Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Memorial

The Society

The Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Society was established in 2009 to represent the interests of the families of the soldiers and civilians captured in Rabaul and the New Guinea Islands after the Japanese invasion in January 1942, many of whom are believed to have perished on the Montevideo Maru when it was torpedoed off the Philippines on 1 July 1942. The major objective of the Society was to have a memorial erected in memory of those lost. This objective was achieved when a memorial was unveiled at the Australian War Memorial on 1 July 2012. Following this, the Society was wound up in 2013, with its assets and remaining objectives being transferred to the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia.

The most reliable list of those lost with the Montevideo Maru is in the National Archives of Australia. In addition John Winterbotham has compiled a comprehensive list of the fate of all soldiers of Lark Force, which is published on this web site.

Anyone who has a connection with this event can keep in touch by becoming a member of the PNGAA. PNG Kundu, the quarterly journal of the PNGAA, includes the Memorial News, dedicated to those who lost their lives at the start of the Pacific War in New Guinea.

Note: The Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Memorial was removed into safe storage in May 2021 whilst major works are completed at the Australian War Memorial. It will remain in storage until a new suitable location is identified. It is anticipated that this will be by 2023 or 2024.

Video - Australia's greatest maritime disaster

For the 77th anniversary of the sinking, Max Uechtritz prepared a video that can be found here. Max also prepared some further information on the disaster.

When the War Came

The book, a collection of personal and family stories on the varied experiences of those in Rabaul, Kavieng and the New Guinea islands prior to WWII, is sponsored by the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru group of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia and was launched at the 75th Anniversary commemorative dinner in Canberra on 1 July 2017. It also provides an insight into life in both Australia and the then Mandated Territory of New Guinea. Limited copies are be available, by using the order form attached to an information sheet.

WWII New Guinea Islands Education Package

One of the Society's current objectives is 'Education'. An online history supplement, previously known as Project 150, has been developed by teachers to complement the Australian History curriculum. We aim to ensure it is easy to encourage students in this largely unknown but powerful and poignant Australia story—and to encourage them to be more curious about it.

The Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Group's online education package is about giving secondary students the opportunity to learn an Australian perspective of the Pacific in WW2. We are currently looking for teachers to use this outstanding resource, which includes lesson plans, background notes, worksheets, resources and and easy access to an electronic 15-minute version of Some Came Home, all to be used in conjunction or separately. For more information, see our Education page.

Kylie Adams-Collier

Kylie Adams-Collier is an Australian country singer and song writer who lost her grandfather on the Montevideo Maru. This inspired her to write the song Montevideo Mari 1942, which is on her recent album Little Stone. She is donating 50c from each album to the PNGAA to help raise awareness of the loss of the Montevideo Maru. You can buy the album from https://kylieadams-collier.bandcamp.com/track/montevideo-maru-1942

Kylie has written a poignant account of her experiences that led to her writing the song, and the growth of her association with the PNGAA, and you can read it here.


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Papua New Guinea Association of Australia