By August 1944 there were 2,223 Japanese prisoners of war in Australia, including 544 merchant seamen. The famous war Compound was located near Cowra, in the central west of New South Wales.
on Saturday 5 August 1944 prisoners, armed with knives and improvised clubs broke through the wire fences, several hundred prisoners escaped into open country, while others who remained set fire to the camp buildings
On the night of the breakout three Australian soldiers were killed and another three were wounded. In the following nine days 334 prisoners were retaken. In all, 234 Japanese were killed and 108 wounded.