Thursday, July 25, 2013


This is coolbert:

Jones & Hardy (GC)

George Cross.

This blog entry based in part on the article: "THE MASS ESCAPE FROM COWRA" by John A. Williams and found in the "AFTER THE BATTLE" magazine issue Number # 57.

Cowra that mass escape attempt by Japanese prisoner-of-war [POW] during the Second World War [WW2]. Cowra an Australian POW camp housing Italians, Koreans, Formosans and captured Japanese.

That latter about a thousand strong armed with home-made knifes, clubs, their bare hands and boots rushing the fence in an escape attempt.

Events at the fence and during the initial stages of the escape as shown probably almost exactly as occurring in the excellent YouTube video:

"The Cowra Breakout - Ben Hardy and Ralph Jones (GC)"

"Ben Hardy and Ralph Jones manned the no.2 Vickers machine gun and began firing into the first wave of Japanese escapees making for the fence line. They noticed a second wave attempting to flank them on the left but held their position. They were soon overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of Japanese and were killed. Private Jones managed to remove the gun bolt before he was killed which rendered the gun useless. The Australian soldiers killed that night were a total of four, if this gun remained operable, the death toll for the Australians may have increased. Ben Hardy and Ralph Jones were posthumously awarded the George Cross. This act of bravery will be remembered."

Regarding those Australian guards at Cowra to include Jones and Hardy:

"The responsibility for guarding the camp was entrusted to the 22ndf Australian Garrison Battalion which consisted mostly of those too old for active service, many of whom had seen service in the first World War. other were younger men who had some form of disability which restricted them from service overseas."

In this regard the Australian guards at Cowra greatly resembling the Invalid Corps of the American Civil War. Men suffering a war wound or other disabling injury that precluded their further service in a combat role.

Jones and Hardy awarded the George Cross [GC] for bravery but NOT the Victoria Cross [VC]. The VC awarded only for heroism during a time of combat in the face of the enemy, that foe armed and fighting in a conventional manner. That escape attempt at Cowra NOT combat as normally, commonly and generally understood!

P.S.:  See this amazing stuff. Cowra now the site of a Japanese Garden devoted to harmony between the nations of Australia and Japan. NO mention of events that transpired at the camp during WW2 however! "THE CENTRE OF JAPANESE CULTURAL HERITAGE IN AUSTRALIA"

"Origin of relations between Cowra and Japan":    "Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre was established to recognize and develop the relationship between the people of Cowra Shire and the people of Japan, a relationship that has its origins in the Prisoner of War Camp that housed the Japanese P.O.W’s during World War II."


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