Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

15 February 2017

Sarah Courtney, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier

Fall of Singapore 75 years ago

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore during World War II.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is a strident supporter of our serving Tasmanians and also our veterans and their families, and this anniversary will spark many emotions throughout the Tasmanian community.

15,000 Australian troops, including hundreds of Tasmanians, were among the 130,000 Allied troops who surrendered on February 15, 1942.

It was described by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as: ``the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history.’’

Many of the Australian troops were kept in squalid conditions in Changi Prison and thousands were sent to work on the infamous Thai-Burma railway, where many died in horrendous conditions.

However, in many cases the true Australian spirit prevailed and the legend of our Prisoners of War overcoming adversity and helping their mates became integral to Australian war history.

In total, 22,000 Australian troops were taken prisoner by the Japanese and 8000 died in captivity.

On this momentous anniversary, the Tasmanian Government extends its condolences and also best wishes to veterans and families who were impacted by the fall of Singapore.

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