A total of 434 war graves marked by bronze plaques are contained in the Adelaide River War Cemetery. The burials are made up of 14 airmen of the RAF, 12 unidentified men of the British Merchant Navy; one soldier of the Canadian Army; 18 sailors, 181 soldiers and 201 airmen of the Australian Forces and seven men of the Australian Merchant Navy.
The Northern Territory Memorial to the Missing honours a further 292 servicemen and women lost to the north of Australia. The adjacent civil section contains the graves of the nine Post Office staff killed on 19 February 1942 during the bombing of Darwin, one of 63 separate occasions from that date. The 63 civilian casualties buried in the cemetery include those of 31 Indigenous Australians.
The youngest buried in the cemetery was Robert H. Stobo, Deck Cadet, M.V. ‘Neptuna’, killed 19/2/1942. He was with the Merchant Navy and was killed in Darwin Harbour during a Japanese air raid. He was only 16 years old.
Wing Commander A.R Tindal is also buried in the cemetery. He was killed in action during a Japanese air raid on Darwin on 19/2/1942. The RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory is named after him. During WW2, there were up to 30,000 Australian Army and United States soldiers based near the town. The 107th Australian General Hospital and 119th Australian General Hospital were set up around Adelaide River.
The last person to be buried in the cemetery was Eileen Hughes in 1947. She came to the Northern Territory to visit her son’s grave who was killed in the war. She died in a motor vehicle accident and was buried in the civil section of the cemetery.
Thanks to Eddie Rushworth for sharing this Video some weeks ago. It’s been lying heavy in my heart since then and now I know why. It’s because I’ve been remembering the desecration and destruction of the gravesites, and memorials, of so very many of our South Australian “diggers” who died “following the call”… and the sacrilege of our “Australia’s Heroes” final resting place continues.
Can those of us who are left, truly say that we have proven to be “worthy of the sacrifice”?…
Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel