Cowra: A town like no other
Issue: Summer 2009
The Australian World Peace Bell, located in Cowra’s civic square, was awarded to Cowra in 1992 for its contribution to the aims of world peace and international understanding.
By Harry Gordon
Cowra in central New South Wales is a town like no other. What distinguishes it, and always will, is a date – 5 August 1944 – and an event that catapulted Cowra into the history books: the mass break-out of more than 1000 Japanese prisoners of war. It was a catastrophe that led to the deaths of 231 Japanese and four Australian soldiers, and the wounding of 108 Japanese and four Australians. In the early years afterwards, that date was once seen as something of a scar. In more recent times, it has become the town’s proud badge.