2021 Anzac Day Service
On 25 April 2021, the Australian Consulate-General in Shenyang organised the first formal ANZAC Day service in Shenyang. Australians resident in Northeast China and a representative of the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing attended the remembrance service. Before the service, the Australian Consul-General in Shenyang and the New Zealand Government representative visited the site of the World War Two Mukden Prisoner of War Camp to pay respects to the Australian and New Zealand POWs who were interned in the camp 76 years earlier.
In Shenyang, then called Mukden (or 奉天 in Chinese), Imperial Japan’s Prisoner of War (POW) Camp has been turned into a museum. Most Australians held in this Mukden POW Camp were taken prisoner in Singapore in early 1942. 16 Australian POWs were in Mukden from November 1942 to August 1945, including Captain Desmond Brennan, a camp doctor who also cared for US (by far the largest group), British, French, Canadian, Dutch and New Zealand (two or three) POWs.
Later nearly 30 Australian POWs, were transferred from other POW camps in the Japanese Empire to Mukden, mostly in 1945. Colonel Douglas Pigdon, former head of the 13th Australian General Hospital in Singapore, died in the Mukden POW camp on 6 July 1945 from illness, after only a few months in the camp.
ANZAC Day is our special day remembering sacrifices made by Australian and New Zealand service men and women in conflicts past and present. We also remember allies, and former foes now good friends, including Japan. On this day we remember the sons and daughters of all nations who fought and died in conflicts up to the present day – those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service of their country. We also remember the significant civilian casualties which occur in war.
Lest we forget