The Montevideo Maru Memorial Committee has been boosted by the appointment of two members of the Salvation Army, John Cleary and Lindsay Cox, by Australian Territorial Commander, Commissioner James Knaggs.
“The sinking of the Montevideo Maru was a tragedy for the Salvation Army, with the loss of so many Salvation Army Bandsmen who were part of the 2/22nd Battalion,” Commissioner Knaggs said. “Please know that we are supportive of the efforts of the Committee, and would be willing to provide whatever support is appropriate and possible.”
The Committee was established earlier
this year to represent the interests of the families of the soldiers and
civilians captured in Rabaul and the New Guinea islands
The purpose of the Committee is to gain national recognition and greater understanding of the tragedy and its antecedents in the interests of relatives and the historical record.
John Cleary has been described as one of Australia's leading commentators on religious affairs. He is a member of the ABC's
specialist religion unit and is best known for his years as presenter of The Religion Report and the philosophy
John is a member of the
Salvation Army and former bandmaster of the Brunswick
As a Salvation
Army bandsman and an ex-CMF soldier, he has long been interested in the tragic
story of the 24 Salvation Army bandsmen who enlisted in the 2/22nd Battalion,
featured in the comprehensive files and photographic collection at the
Salvation Army Heritage Centre, where there is also a permanent exhibition.
Lindsay is author of Brave and True, a detailed account of the Band of the 2/22nd Battalion. He has also written several other books on Australian Military history and early Salvation Army history.
A memorial service for the 1,053 men who
died on the Montevideo Maru will be held at Subic Bay,
This week, planning began on a major submission to the Commonwealth Government to gain national recognition of the sinking as a major national event and to secure the Government’s engagement in further historical research into the matter, which, like the fall of Rabaul in January 1942 – even 67 years after the event – remains shrouded in mystery.