Kokoda Historical

Kokoda Historical


How was day one on the Owers Corner to Kokoda trek? All smiles and lots of excitement.
Best wishes to my Lynn doing the trek from Owers corner to Kokoda. Have a safe and eventful time. Eddy
My father, Thomas Frederick CREWE, was a Bombardier on the Paga Battery and the Boera Battery in WW2. Does anyone have any memories, memorabilla, or photos of the batteries and those manning those batteries.
Hi Toby thinking of you and wish you all the luck in Kokoda love Nan and Pop
Hi guys, hope you have a great time on your trip and we look forward to seeing you each night as you make your journey. Keep safe and take care love Susan and family.
Kokoda insect repellant, unknown age. Pre-metric days.
Dave, had a meet up with Charlie Tizzard from Throttle Media today and i suggested your good self might and C might be able to work on some cross branded ideas? Charlie is a multimedia guru here arounds and works quite a bit with Soldier On.. would be great to introduce you next time your up mate.. will send you Charlie's digits (his phone number, not his fingers), peace.. In the mean time if you can add him to Facebook could be the start of a good thing..
1 January 1943- the decisive attack by the 2/12th Battalion at Buna. Supported by seven Stuart tanks from the 2/6th Armoured Regiment the Australians reached the coast and broke the back of the Japanese defence of Buna. From "Hell's Battlefield" Chapter 8: "As Sergeant Eric McGill’s tank advanced, one of the crew cried out that the tank was on fire. McGill extinguished the fire but the tank ground to a stop. The gunner, Clive Brien, fired his machine-gun at a band of defenders trying to get close to the tank and then fired a round of high explosive from the main gun. Out on its own, McGill’s tank stayed buttoned up. However, without engine power the fan could not extract the gun fumes and the men became drenched with sweat from the stagnant heat. Only one man at a time could stand the conditions in the turret and he would keep an eye out and fire at any enemy movement. After five and a half hours the crew began fainting so it was decided to bail out, McGill going first and the others following through the turret hatch." Photo shows the Australian infantrymen fighting around McGill's tank. Private Jack Searle is the Bren gunner in the foreground while Corporal Geoff ‘Mick’ Fletcher is firing his Bren from the hip. AWM 14001.
We need more men like these. Join & find more.
David thanks again for leading our trek safely and delivering a professional / historical account of the events which occurred on the Kokoda Track .....we have had a wonderful experience - best wishes my good man!
New web page for the Kokoda Trekkers' Memento Medal with plenty in stock for all you Kokoda Track Trekkers. Kokoda Spirit Kokoda Track Kokoda Trekking Kokoda Historical
I hope our boys got to meet the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel! And hope everyone got to Kagi in good spirits. Looking forward to the next update.

Small-group guided tours to WWII battlefields in Papua New Guinea. Explore the Kokoda Track / Kokoda Trail, Black Cat Track, Shaggy Ridge, Lark Force Track (Rabaul-Tol Plantation).

Kokoda Historical specialises in taking people on fully guided tours over the Kokoda Track, Kokoda Trail, Shaggy Ridge, Rabaul, Lark force, Bita Paka in New Britain. We also go to the Western Front, Ireland the UK including Goodwood Revival and many other European destinations. We have a unique way to blend adventure, master storytelling and first person accounts into an interesting and fun way to engage in history. For more information visit www.kokodahistorical.com.au


'In our darkest hour': PNG troops thanked for 'unprecedented' help with bushfire recovery

abc.net.au After lending a helping hand in the Victorian town of Omeo during the summer's bushfire crisis, PNG troops are preparing to head home.

Lockheed Hudon mark IV bomber/supply plane, numbered A16-105, saw operational service in PNG between Dec 1942 and Jan 1943, carrying out supply flights to the battlefield at Buna. Located at Canberra's airport.

Cpl Bruce Kingsbury VC medals on display at the Australian War Memorial

Corporal Bruce Kingsbury VC, display at the Australian War Memorial


The Bloody Beachheads One Day Conference

kokodahistorical.com.au Run by historian David Howell, Kokoda Historical tours to Kokoda and PNG Battlegrounds with a historical perspective

7NEWS Australia

One of the last surviving KTF Kokoda veterans Arnie Forrester of the 39th Battalion has passed away in Queensland. He was 100.

#TheLatest #7NEWS

2/25th Battalion unit plaque at the Australian War Memorial.

Dean Anderson from Kokoda Historical visiting the Australian War Memorial today. One of the plaques of the Australian Army units that fought along the Kokoda Track, the 2/27th Battalion.

39th Australian Infantry Battalion Association

Arnold William (Tich) Forrester passed away suddenly on Sunday 16/2/2020 . His daughter Margi was with him.

