The year 1942 will be remembered many times throughout 2017 as we reflect on 75 year anniversaries of World War Two and the various battles that were taking place across the world.
February 15 is the 75th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore, where a week of heavy fighting and casualties resulted in the British command surrendering to Japanese forces. The island of Singapore was considered a vital part of the British Empire and supposedly impregnable as a fortress. Under increased pressure from the relentless Japanese advance, approximately 7,500 allied troops were killed in battle, and 130,000 allied troops were forced to surrender, including 15,000 Australians forced into captivity.
February 16 is the 75th Anniversary of the Radji Beach Massacre in the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia, where soldiers and nurses from the SS Vyner Brooke sought refuge after their ship was sunk by Japanese aircraft. The men and women initially surrendered but were then killed by Japanese forces. Vivian Bullwinkel, a nurse from Kapunda, was the only woman to survive the massacre and lived to tell the story after three and a half years in captivity.
February 19 is the 75th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin, the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia. The first attack, at 10.00am, involved 188 aircraft and the second attack, at 11.45am, involved 54 land-based bombers. The two raids killed 235 people with a further 400 wounded.
Services to commemorate the Bombing of Darwin are being held on February 19 in Darwin (9.30am at the Cenotaph), Alice Springs (9.30am at Alice Springs RSL), Salisbury RSL (9.45am at Salisbury War Memorial, Orange Ave, Salisbury) and the Repatriation General Hospital (11.00am at The Chapel).