Darwin City Brass Band is busy preparing for a concert to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Darwin Military Museum at East Point on Saturday 17 August at 2.30 pm. This includes a flag lowering ceremony at the conclusion of the concert.
The Darwin Military Museum is located between the original gun emplacements, positioned to protect the city and harbour. This indoor/outdoor museum offers the best of both worlds. Inside is a carefully constructed recreation, called the Defence of Darwin Experience. Using video, old photographs, oral history and maps, we learn about the second world war as it was experienced by many different communities in the Top End, including white professional, foreign troops, Chinese labourers and local indigenous people.
The war, it is bluntly said, was being fought in Darwin long before the citizens of Sydney and Melbourne read about it in their morning papers. Even before the bombing of Darwin in February 1942, four Japanese submarines had entered Darwin Harbour seeking Allied warships to sink.
The outdoor displays in the museum are stark reminders of the tough conditions and basic equipment young soldiers, many of them teenagers, were forced to endure in order to turn back the Japanese. The original AWC (Allied War Command) jeeps (so-named as they were vehicles, general purpose), camouflage depots, naval war guns and mortars are displayed in tranquil tropical gardens.