2nd / 40th Infantry BattalionPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth

The park seat commemorates the comradeship and valour of the members of the 2nd / 40th Infantry 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 the Battalion became prisoners of war. The prisoners spent the first seven months of their captivity interned in a camp at Usapa Besar. From Java the 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:Seat
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945


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