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

  • 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion Association with St. Bernard's College 2019

    8 March 2019, 10:00am

    Wreath Laying at Memorial Tree D35b

    Shrine Representative:

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    The 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion Association will be joined by St. Bernard's College for the commemorative service, as part of the Shrine's ongoing 'Adopt an Ex-Service Organisation' program.

    The 2/3 Machine Gun Battalion was formed in June 1940 and raised in South Australia. B Company came from Victoria, C Company came from Tasmania and D Company came from Western Australia; in April 1941 they were united while onboard the troopship taking them to the Middle East.


    After initial service and fighting in Syria they were recalled to Australia but were caught in the Japanese advance in 1942, so were ordered to make a stand in Java among other Allied forces known as Blackforce (excluding B Company). After Dutch forces surrendered, Blackforce was ordered to lay down arms and survivors spent the rest of the war as prisoners, mostly working on the infamous Thai-Burma Railway. 139 men from the 2/3rd died while prisoners.

    The remaining B Company moved around Australia before going to New Guinea to support the 6th Division's Aitape-Wewak campaign. Following Japan's surrender in August, 2/3 Battalion men were either discharged or transferred. In December the remaining members returned to Australia and in January 1946 the 2/3 was disbanded in Sydney.