Remembering the Centaur nurses
The sinking of an Australian hospital ship and the deaths of 11 nurses outraged a nation and has spurred on efforts to ensure their sacrifice is not forgotten. By Madonna Grehan and Linda Shields.
Sixty nine years have passed since the loss of the 2/3 Australian Hospital Ship (AHS) Centaur in the Second World War, during its second trip to New Guinea to retrieve injured service personnel. In compliance with the Geneva Convention, the Centaur was well marked and fully lit, when at 4.10am on May 14, 1943, just off the coast of Queensland to the east of Cape Moreton, it was struck by a torpedo fired from a Japanese submarine. The Centaur burst into flames and sank rapidly. Among the 268 personnel from the Centaur who died either in the initial explosion or in the sea were eleven...
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