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Currumbin Beach, South East Queensland.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

ANZAC DAY IN PT MORESBY IN 1965

ANZAC DAY is the special day when we remember the servicemen and women who fought in wars to protect our country. At dawn on  25 April 1915 Australian and New Zealand forces were landed on the beach at  Gallipoli in Turkey their task was to take the peninsula. Their mission failed and thousands of lives were lost.  Since then our servicemen have fought in other battles and have been more successful.
When I lived in Port Moresby in the 60's the dawn service was held at the Bomana War Cemetery. I was amazed at how young the soldiers were who died there fighting the Japanese in World War 2.
Bomana War cemetery, Pt Moresby.

"THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVER MORE" is written on the wall.

In 1942 the Japanese invaded Australian administered New Guinea and Papua as well as Dutch New Guinea. The Australian forces were supporting Britain in Europe and Nth Africa at the time so new, inexperienced young soldiers were sent to New Guinea to try to repel the Japanese from taking Port Moresby from the north coast of New Guinea via the  Kokoda Track over the Owen Stanley Mts.
Eventually the Australian troops returned from Africa and the Americans arrived to help. After many battles and more deaths the allies managed to repel the Japanese on the Kokoda Track and Pt Moresby was never occupied. The allies retook the whole island of Papua and New Guinea. Many Australian and allied soldiers and airmen died and are buried here. The cemetery is not far from the southern end of the Kokoda Track.
 I remember attending a dawn service at the cenotaph in Bomana War cemetery.

After the service we headed back to town for breakfast and waited for the ANZAC Parade to start.
 These were the Jungle Fighters, both European and Native service men who fought in PNG in WW2. 'European' was the term used to describe white people then.

 The Police regiment.


The Army

 A French Navy ship was in town so they joined the parade.

The Police Band provided the music. They were a very good band.

The streets were lined with spectators dressed in their best.

20 comments:

Andrew said...

I don't think I have ever read such a simple summary yet terrific overview of the island's invasion and the repulsion of the invaders.

whiteangel said...

That's a good tribute to those that fought up in that area in particular. Lest we forget.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I remember Bomana as being a particularly beautiful spot. It was cool and green in the dry season and had trees with a massive canopy. A fitting place of remembrance.

Carole M. said...

...a nice post Diane. My Dad had served in New Guinea, and Borneo

RoeH said...

War!! When will it ever end. While I always knew that boys actually were fighting that war, it amazed me when my son was 17 or 18 and I would look at him and find it so totally hard to believe. Then to find out during the Civil War 1860-1865 here in the states that boys as young as 12 and 13 fought along with the men. Granted a lot of them lied about their age to get in but so . . . not right.

Jeanne said...

I find these cemeteries very poinant in their beauty and the sorrow and strife that must have accompanied these deaths. So good to have a day of remembrance like this!

Cynthia said...

It's always so sad to remember war deaths because mostly they were so young and should have had a whole life ahead of them. Too bad we haven't figured out a better way to solve problems. I saw the movie "Gallipoli " when I was quite young and it was a real eye-opener for me, as was "Breaker Morant".

Sandra said...

so many died in these two wars, your day is like our Memorial day.. so many to remember and thank for our freedom

TexWisGirl said...

i cannot imagine what those young soldiers went through. bless their memories and their families.

Betsy Adams said...

Interesting post, Diane. Seeing war cemeteries is always sobering isn't it??? I remember when we walked around at Antietam ---and I just had the strangest feelings inside of me... Those young men gave their lives to protect us... Very sad! God Bless them ALL.

Hugs,
Betsy

jennyfreckles said...

A reminder of such terrible times, let's hope we never have to go back to that. We are commemorating 100 years since the start of WWI here in Britain. Someone has done much research to find out how many young men from Saltaire fought in that and what happened to them. All the houses they left from will be marked, as a way of helping us realise the scale of the sacrifice of war.

Gosia said...

Diane , the cementary is so impressive and interesting one.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

A very fine tribute post to these brave young men. And why do we still have war.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Yes a great post, we all know about Kokoda well all Australians know about Kokoda maybe not all people everywhere.

eileeninmd said...

Great post and tribute, Diane! There are so many war heros, we are all proud of our brave soldiers!

Valerie said...

Thanks for this post Diane. What a poignant and lovely spot. I am glad that, as a nation, we all stop to remember the horrors of war and pray for peace..Lest we forget.

George said...

This is a beautiful tribute to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of Australia and New Zealand. I'm glad their service and sacrifice is still remembered and honored.

Filip Demuinck said...

Visiting such a cemetery makes you silent.

Greetings,
Filip

Annie Elizabeth said...

What a beautiful and informative tribute. My Grandfather fought in PNG for 3 years during WWII, he never spoke much about it but he had a very strong dislike for the Japanese until he died because of what he experienced over there. It was brutal. He marched in ANZAC Day parades long after the war was over and kept his uniforms and medals. 69 years later his granddaughter (me) travelled to Japan for a holiday and I was treated so well by the locals. I'm glad that more people are honouring their sacrifices and I will one day do the Kokoda trail in remembrance of all ANZACs.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

A poignant and sensitive post Diane.
Thank you.