Monday, 23 April 2012

Anzac Day And Finding Darcy

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Wednesday is Anzac Day, a day Australians commemorate not only the anniversary of  Australian and New Zealand forces landing on the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula, but also the sacrifices made by so many Australians in many conflicts across the world.

As usual, I'll spend the day at the MCG with a dear friend, watching Collingwood play Essendon, enjoying the Anzac commemorations and hoping for a Pies win. 

North of Australia, families of civilians and members of "Lark Force" - the 2/22nd Battalion, will gather in Rabaul to mark 70 years since Japanese troops attacked, over-ran and captured the pacific islands of New Britain and New Ireland, and well as launching an assault on New Guinea.
At the Shrine of Rememberance, Melbourne.

The fall of Rabaul and the subsequent loss of over 1054 lives on the Japanese prisoner of war ship, the Montevideo Maru, is  at the heart of my young adult novel Finding Darcy.

Finding Darcy is loosely based on my own grandfather's experiences. He was a member of 2/22nd Battalion, C company and is listed as having been aboard the Montevideo Maru when it sank.

As much as I wanted to be in Rabaul for Anzac Day, 2012, it just wasn't possible. I am, however, attending the dedication of the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Memorial at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on July 1 and am very much looking forward to it.

You can find out more by reading Finding Darcy, of course, or by checking out the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru website where you can learn more about Rabaul, the Montevideo Maru and the stories of those who fought, including my grandfather, Pte W A McLennan.

My grandfather, holding my mum, with my grandmother, Trawool, 1941

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