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Reproduced courtesy of the Allcot Trust

2/1 Australian Hospital Ship MANUNDA, A.I.F.

Date: 1945
90 x 280 mm
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John Corry
Object Copyright: © Allcot Trust
Object Name: Card
Object No: 00039669

User Terms

    This greeting card features an image of the Australian hospital ship HMAHS MANUNDA. It was sent by Corporal John Blair Corry to his children John, Bruce and Ronnie. Corry was a prisoner of war at Changi, Singapore during World War II and sent this card during his repatriation to Australia. The image of MANUNDA was taken from a John Allcot painting and depicts the remodelled ship with its hospital paint scheme. This card has the signatures of Ward S3 staff at Labuan Island and Ward C5 staff onboard MANUNDA.
    SignificanceThis greeting card is a poignant reminder of the end of World War II and the experiences of Australian prisoners of war and their repatriation to Australia. The card highlights communication between servicemen and their loved ones at the time.
    HistoryAlthough World War II ended in Europe on 8 May 1945 the conflict continued in Asia until Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945. This official surrender was signed in Singapore on 12 September 1945. At the time over 22,000 Australians had become Japanese prisoners of war (POW) in Southeast Asia, with 15,000 captured in Singapore. By the wars end there were 5,549 Australian POWs in Singapore and Malaya. These prisoners were returned to Australia following Japan's surrender on a number of ships, depending on their location and medical state.

    The MANUNDA was a 9915-ton passenger ship built in Glasgow in 1929 for the Adelaide Steamship Co. On 22 July 1940 the vessel was recommissioned as a hospital ship and remodelled. It became well known in the war years for its duties bringing wounded Australian soldiers home from the Middle East on four trips between 1940 and 1941. The ship was also present in Darwin on 19 February 1942 when the city was bombed by Japanese aircraft. The ship's medical and nursing quarters were completely destroyed during this attack. After repairs MANUNDA was the first ship to arrive in Singapore after the Japanese surrender. It collected ex-prisoners from the camp at Changi and carried them to Labuan Island where they could recover and later be flown home to Australia.

    Corporal John Corry was a prisoner of war in Singapore during World War II and was evacuated from Changi and repatriated to Australia onboard the hospital ship MANUNDA. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1906 and enlisted in the Australian Army on 8 July 1940, achieving the rank of Corporal. On his return to Australia Corry was discharged from the Army on 22 January 1946.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: 2/1 Australian Hospital Ship MANUNDA, A.I.F.

    Web title: HMAHS MANUNDA

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