A bit more on the Montivideo Maru …
Puri Puri is set around the 25th anniversary of its sinking.
The book’s Kavieng ceremony is a bit of author’s licence (I rely on that a lot!), based on our visit to Kavieng several decades later (2002) for the dedication of a plaque to civilians who lost their lives in those dark days of WWll. The pic to the left shows the plaque, and Carol, Lincoln and I laying a wreath. My grandfather’s name, and one uncle’s name, are on that plaque.
In the book, Angie is sent to Kavieng to do a story on the sinking. It’s there she meets Nick Williams, whose uncle George died on the ship. The Nick-Angie relationship rapidly develops.
PERSONAL CONNECTION – I was born in Kavieng (a while ago) and my grandfather was one of some thirty prisoners garrotted on the wharf by the Japanese in 1944. Now known as The Kavieng Massacre, concealed and obfuscated for many years. Raden Dunbar’s book of that name details the lead up, the chilling event, and the subsequent investigations and war crimes trials. (search Kavieng Massacre)
Kavieng is a laid back town in an idyllic location at the northern end of New Ireland, a few degrees south of the equator. A tropical paradise where “even the dogs walk slow”, it’s hard to imagine it being the location of such horrors.
FURTHER CONNECTION – pre-war my father was a government medicalofficer, established a leper station near Kavieng on Enelaua Island. In 2002 we found the Enelaua building he worked in and the Indian Mast trees he planted (d’you remember Jack and Jane doing that planting in Payback?)