Monday, September 29, 2008


This peaceful and beautiful country town is located 4 hour drive from Sydney and two hours from Canberra, a small town with only 9,500 residents in the town. Cowra, in aboriginal dialect the word coura meant rocks, a name appropriate for a town with rocky granite surrounds, then simplified as Cowra.

The town has a heroic history of Japanese prisoners of war during WW II.Here is the history of Cowra breakout I found in the Cowra guide book:

At 1.50 am on the clear moonlit night of August 5, 1944, the largest Prisoner of War breakout in modern military history occurred at Cowra. More than 1,000 Japanese prisoners launched a mass “suicide attack” on their guard. To the Japanese, the disgrace of capture could finally be overcome by dying in armed battle. Armed with crude weapons, four groups each of approximately 300 Japanese threw themselves on to barbed wire fences and into the firing line of Vickers machine gun. Protected only by baseball mitts, blankets and coats and using their comrades as a human bridge to cross the tangled barbed wire, more than 350 Japanese clawed their way to freedom.

The Japanese War Cemetery in Cowra is the only Japanese War Cemetery to be retained in Australia, it contains the remains of those Japanese soldiers who were killed in the breakout and all Japanese nationals who died on Australian soil during WW II.

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