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03-May-2015
03-May-2015

Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

A Memorial Park commemorates Sister Jenny Kerr who was killed on Banka Island in 1942 during World War Two. A memorial sign was installed in the park and unveiled on Anzac Day 2015. 

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.

A memorial park is to be established at Woodstock in honour of the late Sister Jenny Kerr who was killed by the Japanese during the last war. Already an amount of £136 has been donated towards the project. A public meeting was held Woodstock recently to initiate the appeal. The meeting was largely attended.  A committee was elected to raise funds for the memorial.  Mr. Reg Hailstone was voted President of this committee. The memorial will take the form of a children's park and and playground and will be called Jenny Kerr Memorial Park. It is to be built on a vacant land adjacent to the post office. 
Lyndhurst Shire Chronicle (NSW), 2 April 1952.

The Governor, Sir John Northcott is to visit Woodstock next Friday, November 19. He will unveil memorials to two Woodstock residents, Nurse Jenny Kerr and Arnold Bennett, who lost their lives in World War II. The Governor will also visit Darby's Falls and the hydro-electric station and power house at Wyangala Dam.
Land (Sydney, NSW),  12 November 1954.

Location

Address:Rankin Street, Woodstock, 2793
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.744071
Long: 148.849449
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Park
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Military
Actual Event STart Date:16-February-1942
Actual Event End Date:16-February-1942

Dedication

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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