Arnie served his country as
V122135/VX117685 PTE/LCPL Arnold (Tich) Forrester 16 Platoon D Company 39th Bn, Later in 2/2 Battalion.

His funeral will be held at Morelys Funerals in Townsville.
The Lakes, 2 Martinez Ave, West End QLD 4810
At 10:00am 28th February
Your condolences to the family will be forwarded if sent to this Association.

It is with sadness that we report the passing of one of the greats.

Vale Arnie Forrester, 39th and 2nd/2nd Battalion veteran. Arnie fought on the Kokoda Track and was the last surviving member of a group of soldiers captured in Damien Parer's Kokoda Frontline-Retreat from Isurava.

Arnie passed away this morning in Queensland with his family around.

"From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers".


Great training session today at Donna Buang. Well done everyone who came along. 4 hour return trip and plenty of sliding on the way down.

Join us for our next session: http://kokodahistorical.com.au/tours/free-training-sessions

This day in history- The fall of Singapore to the Japanese Army on February 15th 1942 is considered to be one of the greatest military defeats in the history of the British Empire.
Read more here: http://kokodahistorical.com.au/history/fall-of-singapore

Tyabb Aishow will be held on Sunday 8 March 2020. Come on down to the beautiful Mornington Penninsula, Kokoda Historical will have our 25 Pounder firing to open the show. There is lots to see and do including static displays and flying displays. Mpre info and to book visit: www.tyabbairshow.com

See our display at the upcoming Tyabb Airshow.

Military History & Heritage Victoria Inc.

The Bloody Beachheads: The Battles of Gona, Buna and Sanananda – One Day Conference
April 4 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

As the battle for Guadalcanal dragged on the Japanese advance on the Kokoda Track culminated and they were ordered to ‘advance to the rear’. - https://www.mhhv.org.au/event/the-bloody-beachheads-the-battles-of-gona-buna-and-sanananda/


Gallipoli From Above - Trailer

Join historian and author Hugh Dolan on this once in a lifetime tour as we undertake an in-depth military study tour of the Gallipoli Campaign.

We will wade onto ANZAC Cove at dawn, slipping on the shingle, to breakfast on Plugges Plateau. This campaign was an amphibious assault so we will use a vessel to approach Cape Helles, Brighton Beach, Gaba Tepe, Nibrunessi Point and Ari Burnu.

The dates are 18-25 June 2020 with additional option to join us on the Western Front to continue the Anzac Story.

For more info and to book visit: http://kokodahistorical.com.au/tours/gallipoli-tour-2020-with-hugh-dolan

The untold story of the use of aeroplanes to shape the ANZAC's landing at Gallipoli in 1915.


Mt Donna Buang Training Session

Don't forget this Sunday we have our free Mt Donna Buang Training Session on.

Come along for a walk and a chat about all things Kokoda.

kokodahistorical.com.au Run by historian David Howell, Kokoda Historical tours to Kokoda and PNG Battlegrounds with a historical perspective

Trek Kokoda this Anzac Day. We have the best value for money trek on the market with an extra free day to enjoy the Anzac Day commemorations.

The dates are 15-26 April 2020 starting at Kokoda and finishing at Owers' Corner.

We then have a special Anzac eve dinner before waking up on Anzac Day to attend the official Anzac Day service at Bomana War Cemetery. Following the service, Kokoda historian David Howell, will host a lunch at the Royal Port Moresby Yacht Club.
Trek includes all meals, 3 nights accommodation at 5 Star hotel, all transport, staying at all the key battlefields along the way.

Limited places remain to book or to find out more visit:http://kokodahistorical.com.au/tours/anzac-day-2020

Or call us direct on (03) 9781 5509

The Department of Veterans Affairs would greatly appreciate if you could spare 5 minutes to complete a survey to understand your interest in, and support of, the commemoration of Australian war service and sacrifice. Visit https://s.surveyplanet.com/i3md1_n9

Our 2021 tour dates have been added to our website. Prices are set to go up in 2021 so if your thinking about trekking next year then get locked in with the 2020 price.


We had a great day yesterday walking up and down the Glasgow Track at Montrose here in Victoria.

Our no obligation training and information sessions are a great way to get out in the outdoors and to learn about trekking and touring in PNG.

To find out more about our information and training sessions visit: http://kokodahistorical.com.au/tours/free-training-sessions

Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway

The Japanese had hoped to occupy Port Moresby and use it as a base from which to cut off shipping to Eastern Australia. This first air attack marked the beginning of an 'air war' over New Guinea. (Source: Australian War Memorial).

