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A brief sketch of the fate of 3000 Indian pows in New Guinea

  • AU PMB MS 1249
  • Collection
  • 1943-1945

Captain Singh, of the Dogra regiment, relates that the Indians "left Singapore on 5 May 1943 in seven parties each consisting of about 600 - three of the parties went to New Britain and the other four came to New Guinea", ie. Wewak.

Professor Hank Nelson gave the PMB a cover note on Singh's 'Brief Sketch', as follows: "Singh wrote another brief account of his time in New Guinea as a prisoner of war of the Japanese, 'The Experiences of an Indian Prisoner of War in New Guinea", The Infantry Journal, Vol.1, No.1, July 1949, pp.56-62. In the journal article he notes that the 'irony of fate reached its climax' when of the eleven Indians who survived with the Japanese until the end of the War, nine were put on an aircraft to fly them out of New Guinea and it crashed, killing all nine. Singh, who was not on the flight, was then the only survivor. From the 3,000 Indians originally landed in the Sepik in May 1943 another 191 had survived, liberated by advancing Australians before the end of the War. One of these men, Sepoy Bachan Singh, provided evidence for the Tokyo War Crimes Trials."

Professor Nelson adds that “a copy of Chint Singh’s reminiscences written in Wewak is in the UPNG Library and (I think) the Australian War Memorial.”

The document is a roneoed typescript, 61ppp., dated 4 Nov 1945. It was passed to the PMB by Professor Donald Denoon, who worked at the University of Papua New Guinea. At the time, the author was unable to be contacted. The author's son, Narinder Parmar, has since been identified.

Singh, Captain Chint

Diary of an escape from Salamaua, Territory of New Guinea

  • AU PMB MS 1181
  • Collection
  • 22 Jan-19 Feb 1942

Robert Melrose was born in Hay, NSW, on 5 April 1890. He served as a Telegraphist in the Royal Australian Navy on HMAS Yarra in New Guinea waters. He joined the civil administration of the Mandated territory of New Guinea as a Patrol Officer on 9 May 1921. He served initially as an Assistant District Officer to Colonel John Walstab in Kavieng, New Ireland, 1921-1924, than became District Officer at Manus 1924-1926, Aitape 1926-1931, Kavieng 1931-1933, Rabaul and Salamaua until 1936/37, and then at Rabaul till late 1941, when the Department of District Services and Native Affairs was transferred to Lae with the Administrator. At that time Robert Melrose was Assistant Director, then Director, of the Department.
Robert Melrose returned to the Territory after the War as Government Secretary based in Port Moresby. He sufferred a massive heart attack and returned to Australia in April 1949. During his retirement, Melrose served on a Committee interviewing applicants for government posts in PNG and also served as Honorary Secretary/Treasurer of the newly formed Retired Officers Association of PNG till his death in September 1959.
<BR><P>(Note by Geoff Melrose.)

In January 1942 two parties evacuated Lae and Salamaua in front of the appoaching Japanese forces. One group of young fit people, led by Nick Penglase, went via Wau, Waria valley to Buna and Kokoda. The remaining group of 34, led by Robert Melrose, travelled by pinnace and canoe to Morobe and Buna and then overland to Kokoda.
<BR>Diary of escape from Salamaua, Territory of New Guinea. Ms (faint pencil and pen), 22 Jan-19 Feb 1942
<BR>Transcript of diary, 22 Jan-19 Feb 1942, by Geoffrey Melrose. Ms., p/c.
<BR>Notebook and letterbook (letters-out), Apr-Jul 1941, Feb 1942
<BR>Notebook: list of personnel, stores, provisions and expenditure, n.d.

