De­fend­ers set for com­mem­o­ra­tion

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Organisers of a 75th Dar­win De­fend­ers com­mem­o­ra­tion cer­e­mony in Hor­sham on Fe­bru­ary 20 hope to have two of the last sur­viv­ing De­fend­ers at the event.

In­vi­ta­tions have gone to Frank Fisher of Nhill and Ben Ken­nett, Hamil­ton, to at­tend the cer­e­mony at Hor­sham Col­lege’s I. O. Maroske Hall.

David Sud­holz, the nephew of Dar­win De­fender the late Bob Sud­holz, will be guest speaker at the gath­er­ing.

Guests will in­clude de­scen­dants and fam­ily mem­bers of Dar­win De­fend­ers and year-10 stu­dents from Hor­sham district schools.

Organisers are en­cour­ag­ing the pub­lic to at­tend to gain an un­der­stand­ing of the events based on ‘When War Came to Aus­tralia’.

Dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, on Fe­bru­ary 19, 1942, 243 Ja­panese air­craft at­tacked Dar­win against in­ad­e­quate de­fences. Bomb­ing raids con­tin­ued un­til Novem­ber 12, 1943.

The sus­tained Ja­panese attack on Dar­win and other nearby set­tle­ments re­mains one of sig­nif­i­cant events in Aus­tralian his­tory.

Sta­tioned in Dar­win at the time were 900 Wim­mera and south­ern Mallee per­son­nel, which formed the Hor­sham-based 19th Ma­chine Gun Bat­tal­ion.

A Ja­panese attack on Pearl Har­bour on De­cem­ber 7, 1941, had hor­ri­fied the world. On that day, the Ja­panese used 350 planes to drop 271 bombs and tor­pe­does.

The Ja­panese launched more than twice the fire­power used at Pearl Har­bour against Dar­win two months later.

On Fe­bru­ary 19, Ja­panese planes dropped 683 bombs, or 114,620 kilo­grams of ex­plo­sives.

A free bus will pro­vide pick-up ser­vices in Hor­sham from 8.50am. It will pick up peo­ple out­side Gar­den Vil­lage on River Road, out­side the front of Hor­sham Library and from Trin­ity Manor car park.

Peo­ple seeking in­for­ma­tion can call Sh­eryl on 0427 642 257 or Lynne on 0438 215 825. the most

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