Shrine of Remembrance

#Onthisday in 1942, the 2/21 Battalion, known as Gull Force, defends Ambon, East Indies, from a Japanese invasion force, but are quickly overwhelmed by superior numbers. Gull Force surrendered to the Japanese. By war’s end, 779 men–over two-thirds of the garrison–were dead. Their service will be commemorated with a wreath laying in the Sanctuary this Sunday 2 February at midday. All are welcome to attend.

Lance Corporal Eric Kelly’s dentures failed during his captivity so he melted down an aluminium mess tin and, using his old dentures as a mould, fashioned a new set. These makeshift teeth were the difference between life and death. They are on display in the Galleries.

39th Australian Infantry Battalion Association


The funeral of Mr Arthur Edward Grassby of Bairnsdale, will leave Baggs Funeral Home, 613 Main Street (Princes Hwy), Bairnsdale after a service commencing at 10.00am on Thursday (Feb. 6) for the Bairnsdale Lawn Cemetery.

VALE-VX70493 Arthur Edward Grassby, 39 Australian Infantry Battalion. Kokoda veteran and boy soldier. Arthur Grassby passed away on Tuesday afternoon. He was just 16 when he enlisted to fight in Second World War. Funeral details to follow. Lest We Forget.

To read more about Arthur's service: https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-25/arthur-kokoda/8839048

Australian War Memorial

#Onthisday in 1942 a full mobilisation where all white male British subjects between 18-45 years were eligible for conscription was ordered by the Australian Government. The threat of a Japanese invasion and the proximity of Japanese forces to Australia demanded an increased commitment from the Government and public.

The invasion threat gave members of part-time defence organisations an urgent purpose. The crisis impelled hundreds of thousands of Australians all over the country to join the Volunteer Defence Corps, the Naval Auxiliary Patrol, or the Voluntary Air Observers’ Corps.

With the demands of the nation’s fighting forces, the transfer of labour to the military, and the impact of the war on commerce and trade, everyday items of food, clothing, fuel and other commodities became scarce. Rationing was introduced and Australians were encouraged to conserve, reuse and recycle. Industry, science and society were all encouraged to exert “maximum effort”, not merely for a remote victory but for immediate survival.

Read more here: https://www.awm.gov.au/visit/exhibitions/underattack/underattack

This day in history:

Fall of Rabual

At 1:00 am on 23 January 1942, 5,000 Japanese troops came ashore at Blanche Bay, vastly outnumbering the 1,396 soldiers of Lark Force awaiting them. Resistance lasted only a few hours before Lark Force commander, Colonel John Scanlan (1890 - 1962), ordered the men to disperse in an 'Every man for himself' withdrawal. No contingency plans were in place for retreat, chaos ensued and Lark Force disintegrated.

Read more here:


Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway

Lae and Salamaua were important to the Japanese because they had airstrips from which the Allies had launched counter-attacks on Rabaul. The settlements were captured by the Japanese in March 1942 and later retaken by Australian and United States forces in September 1943.

Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway

Rabaul was the peacetime capital of the Australian Mandated Territory of New Guinea. The engagement on 20 January 1942 lasted less than ten minutes. Three of 24 Squadron's eight Wirraways were shot down, one crashed on take-off and two were damaged in crash-landings. Japanese aircraft conducted a series of raids on Rabaul in the days before it fell on 23rd January. (Source: Australian War Memorial).

Well done those men. Dean and Steve on Operation Bushfire Assist.

Great to see the PNGDF helping with Operation Bushfire Assist. Two of the Kokoda Historical team, Dean Anderson and Steve Ward are currently deployed on this operation. Stay safe everyone.

Tenk yu tru! 100 Papua New Guinea Defence Force personnel - mostly engineers - have arrived in Swifts Creek, Victoria to support the ADF as part of #OpBushfireAssist

Thank you for your friendship and assistance 🇵🇬🇦🇺

Hon Saki Soloma Minister for Defence & Member for Okapa
Scott Morrison (ScoMo)
Defence Australia
Royal Australian Navy
Australian Army
Royal Australian Air Force

Military History & Heritage Victoria Inc.

Michael Veitch – ‘TURNING POINT: the battle for Milne Bay 1942’ – TUESDAY 18 February
February 18 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm - https://www.mhhv.org.au/event/michael-veitch-turning-point-the-battle-for-milne-bay-1942/

Our first clients to PNG for the 2020 season. Images just in a family group on a day tour of Rabual.

Australia has lost another one of that remarkable generation. Bob Semple has passed away. Bob was a member of the Victorian Scottish Regiment and 9th Division Rat of Tobruk serving in the 2/12 Field Regiment. We were with Bob late last year as he fired the 25 Pounder one last time. Lest We Forget.


Training Sessions & Events

We have just updated the Kokoda Historical website with our next free training and information sessions. IFor more information visit: http://kokodahistorical.com.au/tours/free-training-sessions


Over the Christmas break, Kokoda Historical relocated our headquarters. We have a new office space and are hard at work preparing for the 2020 season. If you want the history, you've come to the right place.

