Letter to  Una Voce,  published 1.3.09

(Magazine of Papua New Guinea Association of Australia)



Having read in the December 2008 issue of 'Una Voce' the article "The so called 'Montevideo Maru' Nominal Roll' I would like to refer readers to my web site: www.annemccosker.co.uk in particular the sections Montevideo Maru, and Montevideo Maru questions. The New Guinea history sections in this web site - including the 'Montevideo Maru' sections - are based on my book Masked Eden, a History of the Australians in New Guinea. Readers may like to read two primary source material extracts from Masked Eden, from my Montevideo Maru chapter available on my web site.

'Lulu Miller was to say: 'There were very few men on that ship' [the Montevideo Maru] She after all, said she knew when one man, Harold Page himself had disappeared while he still was in Rabaul. Lulu was also to tell the wife of a very prominent Rabaul business man that she knew when this lady's husband had disappeared.' Page 266 Masked Eden See Note 8 page 339. See also page 222. 'One morning a native came and told her [Lulu] that Page's bed had not been slept in. Page was never seen again'. Lulu Miller was a grand daughter of Queen Emma. Her father was Dutch. Lulu was in Rabaul throughout WWII surviving the Japanese occupation by telling them her father was German.

The second extract is from Masked Eden page 277: (see also my web site).

'Some time in 1948 while living in Rabaul three native men from three different villages came to see me at different times and said 'Masta Clark 'e no go along ship'. What actually happened I asked not letting on that I had heard this claim before. Each native told me a similar story. The white men were taken to Matupi, made to dig trenches and then killed...' (Extract from letter Pat Leeuwin-Clark, wife of John Leeuwin-Clark, son of Nobby Clark, to the author May 1989. See note 39 page 343).

These two extracts are, as is much of the material in my chapter Montevideo Maru, from people either in Rabaul during WWII, directly involved in the war in New Guinea, or in Rabaul soon afterwards. ... This current interest in the ship is, in my opinion, especially with so many confusing and contradictory statements being made diverting and distracting peoples' energy. The USA navy and Japanese navy have both recorded where and how the 'Montevideo Maru' sunk. If found, approximately where it is said to have sunk, what then? Will even the most modern sophisticated equipment be able to detect the exact number of european men killed or the names of these men? If not, what then?/


Anne McCosker


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