Melrose, Robert (1890-1952)

Interview transcripts

  • AU PMB MS 1179
  • Collection
  • 1973

In June 1973, as Professor of Human Geography in the Research School of Pacific Studies at the ANU, Gerry Ward wrote W. F. Straatmans, a field researcher in Papua New Guinea, instructing him to carry out interviews with Danny Leahy and Jack Fox who were amongst the first Europeans in the Highlands of New Guinea. Pim Straatmans had had long personal relationships with both interviewees.
The interviewees recall pre-War and War-time conditions and tell stories regarding transport, airstrip construction, native labour, gold digging methods, sing sings in the Highlands, Edie Creek, Maprik, Bena Bena, Wewak and Sepik regions, including Danny Leahy's account of rescuing nuns and priests from Catholic mission stations on the Sepik during the War. They remark on some of Danny Leahy's photographs, recalling the deaths of Fr Mauschhauser and Br Eugene in the Chimbu, contact with Fr Van Baar, Fr Ross and Fr Schaefer, and the rivalry between the Catholic and Lutheran missions. They comment on the kiaps Robert Melrose and Jim Taylor and on the hanging of Ludy Schmidt in Rabaul.
In the transcript of a further interview with Chris Ashton of the ABC, Jack Fox, who had been in New Guinea with the Australian occupation forces in 1914, recalls the expedition and German resistance.

Transcripts of Pim Straatmans' interview with Jack Fox and Danny Leahy, November 1973, and Chris Ahton's interview with Jack Fox, also in 1973, together with related papers and a photograph of Jack Fox. See Finding aids for details.

Fox, John R and Leahy, Daniel

Monthly and quarterly reports and related papers

  • AU PMB MS 1178
  • Collection
  • 1939-1962

Laurie Bragge, who was a Patrol Officer in New Guinea from 1961, was posted to the West Sepik Distict from time to time where he collected these documents.

Aitape District patrol reports, 1944-45; Sepik District and Sub-District monthly and patrol reports, 1945; Aitape District Office and Sub-District monthly reports, native labour report, sing-sing report, 1945-46; Aitape Sub-District monthly and quarterly reports 1946-57; Vanimo Patrol Post monthly and quarterly reports, 1946-62; Aitape Sub-District correspondence, 1945-48; notations from Aotei Village Book, 1939-45; miscellaneous printed material. See Finding aids for details.

Sepik District Administration, Papua New Guinea

Archives

  • AU PMB MS 1120
  • Collection
  • 1905-1982

French Marists first reached the Solomon Islands in 1845. A decade on, the losses of this expedition were great: San Cristobel, Woodlark, Umboi and Tikopia had all been abandoned; nine missionaries were dead. Under the auspices of the Oceania Marist Province, missionaries re-entered the Solomon Islands in May 1898. Apolostic Vicariates were established in the North and South Solomons and a Vicariate of the Western Solomons was established in 1960. After 1967 the Vicariats became known as Dioceses.<BR>Catholic development was directed from the Mission Station at Visale Station, Guadalcanal, before World War II, and from Honiara after the war. Though the Marist Fathers stayed at their posts during the war many records were detroyed and surviving records were subsequently decimated by mould and termites. See aslo the Mission journal, Na Turupatu, 1911-1958, 1970-1971, at PMB Doc 423 and Oceania Marist Provincial archives re North and South Solomons at OMPA 361-400.

Diocesan correspondence with the following Mission Stations:<BR>Ata'a/Ususue 1957-1967<BR> Malageti 1953-1971<BR> Tarapaina 1950-1970<BR>Ata'a land 1961-1973<BR> Makina 1971-1974 <BR>Rohinari 1972-1974<BR>Avu Avu 1946-1981<BR> Makina Marau District <BR>1952-1977<BR> Tsuva 1964-1970<BR>King George VI School<BR> 1951-1954 Manivovo<BR> 1949-1967<BR> Visale 1948-1953, 1961-1969<BR>Buma 1927, 1947-1982<BR>Rokera 1946-1968<BR>Wanoni Bay 1945-1970<BR>Buma land 1946-1981<BR>Ruavatu 1944-1977<BR>Yandina 1963-1970<BR>Dala 1950-1976 (gaps)<BR>Tangarare 1943-1968<BR><P>Together with correspondence held by theWanoni Bay Mission Station, 1905-1957, and a box file labelled World War II, and history and customs.<P><b>See reel list for further details</b>

