A SINGULAR act of bastardry 75 years ago was remembered in Macksville this morning at a service for the hospital ship 2/3 AHS Centaur.
Despite being clearly marked as a hospital ship, and sailing as per convention – unarmed and unescorted – she was attacked and sunk by a Japanese submarine on May 14, 1943.
268 lives were lost – including Macksville’s Dr Hindmarsh who was among the medical corp onboard.
Macksville lent its doctor to the war effort, a non-combatant in a non-combatant unit, and expected to get him back. That he didn’t return, devastated the whole district.
Jan Thomas OAM tells the story:
This morning’s service was held at the War Memorial in River St, and participants included: TS Culgoa from South West Rocks (who mounted the Catafalque Party), Macksville High School, Phil Butler from the Salvos Country Band, Jocelyn Leplaa, the Naval and Mariners’ Association of Australia (Nambucca Valley) and padre Matthew Pethybridge from the Salvation Army.
The introduction and welcome was conducted by Jan Thomas OAM, secretary of the 2/3 AHS Centaur Association.
A number of people with direct family links to the Centaur attended.
Ian Flarrety, The Last Post: