The Good Guts Official Newsletter of 39th AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION (1941-43) ASSOCIATION INCORPORATED Print Post Approval No. PP307790/00001 Views expressed in material submitted are not necessarily the views of this Association or the Editor of The Good No. 155 Guts. Responsibility for all comment is that of the author of the article. Information may be given to other groups . October 2008 Bill Sykes, MP for Benalla, and his wife Sally meet up with Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel Ovoru Idiki on the Kokoda Track. In Melbourne we th th celebrated Kokoda Day and were proud to have the banner of the first 39 Bn on display. The 8 August was also significant for the “originals” as they acquitted themselves very well on that day on the Hindenburg Line. Members weer happy to take shelter from the cold before the service commenced. Having the afternoon tea at the Shrine proved to be a popular innovation. nd On the Gold Coast they celebrated Kokoda Day on the actual day which was also the 2 Anniversary of the Raising of the 39 PSB was there to join in. We see the crowd gathering at the Memorial, Jim Stillman & Bill Bellairs in the foreground, George Turner with SOC Kienzle in the background.. The PIB/NGVR Wreath, which was hand made was laid in front of PIB panel of the Wall. In front of Memorial, L to R: Cec Driscoll, Dudley Warhurst, Bill Bellairs and George Palmer. Same pic appeared in the GC Bulletin. . After the observance at the Memorial Wall many travelled out to Kokoda Barracks at Canungra for a formal dinner in the Sergeants th Mess. We see pre-dinner drinks being enjoyed by Lt. Col. Anthony Draheim, CO 39 PSB, Bill Bellairs Kokoda Veteran of 39 Bn, Evelyn Guy, Joy Bellairs and George Friend The Guest Speaker at dinner was Bill Bellairs (Joy on his left) and MAJ Rosalie 39 PSB on his right. After Dinner: George Palmer, Brig. David Saul (Comd. 17 Bde and RACT HOC &, Bill Bellairs enjoyed a cup of coffee. The cake was cut by Bill Bellairs who turned 91 the next week; the youngest member of 39PSB and the CO. Melbourne’s Kokoda Day was bitterly cold so many preferred the warmth of the Shrine while other braver spirits visited the Memorial Trees for the 39th Bn of both wars to lay wreaths in memory of the fallen. OFFICE BEARERS - 39th Australian Infantry Battalion 1941-1943 Association Inc. LIFE PATRON Noel W Hall OAM ED 174 Rathmines Road, HAWTHORN EAST Vic 3123 Telephone & FAX  9882 5801 PRESIDENT Alan Jameson 47 Antibes Street PARKDALE Victoria 3194 Telephone: H  9587 5365 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org VICE PRESIDENT Ross Darrigan 72 Eliza Street KEILOR PARK Vic 3042 Telephone:  9331 5387 MOBILE 0408 359 097 E-Mail : email@example.com HON. TREASURER Lorraine Cochrane 76 Tarongo Drive ASPENDALE Vic. 3195 Telephone:  9580 1947 HON.SECRETARY Norman Stockdale Post Office Box 689, GISBORNE Vic. 3437 Telephone  5428 8886 Mobile 0408 592 609 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org MEMORABILIA OFFICER Lorraine Cochrane 76 Tarongo Drive ASPENDALE Vic. 3195 Telephone:  9580 1947 AUDITOR Bruce Stockdale 212 Karingal Drive, KARINGAL Vic. 3199 Telephone:  9789 1888 NEWS LETTER EDITOR Peter Holloway 55 French Road GREENVALE Victoria 3059 Telephone  9333 1214 Mobile: 0408 552 662 FAX  9333 1536 E-mail email@example.com th 39 BATTALION WEBSITE www.39battalion.org IMPORTANT Cheques etc must be made payable only to 39th Aust. Infantry Battalion Association ≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅≅ PLEASE NOTE When posting us mail of any kind it is important to observe the following procedures Subscriptions, Official Correspondence To the Secretary only. Orders for Souvenirs etc To the Memorabilia Officer Items for The Good Guts To the Editor [Including Items of Interest; News of members; Sick Parade & Death Reports; Newspaper cuttings & Pictures of interest; If requested, items will be copied and promptly returned] Copies of Pictures Published We do not charge for copies of pictures published. A donation towards costs is appreciated. Copies are usually larger than. ΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨ Editorial Comment Most people who watched the recently held Olympic Games on the television probably felt some degree of disappointment, which no doubt they shared with the athletes concerned, when a relay runner dropped or failed to pick up the baton in the course of the race. Likewise there was a sense of exhilaration when their efforts met with success. Of course the important fact is that in most cases the baton was quite successfully transferred to each competitor in turn. Surely that is one of the great facts of life and indeed has been so throughout all ages. There have always been great men and women on the world’s stage. Julius Caesar, Boadicea, Alfred the Great, Joan of Arc, Eve Curie and James Fleming are just a few that come to mind The great fact of history is that there has always been someone able and willing to carry on from where they left off. We believe that the great strength of the 39th Battalion Association is that not only has its members been willing to hand over their baton but there has always been a team of younger and fitter runners to accept the challenge. To those of us members who can fairly be described as “the olds and bolds” the appearance of these younger “runners” may not have always been appealing. They wear “way out” clothes; the young men are sometimes adorned with jewellery, earrings and studs; the hairdos not what we might have chosen and so on. But you cannot judge a book by its cover! So often therein lies a heart of gold as well as great ability. So let us look back to the idea of exchanging the baton in a relay race. It is not always the recipient who drops the baton. Quite frequently it is the person handing it on who fails to do so decisively and therein is the lesson for us. Each of us must prepare ourselves so that the task we took over from our predecessors can be seamlessly and competently handed on to the next generation. As in all of life we need to remember, lest we forget! A Message From The President The 66th Anniversary of the Battle for Kokoda was commemorated at the Shrine in Melbourne on Sunday 10th August. The rain eased long enough for a deputation to lay a wreath at both the 1/39th and 2/39th Memorial Trees in the Shrine gardens. We did not risk exposing the 1/39th banner to the rain. Holding both the commemorative ceremony and the address by the guest speaker at the one location was well received, especially by those with mobility issues. The staff at the Shrine was very helpful assisting people and making available areas for our speaker and the afternoon tea. Our guest speaker Mr. Charles Happel is the author of the book “The Boneman of Kokoda”, Charles spoke to a packed room about how he came to meet the Japanese veteran, his story was very informative and interesting... A big thank you to all those involved in providing and serving afternoon tea, particularly Mary Holloway, Merren and Norm Stockdale and Rob and Heather Kimm... Several veterans and their family made the trip to the Gold Coast for the 25th July, the official blessing and opening of the new Kokoda Wall in the Cascade Gardens at Broadbeach. The new memorial designed and built by David Yardley, and financed by the Gold Coast Council and Rotary, will become a major tourist attraction. Our man Bill Bellairs was the patron for the project and George Friend was the driving force behind its creation. Well done to all involved. August 8th as well as being Kokoda Day is the birthday of our 39th PSB battalion based at Randwick NSW. This year’s Regimental Dinner celebrating their 2nd birthday was held at the Canungra Army Barracks in Queensland, I reluctantly had to decline the offer to attend due to personal commitments. It’s pleasing that the 39th PSB continually involve our Association and on all occasions acknowledge and honour the heritage of all previous 39th Battalions. All the Best, Alan Jameson President Kipling’s Korner KOKODA’S THIRTY NINTH Into its bosom ‘neath six feet of earth, They did not run, they did not hide, They farewell their mate, just eighteen from birth. They stood the ground, they turned the tide. Whilst they may grow old and suffer with age, Commanders back home their judgement did lack, His life is now etched into history’s page. The Vision That Life There Could Ooze So Black. On this hallowed ground they salute their mate Jack, But we that remember do avow and will sing, The embodiment of sacrifice, on Kokoda’s steep track. Of the 39th battalion and their courage within. They joined for adventure to play their part, ‘Twas with Spartan type spirit that they held on fast, To defend their country was in their hearts. And fought for the right on that treacherous pass. Dispatched to Kokoda, wet, mud fighting track, Raw Australian young men who did not cower, It swallowed their lives many not coming back. Held back the hordes from that all conquering power. The question oft asked, was it country, king or fate, These great men of valor have defined the price, They all speak as one, ‘twas done for our mates’. Of courage, endurance, for their mates - sacrifice. Peter Baskerville wrote this poem to honour the men of the 39th battalion. firstname.lastname@example.org From the Secretary’s Desk . Committee meetings are held at Caulfield RSL - 4 St George’s Road, ELSTERNWICK at 1015. on the 3rd Wednesday of each month [Jan excepted] - All members are welcome to join the committee at the Bistro lunch Wednesday 15 Oct 08 1015 Committee Meeting followed by Bistro Lunch Tuesday 11 Nov 08 1100 Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital Memorial Service Sunday 16 Nov 08 TBA The Southport School Cadets Passing Out Parade – Contact Geo Friend Wednesday 19 Nov 08 1015 Committee Meeting followed by Bistro Lunch Tuesday 09 Dec 08 1015 Committee Meeting & Christmas Lunch All welcome Probable cost $25 Wednesday 18 Feb 09 1015 Committee Meeting followed by Bistro Lunch Sunday 22 Feb 09 1030 Kokoda Track Walk 1200 BBQ Lunch --- Ferntree Gully National Park – Gold Coin Donation Wednesday 4 Mar 09 1145 Geelong Region BBQ Eastern Park Wednesday 18 Mar 09 1015 Committee Meeting followed by Bistro Lunch Wednesday 15 Apr 09 1015 Committee Meeting followed by Bistro Lunch Friday 24 Apr 09 1055 Annual General Meeting – Caulfield RSL 1200 Annual Reunion Luncheon – Caulfield RSL Saturday 25 Apr 09 0930 ANZAC DAY March “Step off time” LOST OR CHANGED EMAILS EXCURSION TO PUCKAPUNYAL If any one has not been getting emails from the Sunday 26th October 2008 secretary it is probably because their email A BBQ similar to Fern Tree Gully with the Association messages keep bouncing back for various reasons providing snags, bread, onions, sauce, tea, coffee, which include address changes or mail box full. milk, sugar, spoon, plastic cups. Arrival at the camp, Could you please send the Secretay an email so by own transport, to be at about 1030 start for morning that you can be re-included on our email list. tea, with lunch to be served at 1200. Includes the following:- The museum would be open for inspection, and time Terry Brennan available for a walk around before we eat. Rides in Graeme O'Donoghue the afternoon until 1430 or so, then go home. Lisa Cooper Colin Slattery Gold coin or so from members to cover expenses. It is absolutely essential that we advise numbers to our secretary (a week beforehand) of people/cars for security check, to allow printing and distribution of labels for car windows, Puckapunyal Camp, known as "Pucka", opened in November 1939.. It was one of several new camps built for the training of the Second AIF because existing military facilities were already occupied by militia units. Initially 5,714 hectares were compulsory acquired to the west of Seymour (96 kilometres north of Melbourne); Seymour had been a site for military training since the late 1800s. The name was derived from the name of a large hill within the field training area, today known as Mount Puckapunyal. It is an English It’s rendering of an Aboriginal word the meaning of which is obscure. It not too early has been variously translated as "death to the eagle", "the outer to put barbarians", "the middle hill", "place of exile", and "valley of the winds". Both AIF and militia units were trained there, and the camp Tuesday 9th December 2008 was also home to several Army schools. Puckapunyal remains in use in your diary. by the Australian Army today and the field training area now Christmas Luncheon encompasses almost 40,000 hectares. Since the Second World War a wide array of units, of both the regular and reserve, have been at based at Puckapunyal or used it for training. It remains best known, Caulfield RSL however, as the home of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps, the first units of which moved there in February 1941. 4 St George’s Rd. Elsternwick • Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm. • When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane. • Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy. • Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now. • I intend to live forever......so far, so good THE MAGNIFICIENT ATHERTON TABLELANDS Rob Rotherham for ‘choko’ Bob V185338 Twelve months had gone quickly since I hiked Kokoda as the 39ths first “Adventure Kokoda Trek” recipient, gratefully provided to the association by Charlie and Jill Lynn, and now here I was embarking with my wife Jean from Cairns driving south towards Innisfail enroute to the Atherton Tablelands. This was to be my next pilgrimage to seek out more knowledge and understanding of the war my ‘choko’ Dad never told me about. Things got off to a bumpy start as I became ill and finished up in Innisfail Hospital. On sighting a rash on my lower leg the doctor asked about its’ origin. I explained to him that the week before I had been caving at Portland in Victoria’s far southwest with my Venturer Scouts and the rash was what was left after a leech had had his fill of my blood and moved on. (I saw 1 leech in the whole 10 days of my Kokoda hike) I was to find out that its’ infection was attacking the lymph nodes in my groin. The doctor gave me a week’s supply of penicillin and sent me on my way. Climbing the rainforest we entered the Tablelands from the south, to a land of waterfalls and explored the dairy and timber industries, then finished up at Atherton for a couple of nights. Our first bit of wartime interest came in finding out this area was the world’s first tropical dairying area and that its operations were revolutionized when the Yanks came during the war demanding “pasteurised” milk. During 1943-45 the entire Atherton Tablelands became the largest military base in Australia hosting between 100,000 and 300,000 troops from 140 different units. General Blamey had chosen the area in 1942 as a forward staging, training and rehabilitation base because of its closeness to the jungles of the north but with its cooler temperatures at higher altitude from the coast. The area was also well served by the railway for his troop trains. At Tolga and the Rocky Creek War Memorial Park we can report that the 39th’s plaque is in fine fettle. If anyone’s ever up there, cross the highway on the road up past the old igloo, over the railway line for a couple of hundred metres and there on the right you’ll come across the concrete pads of the hospitals which have recently been cleared. These are quite impressive showing the layout of wards, corridors, nurses’ stations, latrines, etc. We journeyed over to Tinnaroo and sighted the many camps that were along the Barron River, not much trace left but plenty of signs. Across the river where the bush became dense rainforest at Danbulla, one of the original army igloos from there was transferred to Malanda (south a bit in the dairy area) and we visited it. It now has a new life as the Malanda Show Pavilion. Back at Atherton we admired the “Barron Valley Hotel” which was the official Officers Mess during the war, then visited and paused to respect the 155 lads who peacefully lay in the Atherton War Graves Cemetery. So sad to think those young men came home from so far away and nearly made it. We enjoyed Devonshire tea at Lake Barrine Boathouse, which is positioned amongst beautiful gardens inside an extinct volcanic crater full of water. It was seconded as a convalescence home during the war and there are two 1000 year old giant kauri pines right at its doorstep. Many a recovering digger would have inspected their magnificence. The next day with Jean in complete charge of transportation and provisions, (I was still feeling a bit ordinary) we headed further up the ranges and over to Herberton where we booked into the “Royal Hotel” (Queensland’s longest continuously licensed hotel) and sat down for a quiet one. This was the first time on my trip I paused to think of my Dad and wondered if he had had the chance to have an ale here as Wondecla was just down the road. I suppose we’ll never know now. Just along the road from here a low railway bridge has been removed (would you believe so “tourist coaches” can use the area). This was ironic because the rail journey up to Wondecla from Cairns would be one of the most spectacular tourism journeys in Australia. At Wondecla we explored north, south, east and west from the old igloo eventually finding the original campsite of the 2/2nd where our boys were disbanded. It’s now an avocado farm and while we were there a young mother with her children came along asking if we needed help. She was genuinely interested to know we were “family” and told us this was the 6th Division area. The end of the railway was about half an hour further south at Ravenshoe. On the Saturday we were able to attend the opening and commemoration of a Heritage Walk at the Millstream Falls National Park. The Queensland Minister for Sustainability was there amongst wartime dignitaries, the 51st Cairns Army Regiment, Nato’s and a magnificent display of wartime artefacts and memorabilia that had been found throughout the Tablelands. Dog tags, bayonets, ordinance, shrapnel, and all types of things were on display. The army staff showed me one of “Lady Blamey’s” glasses they had found. Our veterans will recall, it was she, wife of General Blamey, who showed soldiers how to wrap cloth or rope around the neck of a bottle, douse it in kero, heat it up, then immerse it in cold water which would ‘snap’ the neck off resulting in a pretty fair beer glass. Millstream Falls is the widest natural waterfall in Australia and the park is the oldest in north Queensland, so it was apt to celebrate 100 years of National Parks in Queensland at this site and also very warming to see the wartime heritage perpetuated as well. The Heritage Walk has uncovered relics from the past and has interpretive signs along its way with some memories on the plaques written by boys from the 2/14. It was good to see Brownlow Medallist Malcolm Blight there too paying his respects as well as a flyover of a WWII Harvard Warbird. I ran into Matt Power (2/14, yes still with that bullet in his back) and his wife and he explained that the 2/14 had rested at Millstream after Kokoda and prior to returning to PNG. The whole escarpment looks down on a picture card gorge where most infantry units had their own ”swimming holes”, bar one spot where practice ordinance was fired into the valley below (hopefully straight). I said to Matt that while this area was a top spot, it must have been a sad time for the remnants of the 2/14. He agreed with head bowed. I then reinforced to him that the 39th were and still are very proud of “the boys of the 2/14th. Matt replied simply “the gallant 39th”. On returning to Atherton we visited the new tourist information centre and I was amazed to discover how little information there was available for anyone to do a recon of the area like us. All I found was a faded photocopied couple of sheets of old maps with sites roughly marked that you could hardly read, and on top of that it cost a lousy five dollars. Perhaps our colleagues in the north could moot some push to Vet’s Affairs or Queensland government to get the Tablelands more approachable (wartime wise) for our next and younger generations. The only other place we were told to find war history was the Tolga Railway Station Museum but this was closed the whole time we were there (including Saturday and Sunday). Our visit to the Tablelands was a very moving and rewarding experience, also to for Jean as her Dad was up there with the 2/7th. I’ll go back again for sure. One interesting observation I made up there was while sighting every bend, siding, station and tunnel along the railway I felt that this was actual living wartime history and I could picture my Dad and his mates anywhere along its path. Landscapes change, buildings are gone but the rusty rails are still