Today is Anzac Day, when Australians and New Zealanders remember their war dead. It is also the day in France, when those sent to forced labour, internment and concentration camps in the Second World War, are commemorated.
The post today is written by my father and tells the story of my Great Uncle Eric's Second World War experience in New Guinea. Eric never returned from the War and until recently we did not know the full story of what happened to him. My father is now the only living member of the family who actually met him.
The photos are reproduced here with kind permission of Andrea Williams, Secretary of the Rabaul & Montevideo Maru Society. They come from the public gallery on the Society's website.
At the beginning of the war my Uncle Eric Charles Mann V 50869 was a 22 year old Architectural student at Melbourne University. Eric enlisted and was drafted into an Engineering Battalion in line with his University training. In 1941 he was promoted to Sergeant and posted to a group called Fort Engineers and was trained in the use of explosives. In late 1941 or early 1942 he was posted to the 2/22 Battalion, which became known as “Lark Force”.