The Australian War Memorial History Essay

This subdivision contains a recent appraisal by the Australian War Memorial and a missive from Major General Paul Cullen on the issue. Following that is a research paper on the history of the Kokoda Trail by Hank Lahn.

The Australian War Memorial ( Wartime Vol 19, 2002 ) advises:

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“ There has been considerable argument about whether the hard way that crossed the Owen Stanley Range should be called “ Kokoda Trail ” or the “ Kokoda Track ” .

“ Both footings have been in common usage since the war. “ Trail ” is likely of American beginning but has been used in many Australian history books, including the official history, and was adopted by the Australian Army as an official “ conflict honor ” . “ Track ” comes from the linguistic communication of the Australian shrub. It excessively is normally used by veterans, and is used in some volumes of Australia ‘s official history.

“ Therefore, both are right, but “ trail ” appears to be used more widely. The Memorial has adopted the term “ trail ” because it is favoured by a bulk of veterans and because it appears on the conflict honours of units which served in Papua in 1942 ” .

Major General Paul Cullen fought in the Kokoda run as a immature Captain with the 3rd Battalion. He writes:

“ There were three stages during the run, which began with the landing of the Nipponese force at Buna and Gona 21 – 24 July 1942. This force was to happen a manner across the mountains to Moresby and apart from a little brush at Awala, cross the Kumusi River and assail the little force of a company of the 39th Battalion at Goiari and so on to Kokoda where a barbarous conflict ended in the Australians retreating to Deniki. From so on barbarian conflicts at Isurava, Eora Creek, Mission Ridge, Brigade Hill and so eventually the alleviation of the 39th Battalion and 21st Brigade at Iorabaiwa by the fresh 25th Brigade and the 3rd Battalion AMF. So ended the first stage of the Campaign.

“ The 2nd stage, the progress of the 3rd Battalion and the 25th Brigade and the 16th Brigade from Iorabaiwa to the Kumusi River and beyond to Soputa ; eventually driving the Japanese into prepared fortress manner defense mechanisms at Buna, Gona and Sanananda.

“ This became the 3rd stage known as the Battle of the Beaches. The most acrimonious conflicts were at Gona and Buna. Sanananda was more of a besieging with the enemy good dug into dugouts to a great extent reinforced with logs and some concrete. Casualties were really heavy at Sanananda more to malaria ; dysentery and sand fly fever than slugs and bayonets. It was finally mopped up in mid January 1943 by the Australians who cleared Papua of the enemy.

“ The weaving way between Koitaki in the South and Buna, Gona in the north base on ballss through many small towns and cantonments on its Byzantine manner across the spinal column of the Owen Stanley Range and at its highest point reaches 7,000 pess at Templeton ‘s Traversing all in the shadow of Mr Victoria at 14,000 pess. All through thick rain forest and impenetrable jungle.

“ Prior to WW11 harmonizing to narratives told by the ‘the old custodies ‘ mineworkers, plantation owners et Al, all waies, paths etc were called by the way one was traveling, eg. Moresby Road, Buna Road, Kokoda Road.

“ During the runs of 1942-43 Milne Bay, Owen Stanleys, Wau, Salamaua, the War Correspondents were camped at the 7 Mile Airstrip and had to direct their censored studies to Australia by overseas telegram. This entailed depicting the conflicts along the manner as immense enemy losingss at Imita-Efogi-Myola. As there was no morse mark for the word ‘hyphen ‘ the word had to be signalled missive by missive in Morse codification doing the history collectible by the transmitter twice every bit high. One enterprising journalist, Geoff Reading was a acute fan of the narratives of Tales of the Klondike by Jack London and others began utilizing the word ‘Trail ‘ to mention to where the combat was taking placed, eg. ‘on the Kokoda Trail near the small town of Efogi ‘ or whatever. Our military personnels get the better of stiff resistance etc. The editors back in Australia loved it and shortly it became known as ‘The Kokoda Trail ‘ . Soldiers really still contending in New Guinea were having letters from place incorporating love and busss and ‘ we hope you are non on that awful Kokoda Trail ‘ . Anyone desiring to corroborate this has merely to travel to the Mitchell Library and see transcripts of newspapers of that period. Meanwhile those who were still at that place on the ‘Trail ‘ particularly the walking wounded were told to take the Moresby Road.

“ At War ‘s terminal when Battle Honours were being handed out, or should I say bestowed, those units which had been involved in the Owen Stanley Campaign were all awarded Kokoda Trail ; except the 39th Battalion who insisted holding one word ‘Kokoda ‘ as they were the lone unit which fought at that place. There were no expostulations at that clip and none since although these last few old ages some people are stating that ‘Trail ‘ is an American word.

