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A former Japanese Ambassador once said that Cowra is the spiritual home of Japanese people in Australia. To think that such a sentiment should develop from the tragedy of war is testament to the goodwill of the people of Cowra who followed the example of those local exservicemen who ‘did the right thing’ over 70 years ago.

THE COWRA BREAKOUT 75TH ANNIVERSARY

The people of Cowra recognise the significance of the 75th Anniversary of the Cowra Breakout and a program of events has been scheduled between August 2nd and August 5th to commemorate the event. Official commemorative ceremonies will be held on Monday, August 5th while the preceding three days will feature a range of activities designed to showcase the important part Cowra played in the Australian war effort during WWII.

In addition to the military training camp, which saw up to 80,000 men receive basic training between 1940 and 1945, and the Cowra POW Camp (1941 – 1947) Cowra also hosted; • A feeder factory for the Lithgow Small Arms Factory, housed in the converted Showground pavilion between 1942 and 1944, • A CSR factory producing power alcohol (ethanol) from grain, • An Edgells cannery, established in 1943, producing canned vegetables for supply to Allied troops serving in the South Pacific, as well as the domestic market; and • A group of nine German Jewish families, brought to Australia at in beginning of WWII, living on farm properties about 15 miles (25 kilometres) from Cowra. Events planned from August 2nd to 4th focus on how Cowra was affected by the sudden influx of military personnel during the war years and how the town grew from the resulting increase in business opportunities. It is the hope of the organising committee that recognition of these events may form the basis of annual 1940s themed activities in the community.

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP: Cowra residents out hunting Japanese in Cowra breakout. Knives seized at Cowra breakout. Shigeru Yura at Cowra Japanese War Cemetery 2014. Wreaths laid at Cowra Japanese War Cemetery Cowra 2017.

For more information on this year’s Breakout 75th Anniversary commemorations or the Cowra Breakout in general please contact the secretary of the organising committee Lawrance Ryan on 0408 639 088 or by email at: cowrabreakout75@cowra.nsw.gov.au.

14  THE LAST POST – 2019 ANZAC DAY EDITION

Profile for The Last Post Magazine

The Last Post Magazine Anzac Day 2019  

In 2019 TLP editor Greg T Ross visited Japan under the Japan-Australia Grassroots Exchange Programme. To commemorate the visit and the prog...

The Last Post Magazine Anzac Day 2019  

In 2019 TLP editor Greg T Ross visited Japan under the Japan-Australia Grassroots Exchange Programme. To commemorate the visit and the prog...

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