Young military writer Alex Roberts' honour

Macquarie uni student Alex Roberts is the youngest person to have a research paper accepted to the war memorial library in Canberra - about the WW2 sinking of Australian Hospital Ship Centaur. He was also awarded a scholarship by the Arthur Philip Historical Society. 26 June, 2014. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Macquarie uni student Alex Roberts is the youngest person to have a research paper accepted to the war memorial library in Canberra - about the WW2 sinking of Australian Hospital Ship Centaur. He was also awarded a scholarship by the Arthur Philip Historical Society. 26 June, 2014. Picture: Gene Ramirez

ALEX Roberts' deep interest in military history has landed him an historic achievement of his own.

The North Rocks resident, 18, is the youngest ever to have a research article accepted by the Australian War Memorial archives in Canberra.

The 130-page paper that The King's School graduate wrote for year 12 history on the controversial sinking of World War II naval ship the Centaur is now accessible as an e-resource.

About 265 non-combatant staff, including doctors, nurses, pathologists and merchant sailors, were killed when the ship was attacked by a Japanese submarine and sunk off the coast of Queensland in 1943.

"Conspiracy theories say the Centaur was a war target because it was carrying weapons," Mr Roberts said.

"But I researched it and there was no evidence to suggest there were any weapons on the ship. It was doing what it was meant to — carry medical supplies and troops to New Guinea.

"Talking to relatives of personnel was most interesting. The great uncle of a vice-principal of my school was on the Centaur. That was amazing. A lucky resource."

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