St. Andrew's First Aid Australia(SAFAA), meeting in preparation for our upcoming trip to Kokoda. SAFAA next month will deliver important firat aid training and kits to people in Kokoda.

Great day at the 39th Battalion BBQ. Good to see veteran John Hannah who served in the Victorian Scottish Regiment, the 39 Australian Infantry Battalion (39th) and the Air Warning Wireless Company. One Tree Hill.

We still have a few spaces left on our Anzac 2020 Non-Trekking Tour. If you have ever wanted to discover the history of the Kokoda Campaign in comfort without trekking than this tour is for you.

Visit Owers' Corner, McDonald's Corner, Port Moresby, Kokoda, Buna, Gona and Sanananda. Do it all without having to trek. Your tour will be lead by one of our expert historians who will bring to life the history of the war in Papua.

Attend the official Anzac Day Dawn Service at Bomana War Cemetery followed by lunch at the Royal Port Moresby Yacht Club.

For more information and to book visit: http://kokodahistorical.com.au/tours/anzac-day-non-trekking-2020

Kokoda Track Authority

Hello and Happy New Year to all the OLD, NEW and POTENTIAL wantoks of Kokoda Track Authority. If you are still working on your bucket list, here is one you can throw in, why not challenge yourself to a walk on the amazing Kokoda Track. Contact the Licensed Tour Operators on our website www.kokodatrackauthority.org or you can always find them on Facebook or contact KTA for a listing. If you have walked the track already please invite a friend. Share your experiences and inspire others.

Our door is open for business now so please feel free to contact us on phone (675) 323 6165 or email our staff respectively on the provided emails, [email protected] / [email protected] and [email protected]

Make this year count! #KokodaTrackAuthority #Managing_The_Track_With_Trust_Respect_and_Pride

Visit Papua New Guinea

There's a lot of history in PNG🇵🇬
Come along, let us share our history with you.

Pictured is the “Memorial at Turnbull Airstrip (No.3 airstrip during the war)”

Visit: http://bit.ly/png-history for more information about our historical stories.

📸: pngtpa

#visitpng #pngtourism #history

Visit Papua New Guinea

Looking into 2020!!!

Is Papua New Guinea🇵🇬 on your bucket list for 2020??
Let us know in the comments section below✍.

Visit our website: http://bit.ly/Visit-Papua-New-Guinea


Stay tuned for the latest updates only on Visit Papua New Guinea🇵🇬👍
#VisitPNG #pngtourism

Hell's Battlefield

Corporal Bill McDonnell, 2/5th Battalion, after returning from a patrol at Komiatum Ridge west of Salamaua. Photo by Harold Dick. AWM 015693.

Australian War Memorial

It’s one of the most iconic images of the war in the Pacific, but George Silk’s photograph of a blinded Australian soldier being led by a barefoot Papuan on Christmas Day 1942 was captured by chance.

Private George “Dick” Whittington of Queensland was with the 2/10th Battalion when he was wounded in action during the vicious and bloody beachhead battles around Buna. He was temporarily blinded after being shot by a sniper above the eye and was being guided by Raphael Oimbari along a track through the tall kunai grass to a casualty clearing station.

Read the story behind this symbolic image: https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/blog/dick-whittington-and-raphael-oimbari

Wonderful tribute to Arnie Forrester by Pierre Seillier


It is with a heavy heart that we let our friends know of the passing of Bill Ryan over night. An activist, rebel, champion of many causes, Kokoda veteran and friend of KTF, Bill was much loved.

We had the great privilege, just last month, of watching Jeffry Feeger do a live portrait of Bill at the 2019 Lt. Col. Ralph Honner Gala Dinner. Memories we will treasure.

Rest easy and Vale Bill. Our love to your family at this time. 💙💚

On behalf of Kila, Ben, Dean, Bruce & David, we wish you all Meri Krismas and looking forward to the 2020 season ahead. Here are some amazing photos from 2019.

Our Story

Kokoda Historical specialises in historian lead tours of the Kokoda Track, Buna, Gona & Sanananda, Rabaul-Lark Force & ANMEF tours, Shaggy Ridge, Black Cat Track and many more destinations in PNG. Are treks and non-trekking tours are designed to bring the history to life as we take a unique journey of discovery to Papua New Guinea.

We tailor every trek to ensure where possible that we stay at the key locations on the battlefield. Our standard Kokoda Tour is 11 days which includes the return travel from Australia. This allows enough time to fully appreciate the history of Kokoda and also to make side-trips along the way. If you have a group booking of 6 or more people we can adjust the length and the departure/return dates to suit.


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