Catholic Archdiocese of Honiara

Photographs: Papua New Guinea 1966-1988

  • AU PMB PHOTO 46
  • Collection
  • 1966 -1988

PMB Photo 46 is a collection of 2291 photographs Bill Gammage took of Papua New Guinea subjects over 22 years from March 1966 to September 1988. It can be divided into four sections.
The first section (March to November 1966, August 1968, and March 1970) has about 200 photos. The subjects include: June Valley and the first Preliminary Year of the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), the Administrative College (Adcol), the buildings at Port Moresby Showground which served as university lecture theatres, students, staff, rugby union football matches between the university/Adcol team known as Aduni and other local teams. Town (Port Moresby) subjects include Fairfax Harbour, the seaplane hangar area, Koki market, Girl Guide Shop, Cuthbertson Street, House of Assembly, Ela Beach, war memorials, Anzac Day, and the suburb of Boroko. Outside Port Moresby subjects include Bomana War Cemetery, Idlers Bay and the villages of Porebada, Hanuabada, Kapa Kapa, and Lea Lea. In the hills behind Port Moresby, subjects include Crystal Rapids, Sirinumu Dam, Hombrom Bluff, Sogeri, Rouna Falls, the Kokoda Trail monument, Owers Corner, Uberi and Goldie River. Other subjects include the Kokoda Trail from Kokoda to Templeton’s Crossing and the Menyamya sub-district of Morobe. Among the people photographed are Tony Voutas, Peter Metcalf, Hank Nelson, Peter Munster, Thomas Tobunbun, Ken Inglis and Leo Morgan.
Complementing the photos of this period are two chapters - “Moresby 1966” in Australians in Papua New Guinea 1960-1975 and “The Boy from Boort” in a book of the same name (both published in 2014) and the article “What Kaindi Expects” published in Nation, Sydney (No. 210, 14 January, 1967).
The second section (February 1972 to December 1976) has about 1500 photos. They show people and places in nineteen of the twenty provinces - Central, East Sepik, East New Britain, Eastern Highlands, Western Highlands, Western, Gulf, Morobe, Madang, Milne Bay, Enga, New Ireland, Manus, Southern Highlands, Bougainville, Simbu, Northern/Oro, West Sepik/Sandaun and the National Capital District.
Subjects include men, women and children, agriculture, cash crops, plantations, mines, infrastructure (roads, bridges, airstrips, communications towers), buildings (houses, offices, spirit houses, schools, aid posts), sing-sings, pig kills and exchanges, mission stations, environment (rivers, mountains, volcanoes, landscapes and seascapes), flowers, birds, animals, insects, and suburban life in Boroko including that of single men from the Highlands who wanted jobs in town. Their story is told in “The Men from Gono” (Overland, Winter, 1975). Other articles include “Moresby or the bush” (Current Affairs Bulletin, 50 (11), April 1974), “Tinmanmale of Taunsip” (Oral History (PNG), 3 (5), 1975 (with Rabbie Namaliu)), and “Maclay comes to Gorendu”, ( Oral History (PNG], 4 (1), 1976).
Other subjects include UPNG, graduations, the Goroka Show, the Hagen Show, the Port Moresby Show, Anzac Day, and the Independence celebrations of 1975. Sites relating to both traditional warfare and to World Wars 1 and 2, individual graves, cemeteries, memorials and plaques, are also subjects. Included among the headstones and memorials photographed are the grave at Lagui, Salamaua, of Corporal Anis of the Native Constabulary Branch of the New Guinea Police, and a memorial to Baros of Sirovi at Kieta. Headstones for Victoria Cross (VC) winners are those of Fijian Corporal Sefanaia Sukanaivalu at Bitapaka near Rabaul, and Australians Private BS Kingsbury at Bomana and Flight Lieutenant Bill Newton at Lae. The sites at which two VCs were won - Mission Hill at Wewak where Private Ted Kenna won his VC and the ground at Sattelberg up which Sergeant “Diver” Derrick attacked - are also subjects, as is the sign marking the place where Mavis Parkinson and Sister May Hayman of Gona Mission Station were executed.
