Australians fought heroically to defend Australia in Darwin and places like the Kokoda Track. Our country had its back to the wall during this time, fighting against a very formidable enemy. When it comes to courage, mateship and sacrifice, you will not find any better example than the Australians who gave their all to save Australia and their loved ones on our mainland. If one is looking for the true character of the Australian spirit, it would be at the graves of Australians who died to our North during WW2.
“To stand on my homeland, surrounded by our war dead, who fought heroically to defend Australia and their loved ones down the track, was a profound experience and initiated the creation of the song.” – Peter Barnes
A total of 434 WW2 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 civilian casualties of WW2 include those of 31 Indigenous Australians.