“ In 1972 the Papua New Guinea Government set up a Place Names Commission, which named the manner across the Owen Stanleys ‘The Kokoda Trail ‘ . During their probes they discovered that all the Australian Survey Corps Maps being printed in late 1942-43 names it the ‘Kokoda Trail ‘ and that in 1932 the married woman of a plantation owner on the Sogeri Plateau had written a book about the mountain trail and she named the book ‘The Kokoda Trail ‘ .

“ Major General Kingsley Norris, the Medical Director of the seventh Division at the clip who had traversed it more than anyone else, puting up remainder and dressing Stationss for the hurt, wrote of it, ‘Time, rain and the jungle growing will finally kill this native tablet ; but everlastingly more will populate the memory of weary work forces who have passed this manner and shades of glorious work forces who have gone, gone far beyond the Kokoda Trail. General Norris ‘ description of the ‘native tablet ‘ is deserving reading in the pages of ‘Retreat from Kokoda ‘ by Raymond Paul, Chapter 6. ”

History of The Kokoda Trail – A research paper written by Hank Nelson

The Kokoda Trail was foremost used by Australians in the 1890s to make the Yodda goldfield on the upper Mambare. In 1899, in a three-month patrol, the authorities surveyor, H.H. Stuart-Russell, marked and mapped the track.1

Although other authorities officers had antecedently passed through the country, Stuart-Russell confronted several groups looking for the opportunity to assail. On the northern side of the Owen Stanleys near the Mambare ‘the battle began ‘ . The warriors shortly found their shield no protection against rifles, but ‘they came on once more and once more with the usual courage of all indigens belonging to that territory ( and ) they were repulsed every clip with loss.2 Stuart Russell, who had antecedently served in the Northern Division, commented that from the Yodda to the Opi the ‘tribes ‘ were ‘numerous, militant and treacherous’.3 The force continued through the following three or four old ages with the linguistic communication of war being used, authorities officers and constabularies being openly attacked and sometimes they killed 30 or 40 Orokaiva.4 It was non merely authorities versus villagers: in baffled conflicts, armed mineworkers, controlled and uncontrolled laborers and kins seeking confederations with aliens fought each other in what was both a continuance of traditional warfare and a transmutation of it as the contestants, arms and regulations of war changed. North of Isurava and beyond Kokoda the path passed through the country of the greatest force in the history of Australian mollification of Papua, and all that riotous combat was within the memories of people alive in 1942.

Stuart-Russell decided that a route could be cut through the Gap to Kokoda, but that it would be 10,000 ( lbs sterling ) and take two old ages. The deficiency of any route over 100 old ages subsequently suggests that he was optimistic.5

The trail came into regular usage one time Kokoda Stationss was established in 1904. Replacing Papaki ( Papangi ) and Bogi, Kokoda was, a visitant said in 1906 a ‘radiant topographic point ‘ and the Resident Magistrate ‘s house ‘native, joging and picturesque’.6 The site, C.A.W. Monckton reported, was selected partially because it allowed ‘regular and rapid ‘ communicating with Port Moresby’.7 The mail service carried by members of the Armed Native Constabulary connected Port Moresby to Kokoda, and that service, frequently timed to co-occur with the boat from Australia, continued into 1942. The constabulary, sometimes one from the North and one from the south meeting halfway to interchange mail bags, were so confident of the path that they travelled at dark. In 1929, the constabulary postmans were involved in one of Papua ‘s best-known slayings. In a difference over whose bend it was to transport the mail pouch, Armed Constable Karo shooting and killed Armed Constable Bili.8

In 1906, two of the Royal Commissioners sent to ask into the disposal of British New Guinea and to do recommendations for Australian Papua walked all the manner from Buna to Kokoda and on to Sogeri where they picked up Equus caballuss and sit into Port Moresby. Charles Herbert was 46 old ages old and Kenneth Mackay 47. Handicapped by a ‘gammy ‘ leg, Mackay took in good portion when he saw cheerful Orokaiva copying the manner he lifted his leg over fallen logs. After a few yearss walking, Mackay admitted that ‘a police officer did non transport ( his ) six-gun and H2O bottle, for in a land like this even a grasshopper would go a burden.9

When the fired Royal Commissioners arrived at Sogeri in 1906, David Ballantine ‘s java plantation was about entirely in production on the tableland. Ballantine, the authorities financial officer, had had his hill station out of bounds for about 10 old ages, but the first gum elastic had merely been planted. By 1940, there were four chief plantations on Sogeri with Koitaki ( 2,180 estates planted ) and the British New Guinea Development Company plantation at Itikinumu ( 1,559 ) by the far the largest.10 By enrolling in the to a great extent populated and close Northern Division, the Sogeri plantations increased motion across the Kokoda path. Time-expired apprenticed laborers walking home frequently carried no-good seedlings with them. In 1938, Clen Searle, so populating near Kokoda, counted 11,000 small town trees in the country, and applied to tap them.11

