2/21st.Battalion Association



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2/21st.Battalion Association

Our association was founded by the veterans of Gull Force after the end of WW2

The current aims of the Association are:

* To provide an ongoing support network for Gull Force Veterans and their families.

* To provide avenues for community development and to raise the awareness of the events

important to Gull Force.

* To provide material, practical and emotional support to the people of Ambon.


If you would like further information email gullforce@hotmail.com


Anyone interested in joining the Association may do so by becoming a financial member.

The current membership is $35.00 for the life of the Association. This one off payment includes a Gull Force Association lapel pin posted to you. (Australian Residents only) There is also a subscription fee of $20.00 for 2 years if you require a posted newsletter. i.e. if you don't have an email address.

Download Membership form

and post with your membership to:

Gull Force Association.

P.O. Box 233. Wendouree. 3355.



After a number of years in development, and several sold-out concerts, Lloyd Swanton’s intensely-moving, highly-acclaimed Ambon suite will be released as a double CD on Friday 30th October, on Bugle Records through Rocket.

Lloyd’s uncle Stuart Swanton was one of some 1,131 men sent as part of Gull Force to the island of Ambon in late 1941, in a vain attempt to defend it from a vastly-superior Japanese invading force. 

With no choice but to surrender, Stuart and his mates were then held captive on Ambon for the next three and a half years in one of the worst prison camps of the entire Asia/Pacific theatre.

Like the majority of his POW mates, Stuart Swanton did not survive. But he kept a secret diary in a coded shorthand, which was brought back to Australia after the war.

Lloyd Swanton has drawn on numerous musical elements referenced in his uncle’s diary to create a diverse suite of music which brings meaning and life to the Ambon story. Jazz, military marches, work song, island music, gospel, spoken word and visual imagery are all recruited to the task of reanimating the tragedy; shining a light on an aspect of Australia's World War II history that is all too little known.

Reviews of Ambon's premiere performance were glowing. The Sydney Morning Herald called it "an extraordinary achievement", and "a conceptual and compositional triumph”.

Ambon is now to be released as a double CD, beautifully recorded at Sydney’s Studios 301 by Tim Whitten; performed by 12 of Australia’s top musicians: Swanton on double bass, a horn section consisting of wind players Sandy Evans and Paul Cutlan, with brass by James Greening and Alex Silver; balancing that is a string complement comprising Chuck Morgan (ukulele), James Eccles (playing Stuart Swanton’s own viola), Michel Rose (pedal steel guitar), and Jon Pease on guitar. Providing intense drive and colour are percussionists Ron Reeves (kendang), Fabian Hevia (cajon) and Hamish Stuart (drum kit).

The double album, packaged sumptuously with a 32-page essay and numerous photos, artfully opens out the story of Gull Force to a wide audience.  

Says Lloyd Swanton "I wanted to pay tribute to the bravery and decency of my uncle. I wanted, whilst not shying away from the confronting horror of Ambon, to identify elements of joy and beauty in the saga. And finally, I wanted to draw people into the story, as I believe it’s an important one for all Australians, and in fact anyone with an interest in WWII history. As I got deeper into this project I realised that, as both a professional musician of long experience, and someone in possession of this precious and rare historical document, I had a veritable obligation to bring this story to life as best as I could.”

Ambon, on Bugle Records through Rocket, will be available from Friday 30th October in all good record shops, or online through the Bugle Records site. <www.buglerecords.com>





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