Spring Bluff will commemorate the 76th anniversary of the departure of World War 2 Cabarlah Barracks troops this St Patrick’s Day, Saturday 17 March.
The service remembers the 1,000 strong 25th Battalion soldiers who made their way down the escarpment in darkness, and boarded trains at Spring Bluff railway station for the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds, Townsville and eventually Milne Bay.
The battalion fought in the battle of Milne Bay in 1942 and later the battle of Bougainville in 1945.
Cr Joe Ramia, chair of Spring Bluff Trust Management Committee, said the event holds special significance to the Toowoomba Region. “We’re a region of rich traditions and our region proudly commemorates our veterans,” Cr Ramia said.
“Our nation would not be the free society it is today without the sacrifice of those who fought for this country. The 25th Battalion marched from their base at Cabarlah barracks and this ceremony holds particular significance to the Toowoomba area.
“More than 200 soldiers did not return from battles with Japanese forces at Milne Bay in 1942 and Bougainville in 1945. “These troops are local heroes,” Cr Ramia said.
The President of the 25th Battalion Association is also encouraging families and friends of the Veterans from the 1942 march to attend the service
“It’s extremely important that we continue this tradition now and into the future,” Cr Ramia said. “Every year, the returned members of the Battalion join us to commemorate their comrades, and continuing this tradition is only possible through community support.
“The service falls on a Saturday this year, so the opportunity to attend is far easier for members of the public. I would encourage those with a connection to the men who marched on St Patrick’s Day 1942 to attend this special annual commemoration service commencing at 2.00pm”.
The Spring Bluff Trust committee – comprising Toowoomba Regional Council, Lockyer Valley Council and Queensland Rail – is proud to hold the commemorative service each year recognising the sacrifice made by the men of the 25th Battalion. This little Station means so much to the veterans and their families.
For more information, contact the Secretary of the Spring Bluff Railway Station Trust Management Committee on 4688 6883 or visit www.tr.qld.gov.au.