Second World War, 1939-1945


Australia, and most predominantly Northern of Australia, came under attack during World War II in 1942-1943. This forced the nation to come together for the war effort, and the Northern Territory’s World War II collection is a fascinating display of unique objects, documents and records that helps to illustrates what life was like in wartime Australia.

This collection also records The Darwin Commemorative Wall Quilt, which is one of many works of art which adorn the Northern Territory Library in Parliament House, Darwin. It records almost 2000 names of people who spent time in the Northern Territory during the war years and participated in the 50th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin in 1992. It is a wonderful commemoration of the 50th Anniversary honouring the contribution and sacrifices made by participants when they defended northern Australia.

Just as fascinating is the World War II Evacuees List. On December 16, 1941, an official order was issued by the Administrator to evacuate women and children from Darwin. Most of the 1066 women and 900 children went by sea with the first group leaving Darwin on December 19 with the last ship sailing on February 15, just before the bombing of Darwin. Others left by plane, road and train.

The evacuees list contains the names of women, children, hospital cases (men) and men unfit for military services. The list although it is titled "Complete list of evacuees from Darwin", it appears not to list names of every evacuee.

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