Members of the public are welcome to attend any of the commemorative services held at the Shrine of Remembrance.

  • 2/22 Battalion Lark Force Association 2021

    17 January 2021, 12:00pm

    Wreath Laying in the Sanctuary

    Shrine Representative:

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    The 2/22 Australian Infantry Battalion was raised in July 1940 and initially headquartered at Victoria Barracks in Melbourne. Arriving in Rabaul (New Britain) on 26 April 1941, they combined with the local New Guinea Volunteer Rifles, a coastal defence battery, an anti-aircraft battery and elements of 2/10 Field Ambulance and 17 Anti-tank Battery to form Lark Force. The "Bird Forces" were deployed to protect vulnerable coastal areas and airbases, with Lark Force operating at the Lakunai and Vunakanau airbases. 

    After Japanese bombings of New Britain in January 1942 destroyed most of their assets, Lark Force withdrew from Rabaul and awaited the inevitable Japanese landings. Overwhelmed by superior numbers of Japanese troops and unprepared for an ordered retreat, Lark Force disintegrated and attempted to escape.

    Approximately 160 Australians captured were massacred at Tol Plantation and another 836 were interned as prisoners, some of whom were killed in the sinking of the Montevideo Maru transport ship.