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Vimeo Produced by Max Uechtritz

Montevideo Maru - Australia’s greatest maritime disaster.

Written and produced by Max Uechtritz.


It was - and remains - Australia's greatest maritime disaster: the loss of 1053 soldiers and civilians in the sinking of the Montevideo Maru on July1, 1942. The men were captured by the Japanese when they invaded nw Britain and New Ireland - then part of the Australian-mandated territory of New Guinea. Among them were the uncle of Labor identity Kim Beazley, the grandfather of Midnight Oils singer Peter Garrett and the brother of Australian Prime Minister Sir Earle Page. They were being sent on the prison ship to Hainan, China, as slave labour, when the Montevideo Maru was sunk by an American submarine. The captain of the USS Sturgeon did not know Australian and Allied prisoners were on board. In eleven minutes on one night, twice as many Australians died as in the entire Vietnam War. However the tragedy is hardly known to the general public. The Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Society, in concert with the Papua New Guinea Association of Australian (PNGAA) aims to make the loss of the 1053 souls on the Montevideo Maru an important part of our national narrative 

- as it should be.

25/04/23 Pittwater RSL sub-Branch ANZAC Day Dawn service.


"Montevideo Maru 1942" 

Written by Kylie Adams-Collier. 

Performed at the 80th Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Commemorative Service. 

Australian War Memorial - 1st July 2022.

Video by Max Uechrtitz.


Montevideo Maru 1942 Music & lyrics by Kylie Adams-Collier.


I took my son to the War Memorial

We saw the roll of honour

And all of those who fell

Found Private Douglas Cook

Who died in Lone Pine long ago


We went inside and we looked at the world wars

And we cried for all of those on distant shores

Then I saw my grandad’s name

And I cried for what became of him


Chorus:

Grandad ran a plantation

in Papua New Guinea

Up there in the tropics

On an island of plenty


Yes, life was good

On an island up north

Then they took him away

As a prisoner of war


1st of July 1942

The ship went down

along with all its crew

Under friendly fire

The prisoners of war died too


Nobody knew where all the men had gone

They all went missing

On the way to Hainan

And it wasn’t ‘til the end of the war 

That they found them again


Chorus

Montevideo Maru

Montevideo Maru

Montevideo Maru 1942


Montevideo Maru

Montevideo Maru

Montevideo Maru 1942

"Montevideo Maru 1942" awards:

2020- Songs Alive Australia National Songwriting Competition Top 10 Finalist for heritage Song of The Year.

2018-Tamworth Songwriters Salute Awards Semi Finalists for Best Heritage Song.

2018- Australian Independent Country Music Awards Festival AICMAF- Heritage Song of The Year.


"Montevideo Maru 1942" on Spotify.

               WW2 Lost at Sea Memorial Opening. 14th October 2017.

75th Rabaul & Montevideo Maru Commemorative Service &  Tour. 2017.

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