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Our Veterans

In honour of our veterans – the men and women who signed up to the Australian Defence Force, willing to sacrifice all to protect our nation, our values, and our freedom.

World War I

  • Arthur Edwin Low

    Photo circa September 1916.
    Service Number: 7714
    Last Unit: 15th Infantry Battalion
    Died: Illness, Warminster, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom, 12 October 1918
    Memorials: Ithaca War Memorial, The Gap War Memorial

    Visit the Australian War Memorial page for Arthur Edwin Low

    Date: 1916
    Courtesy:
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  • Arthur Low

    Arthur Low, a casualty of World War I, photo circa 1914. Authur and his brother Rob were partners in “Ballarat Farm” and their home was named “Parkdale”. The farm land was developed as a housing estate in the 1960s.

    Date: c. 1914
    Courtesy: Ivy Carey (nee Low)
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  • David Carnegie

    Portrait of David Carnegie taken in Scotland in 1909, one year before emigrating to Australia. David was a Major in the Permanent Army, fought in the Boer War and continued his Army career in Australia at Victoria Barracks. David served in the Australian Army during WWI, serving in the Middle East and then remained in the permanent army until his retirement in the early 1950s. He relocated from Sherwood to Settlement Road, The Gap in 1925.

    Date: 1909
    Courtesy: Maureen and Jack Proctor
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  • Edward Hunt Paten

    Edward Hunt Paten was born on 08-05-1895, the youngest son of Jesse and Eliza Hunt Paten, of Walton, Ashgrove (now known as The Gap), Brisbane.

    Enlisted: 13 December 1915, enlisted at Brisbane
    Last Rank: Lance Corporal Edward Hunt Paten
    Last Unit: 49th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force
    Death: Killed in Action, 15 July 1917, (aged 21) Ploegsteert, Belgium, Western Front
    Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

    View the Virtual War Memorial Australia record for Edward Hunt Paten

    Date: c. 1916
    Courtesy: Dick Paten
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  • Edward Hunt Paten Memorial

    War Memorial in Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium, in honour of our fallen soldiers; third row, forth from top is “PATEN E.H.”;  Lance Corporal Edward Hunt Paten, killed in action Ploegsteert Wood on 15th July, 1917.

    Date:
    Courtesy: Dick Paten
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  • Eunice Muriel Paten

    Eunice Muriel Paten M.B.E  A.R.R.C.  F.C.N.A. Australian Army Nursing Service, 1914-1919 Egypt, England & France. Eunice was the daughter of Jesse and Eliza Hunt Paten and sister of Lance Corporal Edward Hunt Paten and Pearl Constance Paten.

    View the View the Virtual War Memorial Australia record for Eunice Muriel Paten

    Date:
    Courtesy: Dick Paten
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  • Pearl Constance Paten

    Pearl Constance Paten (married name Mrs C.W.S. French), Australian Army Massage Service, WWI Australia & Egypt. Pearl was the daughter of Jesse and Eliza Hunt Paten and sister of Lance Corporal Edward Hunt Paten and Eunice Muriel Paten.

    Date:
    Courtesy: Dick Paten
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  • Private Mark Proctor and wife Agnes

    Portrait of Mark and Agnes Proctor taken in 1917.

    Date: 1917
    Courtesy: Connie Carnegie
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  • Private Mark Walter Proctor – 9th Battalion Infantry

    Private Mark Walter Proctor
    9th Battalion Infantry.
    Mark Proctor was born in Great Harward, Lancashire, England in 1889. After serving three years with Notts and Derby Militia he emigrated to Australia in 1912.
    Queensland Railways provided employment for a couple of years until he decided to join the Infantry, 9th Battalion on 31 August 1914 at Townsville. Mark sailed for Europe aboard the P&O ship S.S.Omrah.and participated in the landing on Gallipoli.
    Injuries suffered in France and Belgium saw him transferred to England for convalescence which lasted a number of weeks and it was during this time that he met and subsequently married Agnes Frost from Sussex on 4th July 1917.
    On the 6th June 1918 Mark was invalided back to Australia for discharge and Agnes followed 6 months later.
    In 1919 he participated in the Queensland Government ballot for small farms made available to returning servicemen and was successful in obtaining Lot 101 in Settlement Road. This property of approx. 8 acres was situated just across the bridge on the left side outbound.
    After the death of Agnes, Mark lived in The Gap with his daughter Connie until his death in 1984 aged 96 years.

