The prisoner of war camp at Cowra is a few kilometres outside the town. A cairn now marks the spot where the breakout of Japanese prisoners occurred during World War II. In the novel, “Shame and the Captives”, Tom Keneally portrays the event from both the Japanese and Australian perspective. More than 200 Japanese lost their lives in the breakout, with many committing suicide. Five Australian soldiers were killed, including Lt Harry Doncaster who was killed by Japanese escapees while he was searching for them. A memorial to him can be seen on the Cowra to Canowindra road.