Suffering Through Strength

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The men who made Christmas Island.

John Hunt’s history of Christmas Island begins in 1899 with the commencement of phosphate mining and continues until 1948, when Australia and New Zealand purchased the mining operation. . Chinese coolie labour opened up the island but at a terrible cost in human lives. The Second World War’s impact on the island was dramatic. The events include the arrival of the body of the "unknown sailor" from HMAS Sydney in February of 1942, Japanese sea and air attacks, and a mutiny by artillery regiment troops that led to surrender of Christmas Island to Japanese forces.  In addition, the Australian connection included the arrival of six Australian soldiers who escaped from Singapore and found their way to the Island.  Twenty British and Australian men were made Prisoner of war and put to forced labour there, before being evacuated to Java. Today Christmas island is an Australian Territory well known for its detention centre for asylum-seekers.

Soft cover, 300 pages.

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