    Date: 1917
    Courtesy: Maureen and Jack Proctor
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World War II

Australia entered World War II on 3 September 1939. Australia later entered into a state of war with other members of the Axis powers, including the Kingdom of Italy on 11 June 1940, and the Empire of Japan on 9 December 1941. By the end of the war, almost a million Australians had served in the armed forces, whose military units fought primarily in the European theatre, North African campaign, and the South West Pacific theatre. In addition, Australia came under direct attack for the first time in its post-colonial history. Its casualties from enemy action during the war were 27,073 killed and 23,477 wounded.

Source: Military history of Australia during World War II

 

  • Arthur Edward Chapman

    Arthur Edward Chapman, killed in action World War II – 1943, aged 24 years.

    Rank Flight Sergeant
    Unit No. 100 Squadron (RAF)
    Service Royal Australian Air Force
    Conflict/Operation Second World War, 1939-1945
    Date of Death 28 May 1943
    Place of Death Netherlands
    Cause of Death Flying Battle
    Cemetery or Memorial Details Witmarsum Protestant Churchyard, Witmarsum, Friesland, Netherlands

    Date:
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  • Australian Servicemen during WWII

    Some of the Australian Servicemen stationed at the “Hygene camp” during World War II. The camp was bounded by the area from Payne and Waterworks Roads, along to Walton Bridge.

    Date: c. 1944
    Courtesy:
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  • Bill Best and Mervyn Kay

    Bill Best (on the left) and his cousin Mervyn Kay in the front yard of their grandparents home in Payne Road, circa 1940s.

    Date: c. 1940s
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Bill Best in Toowoomba

    A young Bill Best from The Gap, photographed in 1944 in Toowoomba while serving in the army.

    Date: 1944
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Bill Best in uniform

    Bill Best in uniform in the garden of the Payne Road home of this grandfather, Alfred John Best, in 1940.

    Date: 1940
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Bill Best with Army Mates

    Bill Best with his army mates outside the School of Arts Hotel, Ruthven Street, Toowoomba, circa 1944.

    Date: c. 1944
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Bill Best’s unit in Warwick

    Bill Best’s army unit stationed in Warwick in the area previously known as Scotts College. Photograph circa 1944.

    Date: c. 1944
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Don Carnegie

    Don Carnegie pictured in 1946, back on home soil after World War II.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Connie Carnegie
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  • Merv Kay in Townsville

    Merv Kay (2nd from the right) with other dispatch riders photographed in Townsville, circa 1942, before Merv’s service in New Guinea.

    Date: c. 1942
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Mervyn Kay at home in Payne Road

    Mervyn Kay at home in Payne Road, The Gap in the 1940s.

    Date: c. 1940s
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Mervyn Kay wearing gas mask

    Mervyn Kay wearing a wartime gas mask, circa 1940s.

    Date: c. 1940s
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Ross Lane Black

    A young Ross Lane Black, circa late 1930s. On his return from World War II Ross married and the family lived in a cottage in Waterworks Road near Walton Bridge, The Gap.

    Date: c. 1930s
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  • U.S. Serviceman

    One of the many U.S. servicemen who frequented the Easton shop during the war, enjoying the company of the Easton’s parrot. The U.S. army established a search-light post on the Berry’s property in a location opposite the present-day High School at The Gap.

    Date:
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • United States Servicemen

    United States Servicemen, Tony, Ed, Phillippe and Steve, man a machine gun, adjacent to the searchlight on the Berry farm during WWII.

