- AU PMB MS 1181
- 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)