Memorial GardenPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth

A rose garden commemorates the members of the 2nd / 40th Battalion that served in World War Two.

The 2/40th 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 2/40th 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:Garden
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event STart Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 23rd February, 2013
Front Inscription

2 / 40th A. I. F. Battalion

This memorial garden was dedicated to the 2/40th Battalion 1941/5 WWII by Helen Polley Senator for Tasmania 23/02/2013

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