    Date: c. 1940s
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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World War II Japan

The British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) was the British Commonwealth taskforce consisting of Australian, British, Indian and New Zealand military forces in occupied Japan, from 21 February 1946 until the end of occupation in 1952. At its peak, the BCOF comprised about 40,000 personnel, equal to about 25% of the number of US military personnel in Japan.

Whilst US forces were responsible for military government, the BCOF was responsible for supervising demilitarisation and the disposal of Japan’s war industries. The BCOF was also responsible for the occupation of the western prefectures of Shimane, Yamaguchi, Tottori, Okayama, Hiroshima and Shikoku Island.The BCOF headquarters was at Kure. For most of the occupation period Australia contributed the majority of the BCOF’s personnel.

Source: British Commonwealth Occupation Force

 

  • 2nd Advance Sig Park Camp in Kure

    A side entrance to the 2nd Advance Sig Park Camp in Kure, Japan, circa winter 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • 2nd Advance Sig Park unit, Kure, Japan

    Nine of the twelve members of 2nd Advance Sig Park unit, in Kure, Japan, circa 1946. Merv Kay is on the back left.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • BCOF buildings in Kure

    The B.C.O.F. buildings in Kure, Japan with a view of Iwo Jima across the sea. Heavy snow on the pitched roofs created a venue for snowboarding to entertain the troops.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • BCOF work group

    B.C.O.F. work group in Kure, Japan, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • H.Q.2 Aust. Adv. Sig. Park at Kure

    The entrance to H.Q.2 Aust. Adv. Sig. Park at Kure, circa 1946. The sign advises the Japanese to approach no closer than 20 yards.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Headquarters British Commonwealth Base, Kure

    Headquarters British Commonwealth Base, Kure, Southern Honshu, Japan, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Hiroshima

    Photograph of Hiroshima taken by Merv Kay, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Hiroshima

    Photograph of Hiroshima taken by Merv Kay, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Hiroshima

    Photograph of Hiroshima taken by Merv Kay, circa 1946. The church seen in the bottom right was used to store provisions after the bombing.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Hiroshima

    The aftermath of the atomic bomb, photograph of Hiroshima taken by Merv Kay, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Japanese Cemetery, Kure, Japan

    Japanese cemetery near Kure, Japan, circa 1946. The coffins in this cemetery are positioned vertically.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Japanese Cemetery, Kure, Japan

    Top: Methodist Church destroyed by atomic bomb.
    Middle: The damaged centre of Hiroshima
    Bottom: The main street of Hiroshima near Shimura Watch Shop.

     

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Japanese Fishing boats

    Japanese fishing boats, circa 1946. The smaller boats bring their catch to the larger cooking boat, where the fish are boiled in salt water and then laid to dry on straw mats beside the road. Women on the beach clean the cane fish baskets.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Japanese Occupation currency

    Japanese Occupation currency during WWII.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Japanese toilet

    Japanese toilet, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Japanese Torii at Iwo Jima

    Japanese Torii at Iwo Jima, Japan, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Kure, Japan

    B.C.O.F. Kure, Japan, 1946

    Date: 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Kure, Japan

    A view of a Kure, Japan, showing one of many tunnels in Japan which are built to spare the space on top for agriculture.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay

    Merv Kay joking around in a crate while serving in the B.C.O.F, Kure, Japan. 1946.

    Date: c. 1944
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay

    Merv Kay having a bit of fun dressing up as a Geisha girl in Japan, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay

    Merv Kay with Japanese workers packing goods for return to Australia, Kure, Japan, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay

    A casual photos of Merv Kay by an army jeep, Kure, Japan, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay

    Merv Kay with a water carrier under his control, with a capacity of 3538 gallons, in Kure, Japan, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay

    Merv Kay at the wheel of a battery operated trolley in Kure, Japan, while serving with the B.C.O.F. circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay and his motor mechanics

    Merv Kay and his Japanese motor mechanics, in Kure, Japan, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay and Ted Harper

    Left: Merv Kay and his boxing mate Ted Harper in Kure, Japan, circa 1946.
    Right: Ted Harper with an army jeep.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay and Ted Harper

    Merv Kay and his mate Ted Harper at Iwo Jima, Japan, circa 1946. The monument in the background is a Torii – Gateway to the Sea Gods.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay driving crane

    Merv Kay seated at the controls of a Peters Crane, in Kure, Japan, 1946.

