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ANZAC CENTENARY


Australian forces were involved in an attack on the German Wireless station at BitaPaka southeast of Rabual on New Britain on the 11th September 1914 this was the first involvement of Australian forces during World War One

The force consisted of 3 officers, 25 naval reservists and 15 support personnel. Lt Rowland Bowen was in charge

The first Australian casualty of the war occurred at this battle. He was Able Seaman Billy Williams From Northcote and an ex employee of the city of Melbourne. In all six Australians were killed - 2 officers and 4 able seaman. These serviceman now rest at the BitaPaka War Cemetery established in 1945 when World War 1 graves were transferred from Rabaul cemetery in 1950 and the old Kokopo old German cemetery in 1961. In all 32 world war 1 servicemen are at BitaPaka

As well in the cemetery is the Rabaul Memorial in memory of 1,200 members of the Australian Army and Airforce and personnel of the PNG local forces and Constabulary who lost their lives in the area  in Jan/Feb 1942 and from Nov 1944/Aug 1945 and have no known grave

Last November my wife and I went to the Milne Bay area and Rabaul and we went to the BitaPaka war cemetery. It, like all the cemeterys throughout the world, is well maintained. At Bita Paka rows of graves with numerous panels with names of all who died in various conflicts in the region and as prisoners of war sit in a peaceful setting. As well we located a memorial to those Allied POW’S who perished on the Montevideo Maru when sunk off the Phillipines.  We laid a poppy in Remembrance to  two of the local men from Teesdale Richard Bromilow and Keith Wilson who perished along with all the others. Their names are listed on the monument at Teesdale

Submarines
AE 1 lost off Rabual Sept 15th1914 35 crew no survivors

AE 2 scuttled after penetrating the Dardenells straits by the crew who were picked up and remained POW’S for three  and a half years

Source = Commonwealth War Graves Commission Web Site and Australian War Memorial Web Site

Remembrance Day Memorial Service 
The Inverleigh RSL Sub - Branch will be conducting a Remembrance Day memorial Service on Remembrance Day at the Inverleigh Monuments. Assembly will be at 10.20am with the service and laying of floral tributes prior to the sounding of the Last post at 11.00am in tribute to all those service men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in all areas of conflict .

Mal Johns 
President Inverleigh RSL Sub-Branch