there. I stood on Atherton Rail Station and pictured my Dad standing next to me. Sadly, I’d like to advise everyone that bar one small section the railway is abandoned and deteriorating fast. Politicians Trekking Kokoda The following report has been contributed by Bill Sykes who is the Member for Benalla in the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Assembly. He walked the track from 7th to 18th July of this year accompanied by five other MPs and other trekkers. He has also provided a detailed itinerary for each day and this is available from the editor if anyone would like a copy. . Bill Sykes MLA Benalla My wife Sally and I were grateful for the opportunity to retrace the footsteps of our WW2 Diggers. We were very fortunate to have Charlie Lynn as our trek leader. Charlie (ex 20 years Army including service in Vietnam) has a great passion for the people of PNG and the wartime deeds of their forefathers and the Australian soldiers. Also on the trek were: Gary Blackwood, Member for Narracan; David Morris, Member for Mornington & wife Linda; Terry Mulder, Member for Polwarth;Hugh Delahunty, Member for Lowan Jim McLinty, WA Attorney General; Jackie Mullens, Vic. Parliamentary Catering Staff Member 30 other trekkers and 60 support staff. L to R: Barry Mulder; Garry Blackwood : Charlie Lynn [Trek Leader]; Hugh Delahunty ; David Morris and Bill Sykes at the memorial at Brigade Hill. Observations Physical/Mental Challenge The trek was physically and mentally tough for us – but nowhere nearly as tough as it was for the WWII Diggers and the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels. At least we were well fed, had good shelter and were not being shot at! The Environment The environment varies greatly from dense jungle (the best I've every been in) to open grassy areas and the “swamps” of Lake Myola. The track is generally in good condition especially in view of the increasing traffic and high rainfall. There is remarkably little litter on both the trail and in the villages – this is a credit to the local people, the trek companies and the trekkers. The People The PNG people are shy, generous people - “They have nothing but they share everything”. Socio – Economic Issues Unemployment is up to 80%. Health and many other basic services are rudimentary and life expectancy is only about 45 years. Political For reasons that are not obvious there is no seasonal work agreement to allow PNG Nationals to work in Australia. This denies PNG Nationals (who have a good work ethic) to work in Australia, to generate much needed income and to learn from our Western lifestyle. The War Time Experiences Exposure to the Kokoda Trail, the narrative of Charlie Lynn and meeting Ovoru Idiki, a Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel brought alive the stories which I had read about the heroic deeds of our Diggers and the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels. The Future The Kokoda Trail must be protected. Listing it as an Australian Heritage site will greatly facilitate this but heritage listing must also be supported by ongoing political commitment and 'on ground' action. • The people must be helped • to generate income from trek related tourism; • by the provision of medical services eg Kokoda Hospital not remaining reliant for medical supplies on the unused supplies of trekkers who have completed their trek; • to generate income from seasonal work in Australia. This would seem to be a 'no brainer' with an abundance of vacancies for suitable jobs in northern Australia and an abundance of hardy people with a good work ethic just two hours away. Acknowledgements I gratefully acknowledge the efforts of Charlie Lynn (leader), his wife Jill (admin), Gary Blackwood and Bernie Powell (assistant trek leaders), PNG Trek Leader Joe & Deputy Leader Sullivan and all of the PNG staff and porters, especially my porter Raisat. THE ROTARY FOUR WAY TEST KOKODA MEMORIAL WALL DEDICATION Judi Reid President Of Surfers Paradise Rotary Club Delivered at the Dedication of the Wall – 25 July 2008 those who fought and died for peace. As we near the end of our time In Geraldton, in WA, Rotary instigated together today, I would like to share the magnificent HMAS Sydney with you a small tradition from Rotary. memorial, overlooking the harbour. In It is our practice to acknowledge the WiIliamstown, in NSW, Rotary built the Anniversaries and Birthdays of our memorial to HMAS Yarra. At St members and visitors. Two years ago George, in Queensland, Rotary built the when the Chief of the Army, Pilots’ Memorial, dedicated to two local Lieutenant General Peter Leahy, WWII pilots - Squadron Leader unveiled the first panel of the Wall at Jackson, after whom Port Moresby Cascades Gardens, launching our International airport is named, and annual Kokoda Memorial Walk from Flight Sargeant Waters, Australia’s only Canungra to Cascades, the then aboriginal Kittyhawk pilot. This n e w President of the 39th Battalion memorial is yet another reminder of the Association, Alan Moore, led us all in Earlier this week I was honoured to core value that Rotary shares with our singing Happy Birthday to General present a Rotary Paul Harris Veterans and soldiers – that of serving Leahy. Fellowship to Gold Coast City Council their community or, as Rotarians know on behalf of the Rotary Club of it - of “Service Above Self”. By coincidence, today also happens Broadwater Southport. To the best of to be the Birthday of . . . The Wall’s my knowledge, this is the first time a Rotarian, Herbert J. Taylor, once artist - David Yardley! David would Paul Harris Fellow has been awarded defined Rotary as, “A maker of you and Jenny please come forward to a Local Government Authority in friendships, a builder of men and and accept this bottle of champagbe Australia and, possibly, in the World. women and communities, and a from us all? creator of goodwill and friendships I can’t think of a more fitting day to The Paul Harris fellowship was between the peoples of the world." At awarded in recognition of Council’s the heart of Rotary is a call to all ask the Wall’s Patron and an outstanding service to this community Rotarians to aspire to moral Honorary member of our Club, Bill and their support of our Club’s excellence. For Rotarians believe, Bellairs, to lead us all in singing community projects, in particular our that there is strength and protection Happy Birthday to David on this most annual Kokoda Memorial Walk and for all in the Truth; that modern special of all days for him. And, for the construction of the Rotary Kokoda business can be done in a fair, honest any other members of the audience Memorial Wall, which we are here to and trustworthy manner; that different whose Birthday it is today… Happy dedicate today. The Paul Harris peoples can be led to believe in and Birthday to you too!! Fellow Scheme funds t h e trust one another; and that, with Bill, would you lead us in song? humanitarian and educational intelligence and goodwill, a way can In closing: I’d like to remind everyone programs of The Rotary Foundation, be found for all to share in the that you are welcome to come forward whose Mission is “To build world benefits of our labours. Rotary after the Service, or during morning understanding and peace”, and so I expresses those moral aspirations as tea, and take some of the poppies or find it particularly apt that, while the The Four Way Test, and calls all in native evergreens provided here for Kokoda Memorial Wall honours and Rotary to apply t h a t Test as a you, and lay them among the remembers those who fell in the measure of all they do. Wreaths. violence of war, it also incorporates a quiet, contemplative Peace Park. I’d like to share Rotary’s Four Way The Gold Coast City Council have Test with you now - if I may? prepared a superb Kokoda Memorial Rotary’s ties with Kokoda are many. Wall Booklet as a reminder for you of Australian Rotarians past and present • Is it the Truth? this day so, please, ensure that you defended our freedom on The Track • Is it fair to all concerned? take your copy home with you. and in other parts of Papua New • Will it build goodwill and Guinea; Australian Rotarians built the On behalf of the Rotary Club of better friendship? Broadwater Southport and the Gold Rotary Kokoda Hospital and also the school at Menari; and, Australian • Will it be beneficial to all Coast City Council, I thank you all for Rotarians regularly provide medical concerned? your attendance here today, and your supplies to the hospital and 12 Aid Please consider how you may use participation in making this a very Stations along the Kokoda Track. Rotary’s Four Way Test in your own special event. I wish the travellers among you, a safe journey home and Rotary in Australia also has a history of daily lives. with that we conclude the ceremony. initiating and building memorials to Thank you Reprinted from Victorian RSL Journal “MUFTI” June 2008 "AMATEURS TALK TACTICS WHILE PROFESSIONALS TALK LOGISTICS". At the dedication of the Rotary Kokoda Memorial Wall the Key Note Speech was delivered by Major General Richard Wilson AM Commander 1st Division (representing Chief of Austraiian Defence Forces) The famous British 39™ in late August. They chose not to leave. They commander from World voluntarily stayed in the line for another two weeks to War II, Field Marshal Wavell, is alleged to have said help their new mates of the 21st Brigade repel four that, in the military, "Amateurs talk tactics while battalions of Japanese. Professionals talk logistics". This statement goes a By the end of the Kokoda campaign, there were only long way towards explaining why Kokoda, a dusty 50 men left from the original 39th Battalion strength of airstrip on the side of a mountain range in Papua New 1460 when it landed in New Guinea just two months Guinea, remains a name familiar to all Australians earlier. It was clear that they had learnt their lessons Some 66 years after the events that originally brought hard. it to prominence. for four months in 1942, Kokoda was The men of the 39™ Battalion typified the the focus as the northern defences of Australia were characteristics that have become synonymous with the measured in some of the most desperate and vicious Australian Digger: Courage, Initiative, Compassion fighting experienced by Australian soldiers during the and Mateship. Despite all of the setbacks that they Second World War. The campaign that was conducted suffered: in training, manning, logistic support, and around the village of Kokoda and along the famous strategic leadership, they persevered and eventually Kokoda Track claimed over 600 Australian lives with halted the Japanese advance. more than 6000 soldiers returned home, either Today, the name, and the spirit, of the 39th Battalion seriously wounded or with severe illness. However, lives on in the army's 39™ Personnel Support costly as it was, there was no alternative. If the Battalion. This unit has a crucial role in preparing and Japanese had been able to capture Port Moresby, they supporting Australian soldiers deploying on operations. would have secured a foothold that could be developed It is a gate that all deploying soldiers must pass to support campaigns across the wider Pacific region through, and in doing so, they are encouraged to or, potentially, to mount an assault on mainland reflect on the characteristics of the Australian digger: Australia. the characteristics that were so evident in the men of With Australia's regular army units fighting in Europe the 39th Battalion who fought along the Kokoda Track and Africa, the responsibility for the defence of in 1942. Australia rested, at least in the short term, with the In Australia's military history, Kokoda ranks behind only militia forces. Ill-equipped and inadequately- trained, Gallipoli in terms of a place in the national many of these soldiers had not even had the consciousness. It was a crucial campaign, one that has opportunity to fire their rifles before they were provided Australians with unforgettable examples of deployed. courage and tenacity and iconic images of battle - Units like the 39™ Militia Battalion from Victoria, with weary soldiers being supported by their mates and the an average age of just over 18 years, were sent to wounded being carried by Fuzzy-Wuzzy Angels up Papua New Guinea, into some of the most difficult steep jungle ridges and through swollen streams. It is country imaginable, to stop the advance of the therefore my privilege to be here today, representing undefeated Japanese army. the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal The 39™ Militia Battalion, often outnumbered, Angus Houston, and an honour to participate in the frequently crippled with sickness and always short of unveiling of such a magnificent tribute to those brave supplies, fought tirelessly to slow the Japanese until soldiers who fought in the Kokoda campaign. reinforcements could arrive to help stem the tide. Thank you Although exhausted after five weeks of continuous fighting, when relief finally came for the men of the Wreaths which had been laid during the Ceremony in the Chapel were later taken to the Wall and reverently placed in their proper position to honour all the fallen KOKODA DAY – MELBOURNE ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE Address delivered by Charles Happell - Author of “The Bone Man of Kokoda” I imagine you’ve had as your was the one which had scarred Lomax so deeply and guest speakers over the years provoked in him such hatred. Lomax’s wife then sent a letter all manner of historians, to Nagase which set in train a series of events that resulted military men, and authors - but in Lomax, in 1992, meeting up with the Japanese man at the perhaps no-one who’s come to River Kwai Bridge in Thailand. talk to you about a Japanese The Scotsman was filled with apprehension, not knowing soldier. And a Japanese what to expect of this meeting, nor did he know how he soldier who fought at Kokoda, would react to the sight of Nagase, and whether he’d be able no less. I don’t imagine such to control his urge for vengeance. But much of the old an invitation would have been animosity, the hatred which had festered away at him for 50 issued 30 or 20 or even 10 years, began to melt away when he met the Japanese, and years ago. was able to speak frankly with him over the next two days I’m not here today to rewrite about the terrible events which had bound their lives wartime history. I’m not going together. Lomax discovered Nagase had been so filled with to tell you that black is white, regret and remorse that he had been to Thailand 60 times that the average Japanese since the war, had opened a Museum of Peace on the River soldier was misunderstood, or to try and paint them as Kwai Bridge, and become a devout Buddhist. The two men something they weren’t. You fought against them, you will discovered they had many mutual interests and, have your own definite views about them, and the way they astonishingly, ended up becoming close friends. conducted themselves in battle. That tale brings us in a round-about way to Kokichi I’m 46 years old, and a generation or two removed from Nishimura, the Japanese soldier who is the subject of my those horrors. I have only known Japan in peacetime. Our book, the Bone Man of Kokoda. He, too, has wrestled with generation has always driven Japanese cars, listened to his demons for the 63 years since the war ended, and he Japanese radios and used Japanese computers. I studied says not a day goes by without him recalling some aspect of the Japanese language for six years at my school. Two of my those years between 1941 and 1945. friends have opened businesses in Japan. I stumbled across Nishimura’s story while walking the I was brought face-to-face with the old, rusted-on Australian Kokoda Track in April 2006 with some mates from attitudes towards Japan a year or two after I left school. My Melbourne. As we passed through the village of Efogi, the brother, who studied in Japan for a year in the early 1980s, Papuan porter alongside me pointed out a stone monument brought home a couple of his Japanese friends for a Sunday on the edge of the village. The person who built that, he said, lunch with my grandparents. My grandfather sat stiff and bolt was a Japanese soldier and he has lived in New Guinea for upright in his chair for the entire lunch; I’ve never seen him more than 20 years trying to find the bodies of his friends look less comfortable or more ill-at-ease. He did not who died during the war. I’m a journalist by trade and I’ve exchange one word with the guests, apart perhaps from Can always liked a good story. This one piqued my interest, so I You Pass the Salt?, and clearly did not enjoy the experience began to research it further. one bit. I knew the Japanese had done some terrible things That chance sighting at Efogi set off a chain of events that during the war, and had often treated their prisoners resulted in me tracking down Nishimura in Japan, meeting appallingly, but I couldn’t understand his behaviour 40 years and interviewing him at his home outside Tokyo during two on and I thought it was rude. separate weeks, speaking to his comrades from the 144 th It was only later, after I’d read and studied aspects of the Infantry Regiment, attending the regiment’s annual reunion in Pacific War more closely, that I began to understand his Kochi City, visiting the Yasukuni Shrine and war museum in reaction. The war did not end neatly in September 1945. For Tokyo and then, of course, interviewing several members of th many people – especially the combatants, like those of the the 39 Battalion in Melbourne, including John Akhurst, Noel th 39 – it lived on in their minds for many years afterwards, Hall, Allan Moore and finally Ralph Honner’s son, Brian, in and perhaps still does. Canberra. As I pieced together Nishimura’s story like a giant I have just finished a book by Eric Lomax, a Scotsman, called jigsaw puzzle, I came to realize not just that he’d led a truly The Railway Man.. It is a fascinating account of his extraordinary life, but that the New Guinea campaign was experience as a POW during the war and his intense hatred one of the most horrific imaginable. th nd th of the Japanese for what they did to him during his Nishimura was in the 5 company, 2 Battalion, of the 144 imprisonment on the Thai-Burma Railway, at a camp called Infantry Regiment. His platoon of 56 men set off from Kokoda Kanburi, in 1943. for Port Moresby on 24th of August, 1942 – 16 days after a th For years, Lomax plotted ways to kill those who had tortured Company from the 39 had recaptured Kokoda in what was a him at Kanburi. He remembered in particular the face of a significant symbolic victory. Within a week of setting out from Japanese soldier who had acted as an interpreter. Lomax Kokoda, 14 members of Nishimura’s platoon – exactly a had dreamed up dozens of ways to exact revenge on this quarter – had been killed in skirmishes with Australian troops man if ever he caught up with him again. As he says in his at Kaile and Myola. They arrived at Brigade Hill in the first book: ‘’The majority of people who hand out advice about week of September with 42 fit men. But in that particularly forgiveness have not gone through the sort of experience I ferocious and bloody battle on September 8, about which had; I was not inclined to forgive – not yet, probably never.’’ much has been written, 41 of those men died. Only Nishimura survived, and then with two machinegun bullets in Lomax managed to avoid any contact at all with Japanese his right shoulder. In the space of 15 days, his platoon had people until 1991 – 46 years after he was released from been wiped out. Nishimura was patched up, and one of the Changi. One day someone forwarded to him an article that bullets flicked out by a doctor from beneath the skin on his appeared in the Japan Times in 1989. It was about a former back. After being taken to Ioribaiwa on a stretcher, Nishimura member of the Japanese Army by the name of Nagase, was just fit enough to get back on his feet and rejoin the telling of his war experience and mentioned specifically the Japanese retreat on September 26 back up the Track – past torture of a British POW at Kanburi, an event which had Nauro, Menari, Efogi and Myola once more - to the northern caused the Japanese man flashbacks and nightmares. As he beaches. And there, from November 19 to January 12, he read the article, Lomax realized that Nagase was his much- lived in a foxhole near the village of Giruwa, with barely half a hated interpreter and that the incident he was referring to cup of rice to eat a day, as well as seedlings he picked out of the mire. His weight, about 70 kilograms a year earlier, was face with its enemy once again, the first time a Japanese unit down to barely 30 kilograms when he was finally evacuated had met its former enemy in peacetime, in a formal reunion. to Rabaul. John takes up the story: ‘’They gave us this cocktail party I won’t tell you the whole story about Nishimura’s war – that and it was quite extraordinary really, extraordinary. We were would take too long – but he was patched up, fattened up a bit hampered because most of them couldn’t speak English and thrust into battle again. Later in 1943, his troopship was and we couldn’t speak Japanese. We were there for more sunk by an American submarine near Taiwan and he spent than an hour. But it was a very successful evening. It was the 14 hours in the water. He fought the British in Burma where most delightful and enjoyable experience. ‘’I met a his Company sustained casualties at almost the same rate it gentleman who fired the mountain gun; I was interested to did in New Guinea. He caught malaria several times, and talk to him. I also met a general, Kengoro Tanaka, and we was convalescing in hospital in Kochi City after one such had quite a chat. His English was quite good. We established attack, when the atom bombs were dropped on nearby cities we were about 400 yards from one another at Sanananda in of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Still, he was one of the lucky December 1942. He says to me: ‘’I’m glad I didn’t shoot you.’’ th ones. Of the 3500 men in the 144 Regiment sent to war in I said: ‘’I’m glad I didn’t shoot you’’. ‘’Tanaka gave me his the South Pacific, only 236 returned home to Japan, a card, as did the younger bloke who organized the whole thing mortality rate of about 93%. from the goodwill society, and I had them in my wallet but I It was the memory of these men from his Company, and his was sailing down at Corio Bay one day and lost my wallet Platoon, some of whom Nishimura had grown up with in overboard. ‘’What it boiled down to was this: we did what we Kochi City and several of whom had become his close were being told to do and they did what they were ordered to friends, that forced him into his next major undertaking: do. I had nothing against Tanaka, and he had nothing against Becoming The Bone Man of Kokoda. For years after the me. We were just doing what we were told from higher up. war, Nishimura had planned his return trip to New Guinea. But if I’d seen him there at Sanananda in 1942, well, I would th He researched the exact movements of the 144 Regiment, have shot at him. That’s the way it is.’’ and the battles his Company was engaged in. He even asked One of the Japanese men I interviewed for the book was a th the Australian War Memorial for help in providing some of member of the 144 Regiment, and he also hailed from this information. Finally, in 1979, Nishimura said goodbye to Kochi Prefecture. His name was Sadashige Imanishi. He, his family – his wife and three children - and left Tokyo for too, was at the Shiba Park reunion that night in 1972. New Guinea. He was 60 years old, retiring age in Japan, but Imanishi remembered the evening well, saying it was still very fit. surprisingly relaxed and devoid of any ill-will. Most of the In New Guinea, he built himself a two-storey home at discussions were conducted through interpreters but Popondetta and a hut at Efogi and there he lived for the next inevitably sign language was used then salt and pepper 25 years. With a metal detector, shovel and mattock, he shakers, and cutlery, were brought out to indicate positions would go to work in the places where he knew Japanese on the battlefield. ‘’I think the memories of what happened soldiers had died, from Giruwa, and Gona and Buna in the had faded a lot,’’ Imanishi said. ‘’Many of my friends were north all the way down to Efogi and Brigade Hill. It was only killed in the war, but I certainly bore the Australians no when he got sick in 2005, aged 85, that he reluctantly animosity. I think once the war is finished, that’s it. What’s abandoned his project and headed home to live with his happened has happened. You need to move on. ‘’When we daughter, Sachiko. She was the only member of his family were fleeing from Kokoda to the beach, we had a greyish- who had stuck by him during his fanatical mission. white horse carrying our medical equipment. We came to the Nishimura had told his wife and two sons to leave the family Kumusi River which was flowing very fast and which we had home in Tokyo in 1979 because they had disagreed with his to cross. We couldn’t take the horse with us so we tried to decision to go back to New Guinea. That sort of shoo it away, saying: go away, go away. The Australian insubordination was viewed very dimly in traditional soldiers found the horse later and when we met them that Japanese households. So leave they did. And Nishimura has day, they joked to us about it. What happened to your horse? not seen them since that day, much less spoken to them. He We found a horse that we think belongs to you.’’ is not even sure whether they are still alive. Both Imanishi and Nishimura liked Australians and were So his crusade came at the cost of his flesh and blood. unreserved in their praise for the way Australian soldiers Through some warped reasoning, Nishimura felt it was worth conducted themselves in New Guinea, saying their bravery sacrificing his family in order to make good on a 37-year-old was of the highest order. Imanishi said: ‘’The Australian promise to his comrades. Somehow, in his mind, his loyalty soldiers fought very, very, very well. They were very good to his fellow-soldiers overrode his loyalty to his family. That is soldiers, very different from the Chinese soldiers, and much how scarred he was by the war. Like Eric Lomax, who better, too, than the Americans. American soldiers would carried that burden of anger around with him for 50 years, never advance from the same place that they were attacked Nishimura needed almost 40 years to begin purging his heavily. They always retreated. Australian soldiers kept wartime demons. coming, no matter how heavily we attacked them. That’s what I loved about them. They never tried to retreat. They As I said, in researching the book, I spoke to John Akhurst, were a good enemy, a noble enemy.’’ Allan ‘Kanga’ Moore, Noel Hall, and Brian Honner about the Kokoda campaign and their attitude to the Japanese now. I finished writing the Bone Man of Kokoda late in 2007. John recounted that extraordinary story of how he was one of Within a year I had gone from the sports editor at The Age to th eight men from the 39 Battalion who flew to Tokyo from Port the chronicler of a Japanese soldier’s life. It was not a career Moresby in 1972, having just been on a pilgrimage to New change I could ever have foreseen We know that history is th Guinea to commemorate the 30 anniversary of the Kokoda written by the victors. Japanese accounts of the Kokoda campaign. That contingent, as you know, comprised Alf campaign are few and far between. But to get an accurate Salmon, Jack Sutherland, Lloyd Lott, Ron Weakley, Jack picture of what really happened in history, we need to get the Boland, Len Murrell and Val Petersen, and their wives. loser’s side of the story as well. That to me, is paramount, Sadly, of that group of men, only John survives. Once they otherwise we get a very skewed and subjective view of our got to Tokyo they were invited, as guests of honour, to an past. I hope, in writing the Bone Man of Kokoda, that I have embassy reception thrown by the Australian Ambassador, gone some small way towards bridging the gap in Gordon Freeth. John said after the embassy function, the understanding between the two countries. And I hope, had group was taken to the Shiba Park Hotel. And, to their he been alive, my grandfather might even have read it, and astonishment, waiting there were these Japanese soldiers learnt something from it. th who had fought in New Guinea. The 39 had come face-to- Thank you for having me here toda Rob Kimm has garnered this item from e-Bay! He made this comment when he sent it to the editor.” This 39th Battalion Hat Badge was sold on ebay for $510.00 just recently (WOW)! Did any of you buy it? How many could be made for that amount?” The 39th Australian Infantry Battalion – “KOKODA.” Full sized hat badge – complete. (approx. 52 mm high) The 39th Battalion was awarded 12 Battle Honours and is the ONLY Unit in the Australian Army to be awarded the Battle Honour, “Kokoda.” The Battalion motto “FACTIS NON VERBIS” when translated, means “DEEDS NOT WORDS.” These full-sized badges are prized collector's items because of what they stand for and are VERY difficult to obtain. Please Note: A minor soldering repair has been carried out to the top 'lug' clasp holder, however the repair has NOT detracted from the obverse (frontal) appearance of the badge in any way. Winning bid: AU $510. 00 The Southport School Newsletter of Thursday 7th August 2008 contained this comment from the Headmaster: “Kokoda Memorial Wall – The recent opening of the Kokoda Memorial Wall and Peace Garden at Cascade Gardens was affected by the weather, and TSS was delighted to be able to offer the Chapel as the wet weather venue. Many local dignitaries joined ex-servicemen and women, and of course the hardy Kokoda Track veterans in a very appropriate service organised by Mr. George Friend and involving members of the TSS Cadets.” A 39th BATTALION AFL FOOTBALL TEAM ????? Ron Clarke, the Mayor of the Gold Coast City Council has come up with another suggestion to perpetuate the name of The 39th Battalion. We re-print a memorandum he issued a short time ago Should the licence be confirmed [for its establishment] there is another potential name for the GC17 AFL team on the Gold Coast - ‘The Thirty-Niners'. This would be in honour of the 39th Battalion who trained on the outskirts of the Gold Coast, and who performed so heroically on the Kokoda Track in fighting a holding action against mostly numerically superior and more experienced Japanese troops. This was the most important military action ever undertaken by the Australian Army in terms of geography, as an invasion of the country would have been imminent, had they failed. The name would be unique, while the image of courage, endurance and mateship that was so aptly applied to that campaign also epitomises the spirit of Australian Football. And the 39th Battalion's motto - 'Deeds not Words' would be the ideal slogan for the new club. As far as I know, there is only one other team in the world whose name would compare with the Gold Coast Thirty- niners - the NFL's San Francisco Forty-niners, named (I think) to honour the Californian gold rush of 1849. The Gold Coast Thirty-niners guernsey could be brown over red - the colours of the battalion - and depict the classic photo of a 25-pound artillery piece coming over a hill as per the Kokoda Memorial Wall in Cascade Gardens Is it too late to add this to The Gold Coast Bulletin's surveys for the new name? FOOTNOTE : Your committee supports the concept but has questioned the use of the name “Thirty-Niners” as this is already used by another organisation EdGG Our “I” Section Where we try to locate former mates we’ve lost track of The editor often wonders how successful this column is in obtaining the information sought. For that reason he was delighted when Harry Barkla rang to say that he had responded to the request for information about Lionel Bell in the last issue. A message indicating success or failure will always be appreciated and allow us to assess the value of this segment. Thank you. Jack Flanagan has “gone missing”. In January the editor called at his address in San Remo to find the house vacant, and he was told that it had recently been sold. We continued to send his copy of The Good Guts to this address and no copies were ever returned until the last issue. It would seem that that the “re-direction notice” at the Australia Post had expired. [Incidentally veterans can have that notice period extended without cost if they wish] Does anybody know where Jack is now? Up until the last months of 2007 he regularly kept in touch with us. Our secretary received the following message from: Ian Worley, whose email address is email@example.com - Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 11:58 AM Subject: W D Gleeson VX118194 - 39 Australian Infantry When clearing out one of my sheds I discovered some medals in an old box with the above name and number on them. From research through the internet it would appear that W D Gleeson served with the 39th Battalion. I would like to return these medals to his descendants (should they wish to have them) and would be obliged to receive any information you may have available that would assist. Our immediate reaction was that they belonged to Bill [William J] Gleeson but in fact they were not his but belonged to William Daniel Gleeson who was also a member of the 30th .WD as born in Numurkah, lived in QLD when he enlisted, and came to New Guinea with the 3rd reinforcements. He was wounded in action on 6/12/1942 and did not return to the 39th. He had a number V45827 which meant that he was a militia man before signing over to the AIF to get his VX118194 number. The fact that his number was more than 100,000 shows also that he was originally Militia. Official records show only service with the AIF from when he signed over. His date of "enlistment" shows as 15/8/1942 when the 39th were just out of the Battle of Isurava where the 39th held of the Japanese until relieved by the 2/14th Bn. Most of the 39th signed over to the AIF in July and August as the political pressure was applied, some were ill in hospital in QLD. WD may have been in this situation as his enlistment place is QLD. .As WD was discharged in 1946 he either spent the rest of the war in hospital or served with another unit. A lot of 39th went to 2/2nd and 2/14 and other units. We would like to be able to restore his medals to his family and we would like to hear from anybody who may be able to help in this regard. Contact either Ian Worley or one of our committee members. Any information no matter how insignificant it may seem will be useful. Juanita Cooper whose email address is firstname.lastname@example.org has sent the following email. I was just reading the "Good Guts" and was unsure if the little "Gaffe" where material disappeared into cyberspace for all eternity included emails sent to you in August so I am resending my query to ensure that it has indeed been received. Thank you for previously publishing our request for information on my Grand father Paul Poulsen (VX.105406) in your magazine last year. Unfortunately no one has contacted us so perhaps no one remembers him. My Grandfather received a Military Medal of which I think perhaps only 6 where awarded for Kokoda ? The MM was for bravery and leadership at Deniki on 07th August (attached for your perusal). I know from the attached that under his leadership and with a small patrol he penetrated enemy lines, inflicted considerable loss on the enemy and returned with valuable information (he was also shot at this time). In all the books that we have read and hours of study on the internet, I can find absolutely no reference to my Grandfather or the clash with the enemy for which he received his MM. Is there some way /where that we can gain further information on the above? His wife (my Gran) is currently in hospital and I would love to be able to learn something of Grand Dad for her and for us. Can any of our veterans help Juanita with this enquiry. We don’t often fail to get results so we are depending on youto help her with this enquiry. Mark Hondow writes:” I noticed in the Good Guts (No 154, August 2008) that my mother’s (Mrs A.M Hondow) mail has been returned marked "probably deceased". I can assure her many friends that she is still alive. We are sorry not to have informed the 39th of her being relocated to the Noosa Nursing Home, Tewantin, Qld. I will send you her postal address as soon as I can correctly verify said address. This was done suddenly thence the oversight. May Hondow is the youngest sister of Hedley Proctor Norman, E Coy, 39th Battalion, KIA Gona. I know mum loves reading the Good Guts, she glows with pride. God bless the 39th. Her address is “Douglas Wing”. Noosa Nursing Centre, Moorindil Road, TEWANTIN Qld 4565. Camille Mrzyglocki, Merv Brown’s daughter has written saying; “Mervyn Kenneth BROWN of Mandurah, the only remaining 39th Battalion member in Western Australia is in Peel Private hospital. Merv is still unwell but improving. We have threatened to start drinking his port collection if he doesn't hurry up and get better.!! The editor replied saying; “Tell Merv that a contingent will come from Melbourne to help you drink his port.”. We then received a later message which reads; “Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. Dad continues to improve after a serious episode of fluid on the lungs due to his poor heart function. Mum has moved into a care facility last Sunday so that has not been easy for them. Dad will come home with us for as long as it takes to get a residency position with Mum - should only be a few weeks if he is still classed as low care . The care facility is just across the road from our place so they will be able to visit each other George Mackenzie, who as well as being a member of our Association is a Trustee of the Shrine of Remembrance sent the following email to our president following Kokoda Day:- “Congratulations on an excellent pilgrimage by the Association yesterday. I mentioned to a few that the Association is a shining example of what a WW2 association can do if it's members involve family and friends. Unfortunately, many WW2 unit associations are discontinuing Shrine pilgrimages as the members die or become too elderly to make the effort and they haven't had family and friends in support. Obviously, there's a lot of life left in the 39th. Greg Wakefield rang to tell us about an item which appeared in both Melbourne newspapers, as well as on television. The reports state that the body of a World War 2 pilot is believed to have been discovered by a group of trekkers while taking photographs along the Kokoda Track near Myola, although the reports vary as to the exact location of the find. It appears that the object, which looks like a human body covered with an accumulation of moss and jungle debris is attached to some kind of harness which was caught in the upper levels of the forest canopy. It is believed that a number of Kittyhawk fighters and one B52 bomber crashed in the vicinity during the war. The find is being officially investigated and if it proves to be the body of a servicemen a proper service funeral and interment will follow. Sick Parade Erica Hall’s health has improved sufficiently for her to be able to return home bit she is still very frail. Joe Dawson has had a stint in hospital and while he is not 100% he is making a good recovery, Keep up the good work, Keep up the good work, Joe. . Don Daniels is still going through a rough patch but he is out of hospital as we write this. Alan Sullivan is not as fit as he would like to be either. . New Members Turner PO Box 1301 Gympie 4570 QLD - Son of George Turner Camille Neil Daniel B McCunn 67 One Tree Hill Rd Ferny Creek VIC 3786 - Grandson of Keith Bellis Gregory J Ivey 3 Park Lane Buderim QLD 4556 - Secretary of PIB Assoc Faye L Enders 14 Bordeaux Pd Mermaid Waters QLD 4218 - Daughter of Ron Halsall Peter J Morrison 73/8 Dive St Matraville NSW 2036 - Works with Charlie Lynn An Archbishop’s Sermon Once in every year the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne invites the retired clergy of the diocese to join him at a service in St Paul’s Cathedral and to share lunch with him in the Chapter House afterwards. This year the service was held on Tuesday 2nd September – the day set aside to commemorate the christian missionaries who were brutally slaughtered by the Japanese invaders in 1942. Not surprisingly the archbishop chose to speak about the New Guinea Martyrs at this service. Here is what he had to say, jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj T.S.Eliot In 'Murder In the Cathedral' evokes the language of the Prologue of St John's Gospel In describing the significance of a martyr, Saints are not made by accident. Still less is a Christian martyrdom the effect of a man's will to become a Saint, as a man by willing contriving may become a ruler of men. ... A martyr, a saint, is always made by the design of God, for His love of men, to warn them and to lead them, to bring them back to His ways. As much as the poet or playwright can skilfully craft words into expressions of the deepest emotions and affections of the human heart there are other words that come to have a significance because of the events that are associated with them. Japan had entered the war in 7 December 1941 and by 23 January 1942 had captured Rabaul. The momentum of the Japanese Imperial Forces seemed certain to overwhelm everything In their path. Bishop Philip Strong spoke on a radio broadcast, in January 1942, to the staff of the Anglican Missions these words, words that would soon be revealed as a prophetic call to the fullest expression of Christian discipleship. "As far as I know, you are all at your posts, and I am very glad and thankful about this. I have from the first, felt that we must endeavour to carry on to any of us individually....we could never hold up our faces again, if for our own safety, we all forsook Him and fled when the shadows of the Passion began to gather round Him in His Spiritual and Mystical Body, the Church in Papua. Our life in the future would be burdened with shame and we could not come back here and face our people again; and we would be conscious always of rejected opportunities.....No, my brothers and sisters, fellow workers in Christ, whatever others may do, we cannot leave. We shall not leave. We shall stand by our trust. We shall stand by our vocation. We do not know what it may mean to us. Many already think us fools and mad. What does it matter? If we are fools, 'we are fools for Christ's sake'. I cannot foretell the future. I cannot guarantee that all will be well – that we shall all come through unscathed. One thing only I can guarantee, is that if we do not forsake Christ here in Papua in His Body the Church, He will not forsake us. He will uphold us; He will sustain us; he will strengthen us, and He will guide and keep us through the days ahead.... Let us trust and not be afraid." Two young Australian missionaries, May Hayman a young nurse at Gona and Mavis Parkinson a teacher, from Ipswich, west of Brisbane left at the urging of their priest, but a week later Insisted on returning and staying at the Mission. Betrayed into the hands of the Japanese from where they had hidden when the Japanese advanced both women were bayoneted to death. Much older than these women, Henry Matthews a predecessor of mine at Mitchell River Mission, was a veteran missionary of 33 years experience. Accompanied by a young native teacher and evangelist, Leslie Gariardi, he set out from Port Moresby In the mission boat for Daru, to be with the evacuees who had gone there for refuge. On the way their boat was sunk by the Japanese Airforce, both men were killed. Added to their number on 2 September 1942 were Henry Holland a long-time lay worker become priest, Vivian Redllch an Englishman and veteran of the Bush Brotherhood in Queensland, Lllla Lashmar a teacher from Prospect, In Adelaide, Margery Brenchley a nurse from Brisbane, John Dufflll also from Brisbane and Lucian Tapiedi, a native teacher who sought to protect the missionaries from betrayal at the hands of unconverted Papuans. Tapiedi was the first to die, axed to death by the Papuans who had betrayed the missionaries to the Japanese. The missionaries were beheaded on Buna Beach along with an army officer and a family of three. On New Britain, John Barge, a priest from Brisbane and a veteran of the First World War kept his mission station operating during two years of the Japanese occupation. Even though he knew his life was in peril he resolutely kept to his post until the Japanese found him In 1943 and took him away and murdered him. Canon Maynard the Vicar of St Peter's Eastern Hill, who had been to Dogura In 1939, for the consecration of the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, as well as to lead the clergy retreat, preached a sermon in Melbourne on the evening of 11 October, 1942 a little more than a month after the 10 were killed at Buna. He preached passionately about the mismatch of the world's Ideas and the truth of the Gospel, 'There are times when the world likes the fruits of the Christian Religion. There are times when it wakes up to the fact that without them it must perish. Men's selfishness and sins, their pride and their covetousness, create discord and strife, resentment and wars. Nation rises against nation. Race against race. The strong exploit the weak, and corrupt themselves with their ill-gotten gains. Then the tables are turned. Revolutions follow. Blood flows in abundance and new struggles for riches begin. That is the age old way of the world. Into this turmoil, into this world of distrust and suspicion. Into this world held down by force. Into this world of men, slaves to their sins, - comes the Blessed Lord Jesus Christ preaching that "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Rubbish cry the cynics. It's only another dodge to make money. Only we are more honest about it. But all the time their covetousness has blinded them. There is another principle of life abroad. There is another motive for living known to men. Of it Jesus Christ is the supreme example. But He still has His true followers. And these live for what they can give, not for what they can get.' The Assistant Chaplain General of the Australian Army Padre Arthur Bell visited Sangara with Bishop Strong in 1943 after the Japanese had retreated He recorded in his brief note published as 'Among the Ruins' that in 1934 Strong's predecessor, Bishop Henry Newton, had appealed to the Australian church for funds to expand evangelistic work in that place. Occupied as Australia was with recovery from the Great Depression his appeal failed to gain any support. The unconverted Papuans who had betrayed Holland, Redlich Duffill, Brenchley and Lashmar were all from the place where Bishop Newton wanted to expand the mission. Bell noted his shame that the Australian Church had not done more and earlier to resource the sacrificial ministry of these missionaries before they were called upon to be 'faithful unto death. As far as I know two churches In this diocese have memorial windows to the New Guinea Martyrs, St Mark's Camberwell and St Peter's Eastern Hill. We of course must be careful not to lose the story of the Christian witness that Is the true light behind these windows because It Is the light of Christ lived out with a faithfulness that did not falter. At the recent Lambeth Conference I was privileged to be In a Bible Study group that Included two bishops from Papua New Guinea. I know from their own words the many adversities that they and their people face as they live out their Christian lives in a country that Is much different from our own. Improved post ordination training for the clergy was easily Identified as a high priority that we here In Melbourne might be able to assist the Papua New Guinean Church with. Spending a few weeks or even months at Newton College In Popondetta would make a big difference to the encouragement and equipping of these faithful servants of Christ. Perhaps there Is scope for some of our Melbourne clergy who can withstand a difficult climate and only two hour's electricity a day to be freed up by your generous support for this task. Book Review Australia’s Greatest Peril - Bob Wurth 1942 was the year of Australia's greatest peril - as Darwin was destroyed by bombing, Australian ships were torpedoed within sight of our coast, midget Japanese submarines attacked shipping in Sydney Harbour, and the Japanese army invaded New Guinea on its inexorable march south. This is the real story of the genuine and imminent threat to Australia in that fateful year. On the beautiful Inland Sea of Japan - the heartland of the Imperial Japanese Navy - and in frenetic wartime Tokyo, zealous staff officers and their illogical admirals debated the invasion of an almost defenceless nation. The Imperial Japanese Army, meanwhile, opposed the attack, foreseeing a looming military quagmire. In Australia, Allied defence chiefs all but dismissed the chances of holding Darwin. For months, Australia's fate hung in the balance The Age Newspaper (Melbourne) published the following review by Rob Moran IN September 1942, Japan's Prime Minister, General Hedeki Tojo, boasted that he would be able to occupy Perth by January the following year. He had every reason to be confident: Singapore, the lynch-pin of Australia's imperial defence, had fallen to rhe Japanese in a bloody campaign. Further afield, Australian island garrisons on Rabaul, Ambon and Timor were overrun. Darwin had been attacked from the air, and New Guinea had been invaded, with the Japanese advancing over the Kokoda Track to try and take Port Moresby, from which Australia's north was wide open. The nation appeared to be under threat of a full-scale invasion. But was it? Some historians scoff at the suggestion, insisting Japan's only aim was to cut Australia off from both Britain and the US — anything more serious was mere chatter from a few junior officers. But a new book, 1942: Australia's Greatest Peril, by journalist and historian Bob Wurth, says the Japanese archives reveal that there was a serious proposal for an invasion, with debate at the highest levels of the Japanese military. It will lend support to those who argue that there was a Battle for Australia, the official commemoration of which was observed on 27th August. The book states that, as early as January 1942, senior Japanese military personnel such as Captain Yoshitake Miwa were making plans. "We must think quickly about invading Australia," he noted in his journal on January 6. "The United States is now in the middle of reinforcing Australia, Fiji and Samoa." Wurth says there were many references in Japan's official war history to plans to invade Australia. There were more references in memoirs and minutes taken by General Hajime Sugijama, chief of the Army General Staff, General Hiromi Tanaka, and others, at meetings between the imperial navy and the army. There were about seven admirals talking about an invasion in the first few months of 1942, says Wurth. There was also evidence that general Tomoyuki Yamashita, the so-called Tiger of Malaya, proposed invading. When interviewed by British journalist John Potter post-war, while awaiting trial as a war criminal, Yamashita said: "Why, there were hardly enough Australians to have organised an effective resistance to the Japanese Army. All they could ever hope to do was make a guerrilla resistance in the bush," Yamashita said. "With even Sydney and Brisbane in my hands it would have been comparatively simple to subdue Australia . . We could have been safe there forever." The invasion, of course, didn't happen. Disagreements between the Japanese navy and army, plus changes in the tide of the war by the end of 1942, saw the threat diminish and pass. . Another Veteran’s Story Les Arnel, who now resides at Dunmunkle Lodge, 1 Mcleod Street, Minyip,Vic.3392. Telephone  5385 