On the floor of Parliament House, is a small plaque that reads: ‘ON 19 FEBRUARY 1942 AN ENEMY BOMB FELL HERE AND KILLED TEN PEOPLE’. It commemorates a major event in Australian history when 188 Japanese fighters and bombers launched a deadly air raid on Darwin. Among the targets was the Darwin Post Office, which suffered a direct hit.
Taking cover in a slit trench in the backyard of the Postmaster’s residence were nine members of the Postmaster-General’s Department, including the Postmaster, his wife and daughter – all nine were killed instantly. The remaining staff volunteered to remain in Darwin despite the growing threat posed by Japan as the Second World War edged ever closer to Australian shores. During the NT launch of Direct Hit: The Bombing of Darwin Post office, author Brett Bowden willdescribe the contribution of these post office workers, who selflessly gave their lives for their country.
Brett Bowden is Professor of History and Politics at Western Sydney University and Visiting Professorial Fellow at the University of NSW at the Australian Defence Force Academy. A multi-award—winning author, his most recent book is Direct Hit: The Bombing of Darwin Post office. Growing up in the mid-North of South Australia and having once worked for Telecom/Telstra, Brett has a personal interest in this tragic event.
Date: 23 November 2016
Time: 5.15pm - 6.30pm
Venue: Northern Territory Library
Find out more about the Darwin Post Office here.