Commemorating the 75th Breakout anniversary

Cowra is preparing to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Cowra Breakout which occurred on August 5, 1944.

Events will be held frpm Friday, August 2 through to Monday, August 5 to mark the occasion.

All of Cowra is invited to attend.

Ahead of the commemorations the following message to the people of Cowra has been penned by David Brown, son of the late Commandant Colonel Monty Brown.

My late father, Colonel Monty Brown could quote the rules of the Geneva Convention from cover to cover.

It came from his many years of military service at Gallipoli, in the Middle East and for a number of years serving with the Indian Army.

The Second World War saw him return to serve again.

The knowledge he had for the rules meant the welfare of the Cowra prisoners of war were always uppermost in his mind.

On this the 75th Anniversary of the 'Cowra Break Out' he would be very, very happy to see the peace and good will that has evolved since that painful period of the Second World War.

He would have been very moved to see the many friendships formed between the people of Japan and not to forget representatives from other countries who were also held in the camp.

He would have been particularly proud of the Cowra community with which he had a close association through family and friends.

The way they have sympathetically remembered prisoners alive and fallen.

The surrounds of the beautiful cemetery and magnificent garden are certainly testament to that. They really are lovely points of quiet reflection.

We must of course remember the brave Australians who tried valiantly to stop the break out and protect the town and surrounding countryside.

They will never be forgotten and are rightly represented in the statue situated on the man street.

David Brown - Sydney


  • Join in the street parade in 1940s gear.
  • Decorate your business in the 1940s - $200 cash prize plus 3 months' membership to Cowra Business Hub.
  • Come to the Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre Car Park at 5pm Sunday 4th August join in the lantern procession to the Prisoner of War Camp. Battery powered paper lanterns will be on sale.
  • Come to Squire Park and meet the living history WWII soldiers and their equipment and the Bagpipe Band.
  • See the military vehicles and Bagpipe band in the Kendal Street Parade on Saturday 3rd August 12 Midday
  • Come along and join in the 1940s Fair in Macquarie Street with live music and plenty of activities, food; talk to the soldiers and inspect their vehicles.
  • Swing to the 1940s at the Swing Dance Night at the Masonic Hall. Live music with a 13 piece Swing Dance, Bagpipers, Swing Dance demonstrations, Ballet School Performers and a light supper by Cowra Evening branch CWA.
  • You are welcome to attend the Ecumenical Church Service at the Civic Centre 9am Sunday 4th August.
  • You can enjoy a free Bagpipe concert at the Cowra Services Club at 11 Am Sunday 4th August at Cowra Services Club.
  • Come one come all to the Breakout Commemorative Event at Cowra POW Camp 5.30pm Sunday 4th August.
  • Make sure you visit the Cowra Regional Art Gallery for the 75: From Guns to Gardens exhibition.
  • Visit the Hologram presentation of the POW Camp story at Cowra Visitors Centre.
  • Gather at the POW Campsite at 1.30am to commemorate the actual time of the Breakout at the POW Site at 1.50pm with a special event conducted by Gordon Rolls, the son of the guard who fired the two warning shots.
  • Wreath Laying at the POW Camp 9am Monday 5th August.
  • Solemn Wreath Laying Ceremonies at the Australian and Japanese War Cemeteries commencing 10am Monday 5th August.
  • Visit the Japanese Gardens and Cultrual Centre for only $7.50 from 2 to 5 August. Children under 5 Free.