She posed no threat to anyone and sailed the seas in peace

The weak were all placed in her, care, their suffering to cease

But beneath an evil shadow, death stalked her without warning

A soulless foe who paid no heed, to the duty she was performing


She cruised the night with lights ablaze, red crosses on each side

The crew was sworn to serve and save, in uniforms worn with pride

They say war knows no pity and we argue what’s the use

To sink a ship so clearly marked, there can be no excuse


I know that during hostile times, some innocents will die

But when has compassion been a crime, no one can tell me why

For there are those who are well prepared, to do the devil’s work

No one knew below the waves, the deadly foe that lurked


This was not the first time they committed crimes of war

The thousands that they slaughtered, from Rabaul to Singapore

Forgiveness is a virtue, and hatred cannot last

But before their deeds can be absolved, they must atone for their past


Decades have passed since the night, they paid the supreme cost

And even now those who survived, have joined those who were lost

Consigned to tragic history, by a foe with no regret

But proudly we recall their name, with the words “Lest We Forget”


The Centaur lies on the ocean floor, some two thousand metres deep

The brave souls trapped within her shell, rest in eternal sleep

So may well we pause and listen, to the stories that they tell

Of a ship that left a peaceful shore And BREACHED THE GATES OF HELL!


By Tomas ‘Paddy’ Hamilton                                                                                                                                                                               12 May 2016


FILE IMAGE: The sinking of the Centaur. AWM ARTV09088, adapted from WW2 poster.





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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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