Research trips including to Bulldog Landing, Misima and Woodlark Islands, Wau and Bulolo, East New Britain and New Ireland are subjects. Complementing the photos of the East New Britain and New Ireland research trip are “The Rabaul Strike 1929” (Journal of Pacific History, Vol 10, No. 3 (1975)) and the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry on Sumsuma. The trip to Misima and Woodlark contributed to Hank Nelson’s Black, white and gold: gold mining in Papua New Guinea, 1878-1930 (ANU Press, 1976). Walks are also subjects and include Kaintiba to Menyamya, Kosipe to Tapini, and (by others) Efogi to the Koiari access road.
Among the people photographed are Ken Inglis, Tony Voutas, Hank Nelson, Elton Brash, David Hegarty, Jim Fingleton, Mike Manning, Chris Gregory, Mary Jane Mountain, Michael Somare, Gough Whitlam, Rabbie Namaliu, Kateo, Manning Clark, Dymphna Clark, Peter Munster, Nora Brash, Zedekia Ngavirue, Bertha Ngavirue, John Kaputin, Margaret Loko, Martha and Grandma George, Albert Speer, Rhys and Dorothy Healey, Bill Standish and John and Tim Moresby.
The third section (July 1980 to December 1985) has about 200 photos. Subjects include Port Moresby, the South Pacific Arts Festival, the Eastern Highlands, Chimbu, Western Highlands, Enga including Porgera gold mine, East Sepik, Western, Madang and Gulf provinces. Among the people photographed are patrol officers and explorers Jim Taylor and John Black and their wives Yerima and Dawn, and Sione Latukefu. John Black was also photographed with explorer Ivan Champion. See Australian Dictionary of Biography entries for Taylor, Black and Champion.
The fourth section (September 1987 to September 1988) has about 370 photos. The main subject is field research for work on the 1938 Hagen-Sepik Patrol. In part, this work involved retracing the route that the patrol had taken, plus visiting provinces from which police or carriers were recruited. Copies of photos taken in 1938, most by Pat Walsh, were shown to relatives and other people along the route and also helped locate key sites on the 1938 journey. People who took part in the patrol, mostly as carriers or police, were interviewed and photographed. Sites include the camp site at Hoiyevia, the Strickland Gorge crossing, the Telefomin camp, and Porgera gold mine. Recent developments in the area including the newly opened mine at Mt Kare are also photographed.
Among the Papua New Guinean subjects are policemen Bus of Yuringo, Manus, and Kowuwu of Aro, Morobe, cook Aire Onesa and carrier Sepeka both from Lower Bena, Eastern Highlands, Nifinim at Telefomin, West Sepik/Sandaun, and Suni at Olsobip, Western Province. Kwarima Ubuma of Hoiyevia is photographed as is Meta near Mt Hagen and Mainch of Karo near Ramdi. Meg and Daisy Taylor are also photographed.
A film My Father, My Country was produced in 1989 and the book The Sky Travellers: Journeys in New Guinea 1938-1939 published in 1998 (Melbourne University Press). Other related publications are a commentary ‘John Black’s “Anatomy of a Hanging: Malignant Homicidal Sorcery in the Upper Markham Valley…”’, (Journal of Pacific History, 33 (2), December, 1998) and an article “Sorcery in New Guinea, 1938 and 1988”(Journal of Pacific History, 41, June, 2006).