    Date: c. 1944
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay in Japan

    Date:
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay in Japan

    Merv Kay clowning around by the B.C.O.F. Signals sign, Kure, Japan, circa 1947.

    Date: c. 1947
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay leading a bull

    Merv Kay leading a bull in Japan, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Merv Kay with a truckload of radio transmitter valves

    Merv Kay with a truckload of radio transmitter valves. Some of these were almost as high as a man and were packed individually in crates, cushioned  with coil springs on all sides to absorb shock during transport, Kure, Japan, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Nagasaki

    The seaport of Nagasaki after the dropping of the Atom Bomg on 9th August, 1945.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Postcard – Mt Fuji

    Japanese postcard of Mt Fuji, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Postcard Christmas greetings

    While serving in the BCOF in Kure, Japan, Merv Kay sent this postcode home to his mom in Payne Road, The Gap, Christmas 1946.

    Date: 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Postcards – Kure & Hiroshima

    Top: postcard of Kure, Japan, where Merv Kay was stationed with B.C.O.F. after WWII.
    Bottom: postcard of Hiroshima residents getting back to business after the atom bomb.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Tropps of BCOF leave for Japan

    “B.C.O.F. troops drawn up on the wharf before boarding the troopship “Manoora” for Japan. They were mostly new recruits, but here and there were men wearing the ribbons of famous A.I.F. campaigns. ”

    News clipping courtesy of Merv Kay.

    Date:
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Young lady’s quarters

    This young lady’s quarters are nearby to the B.C.O.F. barracks in Kure, Japan, 1946. The two signs in the windows read “OUT OF BOUNDS”.

    Date: 1946
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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World War II New Guinea

The New Guinea campaign of the Pacific War lasted from January 1942 until the end of the war in August 1945. During the initial phase in early 1942, the Empire of Japan invaded the Australian-administered Mandated Territory of New Guinea (23 January) and the Australian Territory of Papua (21 July) and overran western New Guinea (beginning 29/30 March), which was a part of the Netherlands East Indies. During the second phase, lasting from late 1942 until the Japanese surrender, the Allies—consisting primarily of Australian and US forces—cleared the Japanese first from Papua, then the Mandate and finally from the Dutch colony.

Source: New Guinea campaign

 

  • Australian soldiers serving in New Guinea

    A local man preparing a refreshing coconut drink for Australian soldiers serving in New Guinea, 1944.

    Date: c. 1944
    Courtesy: Merv Kay
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  • Lae markets

    Local at the Lae markets, New Guinea, circa 1945.

    Date: c. 1945
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Lae markets

    Locals at the Lae markets, New Guinea, circa 1945.

    Date: c. 1945
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Lae markets 1945

    Lae markets, New Guinea, circa 1945.

    Date: c. 1945
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Lae village cemetery

    A village cemetery in Lae, New Guinea, circa 1945.

    Date: c. 1945
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Lae villagers

    Lae villagers in New Guinea, circa 1945.

    Date: 1945
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Lae villagers

    An Aussie soldier in the background on the right, chatting with Lae villagers, circa 1945.

    Date: c. 1945
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Lae War cemetery

    War Cemetery in Lae, New Guinea, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Lae War Cemetery

    War Cemetery, Lae, New Guinea, circa 1946.

    Date: c. 1946
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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  • Melanah Beach, New Guinea

    Melanah Beach, New Guinea, in the background is a bombed warship, circa 1945.

    Date: c. 1945
    Courtesy: Bill and Grace Best
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