Thursday, December 15, 2016


OOPS!! Here's Some

Silly me. All my photos of the Japanese Memorial Gardens at Cowra were taken years before Unka Paddy talked me into starting this blog. So for those readers who have been trying to find images of the gardens, here are a few. The gardens are more like a formal park with clumps of plantings that look random but actually form part of very clever landscaping. It is a great place for small bears to clamber among the rocks and trees and to come back over the year to see the trees change colour (most Australian trees don't). The garden is close to the site of the old POW camp and to the Japanese War Cemetry where all of the Japanese war dead, from anywhere in Australia, have been formally buried. There is a much better collection of images, and an explanation of the ties between Cowra and Japan that developed from the POW years, on the garden's official website

Friday, December 09, 2016


Once Was POW Camp

These pictures are of the site of Australia's Number 12 Prisoner of War camp at Cowra, New South Wales. We visited the site last weekend. During World War Two the camp held mainly Italian and Japanese POWs. The Japanese were in separate compounds for officers and other ranks. On the 5th of August 1944, 1100 Japanese prisoners attempted to escape. 359 of them succeeded in breaking out and were recaptured over the next 10 days. This was the largest prison escape of the war. 4 Australian soldiers and 231 Japanese prisoners were killed and 108 Japanese wounded. Most of the escapees intended to make their way to the coast and try to get boats; they obviously had no idea of the size of Australia. The camp was operational until the last prisoners were repatriated in 1947. Many of the Italians chose to remain in Australia. Today, all that remains at the camp site are some concrete foundations of the hospitals and mess huts. The other buildings were made only of wood and have long since disappeared. There are several memorials on the site and a replica of one of the guard towers. The site is on the Australian Register of Significant Heritage Sites. Nearby are the Japanese war cemetery and a beautiful memorial garden; you can find pictures of the garden in some of my older posts.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2016


Give Way To These

On our weekend trips we often meet interesting traffic. It is harvest time at present and here are two of the wide vehicles that we met last weekend. The wheat fields around Parkes in central New South Wales are being harvested and there are lots of these machines on the roads. You can see that both of them have their off-side wheels off the edge of the road. Even so, the red one took up all of its side of the road and a bit of ours as well. We had to drive on the very edge of our side of the road as it went past. We saw some harvesters at work in the fields, but too far away to get pictures.

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