7363, has written the following story which we are happy to print. As I never received an answer to a previous letter to officers, however when Sam went down the Track I the Secretary nearly two years ago nor any comments heard a shot and never saw him again. The Jap's in the Good Guts, I decided to write one time while I'm obviously had us surrounded as their mortars were on still in this mortal world .it's possible this was lost in the the go but I don't remember any hitting the Village. mail but I thought, however, I write because of changes That night with the aid of Sanopa the Papuan, we to my lifestyle . climbed down the cliff face so steep that I doubt we I have been a resident of Dunmunkle Lodge since would have tackled this in daytime. However the December 2007 due to health problems I am in full circumstances warranted this. Then we walked in respite plus physical handicap with my writing hand, water for hours eventually climbing out and up to Macular Degeneration and Marriage breakdown after Deniki village above Kokoda.. I know we stretched out 15 years These problems may have contributed to my to dry, had a meal and a check up and 1 think we inability to read or write for several years but since moved back into Kokoda where a Battle royal took coming to the Lodge I have been encouraged to learn place on the end of the Plateau. With bullets (lying the Computer plus aid from Vision Australia. The around the next thing I knew we were retiring to Deniki macular problem may have caused me to miss then eventually Isurava and then Euro Creek. Crossing comments in the Good Gut's. I did record my time in at Deniki I was in extreme pain. By the time we the 39th. This I believe was lodged with War records in reached the creek, the malaria; dysentery and Scrub Canberra, however there's some queries 1 have . Typhus and the abdominal pain had worsened. The Doctor ordered us out with the walking sick and I've seen on T.V that LARRY DOWNES passed away. I wounded. I don't remember much about the walk back would like to pass on my condolences to his family until I woke up in the 17 mile Hospital. It was then onto through the Good Out's. I also heard a man in the the Hospital Ship, MANUNDA then to Redbank and News state he lost a brother on the Kokoda Track. The then Toowoomba, Gleney and Downlands, where my name was Leans. I remember a fellow member of the appendix was removed. After many months it was on Coy. Captained by Sam Templeton that crossed the to Glen limes, Bathurst, Liverpool, Sydney Owen Stanleys that encountered the Jap's at the Showgrounds then to Heidelberg where I was posted Kumusi River, I think. We were deployed on the Buna to the Salvage Depot at Fisherman’s Bend where I side of the river but when the Jap's came around the stayed until my discharge. bend they must have suspected a trap or sensed movement because they faded back into the Jungle. In Due to various reasons I have only attended a few his wisdom Sam. who I was lying beside, decided to Reunions- but keep tabs through the Good Guts. withdraw across the rope bridge ( Wairope ) I think and However T have been in R.S.L. for 62 years, 10 years we were redeployed on Kokoda side, at this stage I lost with Legacy in S.A., 11 years Committee Member at contact with Sam and finished up on the left flank. All Stawell, during which time I did Hospital and Nursing was quiet for some lime so I called quietly to my right home visits. Addressed ANZAC Day Services at and got no answer, so I crawled over. but no one was Stawell and Great Western. there so I crawled further and still no one so I realised I have given a lot of my time serving fellow Service the Coy had with withdrawn, I looked down the and Men and Widows. In all my activities I have always couldn't see any one except the Jap's who were at the made mention of the 39th. BTN contribution to the War side of the bridge, They must have thought it was a effort in (he New Guinea Campaign. trap because no shots were fired at me, I forgot to mention two instances that happened on a I couldn't see the Coy; so I took off in the direction of walk buck over the Range. I remember sloping at Oivi Village, as that would be the way to go and I Nauro Village for a half day but nothing more after that. caught up as the Coy started to climb up the Plateau- However, ! was told that I wandered off the track and We were deployed along the edge but then called upon two Fuzzy Wuzzy's spotted my footsteps going off the to withdraw to the Village. This was when something track and brought me back. I don't remember who 1 happened that 1 have put it out of my mind. a member came back with but if they hadn't found me I'd still be just behind me turned hack toward the advancing Japs, there. he still had his Rifle or weapon slung over his shoulder. The other matter that I'm interested in is, I remember I never saw him again. The name was Lebansky or a most of my Section camped below Ackack Hill near 7 similar name, I know there was a fellow soldier 1 heard mile drome but I can't remember what happened to him Ivan Scarvinsky because of the Russian or middle Les [Jumbo] Hutchins or Hutchison. Is there any European name. knowledge of him? I volunteered to join Sam Hearing this on the news prompted me to mention this. Templeton's Coy, To go to Kokoda so I lost contact It is off my mind at last. Someone else may have some with my Section, knowledge of this. I caught up with Sam Templeton in Incidentally I was never Conscripted as some reports the Village because he said I might be needed as a say I was A member of the 8th Battalion. when the call runner. However, he ordered me to remain behind was made for Volunteers to form the 39th. Bat. So I put when he decided to scout down the track towards my name down and subsequently become a member Kokoda, before doing so he was in conversation with of the 39th. two Officers and a Sergeant. I'm not sure, but I think LESLIE BOLDEN ARNEL - V57965 Doug Mclean and Harry Mortimor were the two A Sprig of Lantana The use of the 39 Bn. Logo, when inserting a Death Notice in a newspaper, for a 39th Bn. Veteran, helps draw attention to that notice. In Victoria The Herald Sun & The Age both have a copy on file. In other states newspapers in the same group MAY be able to access the logo if requested. It is not necessary to seek permission for its use on death notices for 39th Bn members. The Reference Numbers which must be quoted are: The Herald Sun - B004 The Age - A796 A metal replica of the 39th Bn Badge, for use on a gravestone, is available for purchase from the Memorabilia Officer ✝ Lawrence William (Larry) DOWNES - VX 103106 (V5 8286) - Sgt., late of 20 Cricket Street Station Flat Clunes VIC 3370, died on Aug. 31, 2008 peacefully at St. John of God Hospital, Ballarat, aged 89 years. He was the loved and loving husband of Olga for 63 years; much loved Dad of Vern and Joan; loved Pop of Renee (dec.), Rochelle and Richard; proud great-grandfather of Stephanie and Sebastian. Prayers celebrating his entry into Eternal Life were in St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Clunes on Friday 5th September followed by burial will follow at the Clunes Cemetery. The Association was well represented, with our banner proudly displayed, at the funeral. ✝ Jack McPhail, who was a member of B Company, died in Shepparton recently. We had lost track of both Jack and his brother Hugh who was also in B Coy, but noticed the report of Jack’s death in “Mufti” and as a result have been able to trace Hugh also. Artist relives life on the Kokoda Track A Report from The Bendigo Advertiser TWO tiers of Australian wartime history came together at a presentation run by the Bendigo & District RSL recently. Kokoda veterans Harry Barkla and John Dawes received watercolour paintings of areas of the track from leading Australian artist, the son of a Kokoda veteran himself, Terry Jarvis. Mr Jarvis was sponsored by the Bendigo RSL to walk the Kokoda Track, painting as he went, and he shared his experiences with residents at the function at Village Life. Residents were shown a documentary of the trek and a selection of paintings he had done on the trail, before presenting' one each to Mr Barkla and Mr Dawes. "These two fellows knew the track that I now know but without the snipers and as younger men than myself," he said. He said it was a privilege and an honour to present the paintings to the veterans. "To be able to give to each warrior a representation of my visual memories of where they fought at Isurava, as it is today, seemed highly inadequate considering the sacrifice they, and others, made." "I want to thank you for the sacrifice you both made to defend our country and keep Australia safe," he said. The men said that while time had passed, some of the track was as they remembered it. "Some of the crossings, just two logs thrown over the water, are just as they were," said Mr Barkla. He was 21 years old when he served in the jungles of Kokoda, John Dawes was just 17. "Terry really brings it all back," said Mr Dawes. "The paintings are terrific. They really capture the real feel of the track." The remaining paintings of the Kokoda track will feature in an exhibition by tin' RSL in November. Christmas Lunch Tuesday 9th December 2009 RSL - 4 St George’s Rd Elsternwick All welcome - $25.00 each Book with Lorraine Cochrane  9580 1947 The usual impressive ceremony was held in the inner sanctum of the Shrine with the Guards escorting our banner. Our Life Patron, followed by our President and then by members, laid the traditional red poppy and a sprig of lantana beside the Memorial Stone After all had paid their respects we moved down to the Shrine’s undercroft where our Guest Speaker, Charles Happell, delivered a most interesting address –see separate report - which was heard with great interest, After that a cuppa was most welcome. This year was the first time we served the afternoon tea at the Shrine itself and everyone agreed it was a great innovation which we will repeat again next year. Not many realised that we did have a caused by a plumbing fault which closed the kitchen. None the less Mary and Merren met the problem with a smile and everybody got a hot drink and good food, as well as a chat with friends. Copies of most pictures published The Good Guts are available from the editor. No charge is made for these but a donation to cover costs is appreciated. Another thought – why not make a point of coming to our Christmas Lunch ?