Page 68 - Sandgate Guide April 2021 Issue
P. 68

 Story Robyn Baker
HPhoto supplied by This Story Australia
ow can any of us forget last year’s Anzac Day when, for the first time in history, Australians came together with their
neighbours to commemorate in our driveways. So many of us, whilst still social distancing, showed our appreciation. It was a sombre time acknowledging how grateful we were for our freedom.
With Anzac Day upon us, we again set aside time to remember those brave souls who fought and served for our country. The sacrifices, actions, and experiences of these men and women has indeed made them extraordinary.
A little-known local story begins when WWII came to our own doorstep in one of the most significant tragedies to happen in the history of the war. Early on the morning of 14 May, 1943, the Australian Hospital Ship, Centaur, was en- route to Papua New Guinea with 332 crew and passengers aboard. This medical ship was bound to bring injured Australians and allied troops back to Australia for treatment from the war, but was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine at 4:10am. It took under three minutes for the vessel to go down, just east of Moreton Island. A total of 268 lives were lost in the tragedy, and only one of twelve nurses on board, Sister Ellen
Savage, survived. Sister Savage was awarded the George Medal for Conspicuous Gallantry for helping passengers, despite her own injuries. News of the sinking echoed around the world with the New York Times, Montreal Gazette, and Times of London all reporting on the tragedy. Public sentiment was one of outrage. This Story Australia, along with the 2/3 AHS Centaur Association, is commemorating this tragedy in a documentary planned for the 80th anniversary of the sinking.
As many stories go untold, local Brisbane charity This Story Australia has made it a mission to document and preserve these little-known stories. This Story Australia preserves the personal stories of our veterans in documentary-style interviews, which are available at state and territory Libraries, and the profiles, biographies, and digital video vignettes are available on This Story Australia’s website.
This Story Australia relies on donations, grants and philanthropy to continue to preserve veteran’s stories. Take the time to view its website and follow its page.
This article has been written with assistance and information provided by This Story Australia.
You can find out more via searching This Story Australia on all social media platforms or by visiting
The Centaur Avenge the Nurses Campaign Poster

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