Lorna was one of six nurses posted to the island of New Britain in New Guinea. They arrived at the capital, Rabaul, in April 1941 and spent a year at a military hospital treating soldiers suffering from tropical diseases. The Japanese invasion quickly captured the island, Australian forces were abandoned and regarded as “hostages to fortune”.
Lorna was imprisoned as a POW in Japan. She received no contact from the outside world leaving her family to believe she was dead. Life was a constant struggle for survival.
POWs overheard the Japanese Emperor’s surrender speech on the radio but it wasn’t until the sight of American soldiers in their Jeeps that they were sure the war was over. Lorna returned to Australia on 25 September 1945.