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Darwin Defenders Commemoration

A wreath laying to honour the service and sacrifice of all those who took part in the defence of Darwin.

Event Details

Monday, 19 February 2024 10:00 am to 11:00 am
Second World War Forecourt, Shrine of Remembrance, Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne, VIC 3001
  • Admission is free.
  • This venue is wheelchair accessible.
  • This event is child-friendly.

The bombing of Darwin in 1942 was a pivotal event in Australia's history during the Second World War, marking the first and largest attack on Australian soil. On 19 February, Japanese forces launched a devastating air raid on the northern Australian city. More than 240 aircraft, including bombers and fighter planes, attacked ships, military installations, and civilian infrastructure. The assault caught Darwin largely unprepared, leading to catastrophic consequences.

The attack resulted in significant casualties, with estimates varying, but approximately 250 people were killed and over 400 wounded. The destruction was immense, with numerous ships sunk, buildings flattened, and infrastructure damaged. The raid shocked the nation and underscored Australia's vulnerability to enemy aggression.

On this National Day of Observance, we pause to honour the men and women who served and sacrificed during the Darwin air raids and remember the Darwin community who suffered greatly during this time. 

Shrine Representative: Shrine Governor Colonel John Coulson OAM RFD ED

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