Monthly Archives: July 2013

More Photos!

This isn’t so much a blog article as an invitation to visit my Facebook page – – where I am gradually posting photographs of a variety of military history subjects that won’t ‘fit’ well in this website. I would be grateful if you could ‘Like’ the site and comment on any of the photos featured, as this website,

The Gallantry Scale – It’s all About Numbers.

A post World War Two Australian Minister of Defence [and later Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser] explained in correspondence to a constituent the basis of the wartime awards system: “… the existence of operational scales of awards… it is normal practice, when our forces are engaged in armed conflict, to place a limit on the maximum number of awards

Memory and Meaning – Timbered Knoll 70 Years On.

I don’t know where this commemorative plaque (pictured) is now, but in 2008 I placed it in a grassed clearing on an obscure ridge in the vicinity of Salamaua, Papua New Guinea. I was guided there by an Australian who, like me, had been researching the military history of the area, but whom I have since fallen out

The First Casualty.

It was five minutes prior to noon on Wednesday the 21st of January 1942, and Kevin Parer, the owner and pilot of an air freighting business, was sitting in the cockpit of his aircraft on the ‘drome just outside the busy coastal township of Salamaua in what was then known as the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. Without

“The Armourer” – My Bookshelf Part II.

Along with books, as I have mentioned previously, magazines are another item that I have difficulty resisting. Given that like most people, my budget does not stretch as far as my desires, I limit myself to purchasing only several magazines on a regular basis, one of which is the English title “The Armourer Militaria Magazine.” As its name

Death Far from the ‘Front Line.’

It is universally acknowledged that those who go to war risk injury or death as a consequence, however what is often overlooked is that the same life-altering consequences can also occur away from the ‘battle areas’, albeit at a lesser frequency. In a six week period during late 1942, three Australian soldiers lost their lives in South East

Structure of a World War Two Australian Independent Company.

“Each independent company began its life with the training of a cadre of officers and NCOs, for a period of six weeks, after which they themselves would train their private soldiers for a similar period. Each soldier had already undergone basic infantry training, and had thus volunteered a second time to be a member of an independent company. The

A Plea to Amateur Historians.

The photograph featured is courtesy of a lady by the name of Mavis Shortland. However, aside from the fact that one of the men in the photo is her father, who served in the 1st A.I.F., I can tell you nothing more. When Mavis forwarded me this and several other images, I was focused on the events of

Iraqi Hamburger – A War Story.

Katie H.* served in Iraq in intelligence and following is one of the few stories she can publicly tell of her experiences: [Warning: Language alert]. “Just to warn you… this was one of the worst things that happened to me…. well, in a way, one of them. And I will never forgive them for this. But the cool