A brand new wartime remembrance podcast from Megan Spencer.

The Sudden Storm is a powerful six-part audio podcast that explores the extraordinary and tragic WWII story of Australian women in war, that of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) sisters, massacred on Bangka Island by members of the Imperial Japanese Army on the 16th of February 1942 after the evacuation of Singapore.

Commissioned by the Virtual War Memorial Australia Schools Education program and funded by the SA Department for Education, the podcast is a free national digital resource for Australian schools and an epic 6-part podcast series freely available to the general public.

It was officially launched in front of 400 people – including the Governor of South Australia, Frances Adamson; Director of Army Health, Colonel Toni Bushby and Kaurna elder Uncle Tamaru Kartinyeri – on the 19th of February 2023 at the annual Bangka Day Memorial Service in Adelaide, commemorating the 81st anniversary of this terrible war crime.

The Sudden Storm took 2 years to make and contains 25+ voices from around Australia and beyond, including historian Professor Christina Twomey; large-scale mural artist Jack Fran; UK podcaster Andy Priestner; author of On Radji Beach Ian Shaw and family members of two of the South Australian AANS sisters killed on Radji Beach that fateful day, Sister Lorna Fairweather (Adelaide) and Sister Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy (Renmark). Their particular stories are profiled in the podcast.

The Sudden Storm is a powerful story of courage, hope, compassion and women during wartime. Though moving interviews and cinematic audio storytelling, this women’s war story comes alive and will live on forever.

Listen – and find out more – at the Virtual War Memorial Australia website.

With grateful thanks to all involved!

AANS sisters in Singapore photo courtesy the Fairweather family; official Army service photos (top) Sr. Lorna Fairweather; (below) Sr. Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy.