2nd / 40th Infantry BattalionPrint Page Print this page

21-October-2013 (Arthur Garland)
21-October-2013 (Arthur Garland)

Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland / Peter F Williams

The monument commemorates the members of the 2nd / 40th Infantry Battalion who served in World War Two. Buried under the monument is a scroll with the names of all the 919 members of the battalion, of which 271 died in combat or as prisoners of war.

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. Most of the battalion were confined in a prisoner of war camp in Java.




Address:Davies Avenue, Queens Domain, Hobart, 7000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.875842
Long: 147.333375
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
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 Battalion

Sparrow Force

In memory of the officers and men of the 2 / 40th Battalion A.I.F. formed in Tasmania - and attached units of "Sparrow Force".

On 23 February 1942 this small unsupported force on Timor were forced to capitulate to a massive Japanese invasion force. After four days of intensive fighting 48 were killed in action and 130 wounded.

In September 1942 "Sparrow Force" were shipped to Java.  In early January 1943, about 450 were sent to Singapore mostly to work on the infamous Burma Railway and then on to Japan to work in the coal mines. On the way, 87 from the Battalion were drowned when the Tamahoke Maru was torpedoed approaching Nagasaki by the U.S.S. Tang.

We left 242 of our comrades behind.

Lest We Forget

Unveiled on 23 February 2013


Left Side Inscription

Lest We Forget

Right Side Inscription

Lest We Forget

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