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Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

A monument commemorates Sister Jenny Kerr who was killed on Banka Island in 1942 during World War Two.

The Vyner Brook was attacked on the 14th of February 1942 in the Banka Strait and sank within half an hour. While all the nurses survived the bombing, many drowned or were killed by the returning Japanese planes which raked those survivors struggling in the water with deadly machine-gun fire. The 53 remaining nurses staggered ashore in various stages of exhaustion, having spent anywhere from eight to 65 hours in the water.

One group of survivors was washed ashore on Banka Island. It was a motley group, comprising nurses, soldiers and civilian men and women. Finding themselves in a desperate situation, they surrendered to Japanese soldiers on the 16th of February. The men in the group were immediately led to a beach behind a bluff. The Japanese soldiers returned alone, cleaning their rifles and bayonets in front of the horrified women. The nurses were then ordered to walk into the sea, where they were machine-gunned. Only one nurse survived, Sister Vivian Bullwinkel.


Address:Rankin Street, Woodstock, 2793
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.744008
Long: 148.849231
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:16-February-1942
Actual Event End Date:16-February-1942


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 19th November, 1954
Front Inscription

Dedicated to the memory of Sister Jenny Kerr

NX 26279  2nd A.I.F.

Who paid the supreme sacrifice

Banka Island
16 - 2 - 1942

Erected  1954

Plaque :

This memorial was unveiled by Sir John Northcott  Governor of N.S.W.
Nov. 19 1954


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