In 1908, the Seventh Day Adventists established a base at Bisiatabu, a little Sogeri plantation, to get down the transition of the peoples of Papua to another faith and another calendar. Pastor Sptimus Carr foremost walked to Kokoda in 1913, and he began roll uping a Koiari lexicon and learning the Koiari schoolboys and laborers at Bisiatabu.12 But is was non until Pastor Lock arrived in 1924 and he and Albert Bateman built the station at Efogi that the Adventists were established on the path. The Lock household took six yearss to walk to their new place. By 1926, the Efogi Stationss was place to the William and Molly Lock, their four kids, nurse Emily Heise, and the Fijian missionary, Nafitalai Navara and his household. Everything from the mattresses, range, galvanised Fe for a H2O catchment and 20 caprine animals had been carried or shephered along the track.13 Eight-year-old Lester Lock was the youngest of the Lock household to walk unaided to Efogi. Seventy-eight old ages subsequently, and with many trips along the path intervening, Lester was asked to travel back to Efogi for the dedication of a church to be named after him. He regretfully declined.14 Lois, six old ages old in 1924, was likely the first wounded Australian to be carried back along the path – she fell, broke her arm and was stretchered out to be checked by a physician. After the Locks left Efogi in 1926, Charles and Evelyn Mitchell moved into the mission house, and when they left Nafitalai and so Faole, A Kioari convert took over.15

By 1940, LesterLock had completed his preparation in Australia, returned to Papua, and been appointed to Bisiatabu. Taking advantage of the new and unsafe route cut past Rouna Falls, Lester had a printing imperativeness trucked to Bisiatabu. Koiari texts could now be printed on Koiari land. In and 1941, Lester made several patrols into the Koiari small towns, and he wa at Efogi when a smuggler travelled through the dark to convey him intelligence that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbout. All the Locks – William and his household so populating at Mirigeda on the seashore E of Port Moresby and Lester and his household – were in Australia before the start of the Kokoda campaign.16 William Lock ‘s 2nd boy, Maynard, who enlisted in the ground forces in Queensland in 1942, was a lieutenant in the Australian ground forces by the terminal of the war, his eloquence in Papuan linguistic communications being used in broadcasts from Port Moresby.17 Before 1942, the Second adventists were the lone Australians who had learnt the Koiari linguistic communication, and they had converts and ex-Bisiatabu pupils through many of the villages.18 The ‘occasional missionary ‘ on the path was likely to hold been a Seventh Day Adventist – or his married woman or kids. For 30 old ages the Second adventists had been coming and traveling from Bisiatabu, and sometimes populating at Efogi, about half manner between Sogeri and Kokoda.19

In 1923, Miss Phillippa Bridges was likely the first white adult female to walk the length of the Kokoda Track. Bridges, the sister of the Governor of South Australia, Sir George Bridges, began walking from below Rouna Falls at what was so the terminal of the route from Port Moresby, and she, C.R. Pinney from the Papuan Administration, a constabulary bodyguard and bearers took eight yearss to make Kokoda. They so continued to Buna where they caught the authorities boat, the Elevala. Her two weeks was all, Miss Bridges said, a ‘splendid experience ‘ , and it had been accompanied with much ‘good-fellowship ‘ that had made it ‘so enjoyable.20

War stimulated motion in Papua and New Guinea, and after the Nipponese landed at Rabaul in January 1942 it surely increased traffic on the Kokoda Track. As the demand for labor in Port Moresby and on the gum elastic plantations ( so being pushed to maximum production ) increased, Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit ( ANGAU ) field officers were told to switch from persuasion to muster. For many of the old civil officers, it was a distressful alteration from being the impersonal defenders of the laborers to taking work forces from crying households, keeping them under guard, and trailing those who attempted to abandon. Because of the high population and the fact that the recruits did non hold to wait for scarce transportation, in the Northern District officers were set high quotas.21 Tom Grahamslaw, so a captain in Angau, sent 500 work forces over the path in April, and was instantly told to enroll another 500.22 Gerald Brown, a patrol officer at Kokoda, reported directing smaller groups across under bodyguard, and a few, holding deserted and walked place, were doing a 3rd journey to hard labour.23

Australian civilians get awaying or enlisting walked through Kokoda and on to Port Moresby. The plantation owner Clen Searle from Awala plantation went to Port Moresby to enlist in the Papuan Administrative Unit ( later portion of Angau ) , walked back and, when told gum elastic was needed desperately, gathered 200 laborers and supervised the carrying of his stock of bales over the path to Sogeri. Again he walked place. His flight merely in front of the progressing Nipponese was his 5th crossing in 1942.24 A Nipponese pilot, captured in the Northern District, was escorted over the path in June, and he made it all the manner to Port Moresby.25



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