To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”


Gunners 600 Party


Plaque donated by the Royal Artillery laid next to the air strip on Ballale Island


Information Compiled from

 The ‘Java Index’, ‘What Price Bushido’,

Kill the Prisoners’, the Commonwealth War Graves and KEW


When compiling the Java Index it was noted that many of the British prisoners captured in Java, died at Rabaul and Ballale Island. Alf  ‘Blackie’ Baker’s book ‘What Price Bushido’ and Don Wall’s ‘Kill the Prisoners’ confirmed this. Using these valuable sources of information these pages were formed with the help of the Commonwealth War Graves. The Bomana War Cemetery list was compiled by John Winterbotham from information supplied by DVA Canberra.


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History of Gunners 600 Party

    Bill Dunnes Letter Ballale Party Bill Dunnes Letter Ballale Party

    Last letter Home Last Letter Home by Lt. Frederick William Jackson

    Signalman Pike Signalman Pike - Taken of ship before it left Singapore

    South Pacific Turns Ugly South Pacific Turns Ugly

    US Bombing of Ballale Island US Bombing of Ballale Island



Ballale Statements

Allan Campbell Statement 

Allan Campbell Statement - Confirming 500 White PoWs on Ballale

Chinese Prisoners Statements 

Chinese Prisoners Statements - Saw White PoWs on Ballale

Korean Interpreter on Ballale 

Korean Interpreter on Ballale - Saw 500 White PoWs on Ballale

Japanese Officer Ballale Interogation 

Japanese Naval Construction Officer - Ballale Interogation

Ozaki Statement 

Ozaki,  Norihiko’s Statement - Ballale Island Commander



Rabaul Statements

Sergeant P. Nolan 

Sergeant P. Nolan - Rabaul PoW Ill Treatment



War Crimes

War Crimes Report 

War Crimes Report





Roll of Gunners 600 Party - Complete List Died & Survived

Bomana War Cemetery 

Bomana War Cemetery

Letter of Condolence 

Letter of Condolence - War Office

Background Music

The Naked Isle is written and sung by Jim Rowlands in remembrance of his grandfather Albert Owen Rowlands from the Gunners 600 Party. The Japanese reported that the ship carrying the prisoners was lost at sea after leaving Singapore, which is known as the Naked Isle.

It wasn’t till after the war the truth was found when a large mass grave was found on Ballale Island, the Japanese had used 517 of the fittest to construct a runway on Ballale Island leaving the sick at Rabaul, then when finished those of the 517 remaining left alive were massacred by the Japanese,

436 bodies were exhumed on Ballale Island, those remaining of the 517 are believed to have died before the massacre and buried on the island.

The date of death given by the Commonwealth War Graves is the 5th March 1943 for those who died on Ballale Island, the correct date is not known.



The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

‘What Price Bushido’ by Alf ‘Blackie’ Baker

‘Kill the Prisoners’ by Don Wall

‘The Knights of Bushido’ by Lord Russell of Liverpool



Britain at War


Original design by John Weedon
Maintained by Ron Taylor.


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Hymns or music can also be added to the page, please select here

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