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Roger Maynard at the Tom Keneally Centre

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2/ 21st Bn. B Company. Photo taken before embarkation
2/ 21st Bn. B Company. Photo taken before embarkation / Photo courtesy of Gull Force 2/21st Battalion Association


Tom Keneally Centre is hosting a FREE reading with military history and true crimes author Roger Maynard on his latest work about Ambon.

Most of the general public are familiar with WWII and the major battles being fought out in Europe and Asia. However many are unaware of the war-time drama played out on the Indonesian island of Ambon, whose defense included a unit of 1150 soldiers known as Gull Force sent by Australia.

Roger Maynard spent more than 2 years investigating the capture of Ambon and the human tragedy associated with this little known episode in WWII history. He uncovered a shocking tale of the military top brass deliberately sacrificing Gull Force. Less than 25% of the men taken captive as Prisoners-of-War (POW) were alive to tell the tale by the end of the war. The capture of Ambon could have almost certainly been avoided.

Collage constructed by Paul Liversidge from photos of Gull Force taken on Ambon and Hainan Island
Collage constructed by Paul Liversidge from photos of Gull Force taken on Ambon and Hainan Island / Photo courtesy of Gull Force 2/21st Battalion Association


Roger's book relates true stories of war-time horror where 300 Australians and Dutch allied forces were put to the sword by the Japanese invaders; despair as allied soldiers turned against each other and incarcerated fellow POWs accused of stealing food and other minor misdemeanours; and the triumph of the human spirit as some prisoners managed to escape the Ambon camp and island-hopped their way back to Australia. The book is published by Hachette Australia and retails for $35.00

Bookings are essential. Simply phone: 02 9262 7300 or email: tkc@smsa.org.au to reserve your seat at this reading.

About Roger Maynard

roger maynard
Photo courtesy of Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts


Roger is the author of 7 non-fiction books covering the world of business, true crime and military history, including HELL'S HEROES (HarperCollins). The book is informed by interviews with survivors about the worst of the camps on the Japanese mainland. He has worked as a journalist for nearly 50 years with BBC, CNBC, ABC, The Times, The South China Morning Post and The Daily Express, and was a past president of the Foreign Correspondents' Association of Australia. For more information visit www.RogerMaynard.com.au

About Tom Keneally Centre

tom keneally centre
Photo courtesy of Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts


Located on the 3rd floor of the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, Tom Keneally Centre offers a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. A living legacy of award-winning author Thomas Keneally, the Centre is devoted to Australian literature and history, and host many meet-the-author sessions and writing classes. It also houses Tom's personal collection of books and is run by volunteers.
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Why? Roger Maynard's book tells the tale of one of the most brutal POW camps in WWII history
When: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Phone: 02 92627300
Website: smsa.org.au
Where: Tom Keneally Centre, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Unfortunately there is no date attached to the article. I rang the number supplied to find the reading is today, Wednesday13th August????.

F.McQ.
by franc (score: 1|28) 1799 days ago
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