Gammage, Bill

Kal Muller Photographs of West Papua

  • AU PMB PHOTO 106
  • Collection
  • 1980s-1990s

Kal Muller, documentary film maker, photographer, writer, tribal art dealer and world traveller, was born in Budapest, Hungary and later on moved to the U.S.A., where he studied his doctorate on French literature at the University of Arizona. For the past 37 years, Dr. Muller has spent most of his time traveling and living in Indonesia, writing about and photographing this endless archipelago, specializing in Papua for the past decade.

This collection of slides is composed of photographs taken in several trips through West Papua or West New Guinea made by the author since late 1980s. From north to south, from the shores of the surrounding smaller islands, like Numfor and Biak, to the glaciers at the highlands of Puncak Jaya, Kal Muller has photographed people, activities, performances, art and landscape from this vast region of Melanesia. This collection portrays Dani, Lani, Asmat, Moni, Wano, Biak, Korowai, Kamoro people and lives.

Muller, Kal

Papuan notes and Trobriand Islands linguistic material

  • AU PMB MS 1031
  • Collection
  • 1930-1980

Bernard Baldwin (1907-1990) was born in Preston, England. He studied at the Apostolic School, Douglas Park and later at the Sacred Heart Monastery, Kensington. He was ordained on November 30, 1933. His first appointment was to Eastern Papua, founding mission stations at Milne Bay and the Trobriand Islands. He also contributed a great deal to the islands of Sideia and Basilaki. He spent a total of twenty years in Eastern Papua during which time he wrote numerous articles, mostly on the Trobriand Islands, for <I>Annals of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.</I>

The material comprises a number of translations, grammars and vocabularies in Kiriwinian, Boyowan and Motu. Also included are some autobiographical notes, some observations on the Marist missionaries on Woodlark Island and some notes on the Pauan natives, their preservation and development. These 'Notes from Milne Bay' were written in pencil and are now a little faded.<P>Reel 1: Contains 5 items (Kiriwinian and Boyowan) manuscripts of folk tales; a Boyowan dance songs; Kiriwinian grammars; comments on Malinowski<BR>Reel 2: Grammars; Catholic Catechisms in local languages; notes on the war, Papuan natives and Marists on Woodlark; Revised Motu Grammar and Vocabular by Lister-Turner and J.B. Clarke with annotations by Baldwin; Foundation Vocabularies by A. Capell with additional material by Baldwin; exercise books with local missionary items in local languages. A detailed list of contents is available from the Bureau on request. See also PMB 41, 63 and 64 (linguistic material previously made available for copying by Father Baldwin).
See Finding aids for details.

Baldwin Father Bernard

Registers of Melanesian indentured labourers,

  • AU PMB MS 1210
  • Collection
  • 1887-1913.

The copra trade was the core business of the Deutches Handel und Plantagen Gesselschaft. The company had monopoly recruiting rights enabling it to draw labour for its plantations in Samoa from the eastern New Guinea islands and the northern Solomon Islands. The labour registers give the number and name of the labourer, his or her village and district. The registers also note the plantation on which the labourer worked and transfers to employment elsewhere. If applicable, the date and cause of death is noted. There was a high mortality. Otherwise the register notes the date of return. There is also a column for further notes.

Arbeiter Register, Nos.6367-7832, 25 May 1887-24 Feb 1891 [16 Mar 1891];
Arbeiter Register, Nos.7833-9409, 16 Mar 1891-Jan 1897;
Arbeiter Register, Nos.9406-10128, Nos.1-1237, Jan 1897-Jan 1906;
Arbeiter Register, Nos.1238-3187, Jan 1906-Sep 1913.

Deutches Handel Und Plantagen Gesselschaft

Diaries and pearling logs

  • AU PMB MS 15
  • Collection
  • 1882 - 1905

Captain Hamilton (1852-1937) was born in Scotland and came to Australia at the age of 10. In 1882 - 1883 he made voyages from Brisbane to the New Hebrides, New Britain and New Ireland in labour recruiting vessels. For a dozen or so years from the late 1890's, he ran the Hamilton Pearling Co. with luggers operating out of Komuli in the Admiralty Islands and Gizo in the Solomons. This company also traded in copra, tortoise shell, black lip and green snail shell. Later, Captain Hamilton had big planting interests in the Solomons, mainly on Choiseul. He died in Sydney in November, 1937.

The papers copied on this microfilm are the most interesting and valuable historically of a large collection (in the Oxley Memorial Library) relating to Captain Hamilton's career. They comprise:

  • Diary of a recruiting voyage in the schooner Lochiel from Brisbane to the New Hebrides from September 20, 1882, to December 29, 1882.
  • Diary of a recruiting voyage in the schooner Jessie Kelly from Brisbane to the New Hebrides, New Britain and New Ireland from March to September, 1883.
  • Two reports on voyages in search of pearl shell in New Guinea and the Solomons in 1899-1900.
  • Log of the pearling lugger Nippon from April 20, 1901 to September 24, 1901, kept at the Hamilton Pearling Company's station at Komuli, Admiralty Islands.
  • Log of the Hamilton Pearling Company's station at Komuli from September 27 1902 to March 10 1903.
  • Logs and diaries kept by William Hamilton in the vessels Canomie, Ysabel, Gazelle and Kambin from January 1 1903 to November 14 1905. These concern the operations of the Hamilton Pearling Company in New Guinea and the Solomons.

For further details of Captain Hamilton's career and of his other papers in the Oxley Memorial Library, see the Bureau's newsletter 'Pambu' October 1968:3, pp.3-6.

Hamilton, William

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