The AHS Centaur Story

Oil on Canvas Framed in Tasmanian Oak

44 x 54 (3)cm


Early hours of 14th of May 1943, the AHS Centaur was 40 nautical miles off the coast. Passengers saw the glow of the Moreton Island lighthouse. It was torpedoed by a Japanese Submarine, exploded, and sunk in 3 minutes. Most crew were asleep. Of 332 souls on board, 30 crew and 34 army medical officers survived clinging to planking and using the 2 life boats that were flung clear. Sister Ellen Savage, the only surviving nurse, was pulled into a lifeboat. Severely injured, with a broken jaw and ribs, Sister Savage gallantly began treating the wounds of the survivors and made light of her own injuries. During 34 hours adrift, they encountered further submarine threats. Stopped firing flares after hearing submarine engines. Rescued by USS Ship Mugford, survivors spoke highly of the calm devotion to duty of their heroine nurse. Sister Savage was awarded the George Medal for her courage during this ordeal. Artists tell stories on canvass. After seeing the images of relics discovered after the shipwreck was found in 2009, I was compelled to tell the Centaur’s story. I am deeply grateful for the service and sacrifices of our veterans. Lest we forget