Timeline 1943

5th January   - Fit men left Java by ship.

7th January   - Party with 143 Pioneers left a few sick men behind and travelled by train to Penang, Malaysia.

9th January   - Men arrived at Changi Camp, Singapore and joined 17 men under Lieutenant R. G. Houston from Bicycle Camp, Batavia (to total 165 Pioneers).

14th January   - Party boarded ship at Penang, Malaysia bound for Moulmein, Burma.

15th January   - Allied air attack on both hellships and their escort vessel in the Bay of Bengal. 1 hellship sunk with Dutch prisoners. Bomb near miss killed Private W. J. Fallows and Private W. R. Cook. Private T. R. Murphy died from wounds next day.

16th January   - 4th Division sports meeting held at Gloucester Park in the presence of His Excellency the Governor of Western Australia (Sir James Mitchell). Captain W. H. Mitchell commanded the guard of honour. Major H. E. Tope and a small advance party set out for a new camp area at Mangalore, near Seymour, Victoria. Captain A. J. McInnes and Captain H. S. Huggard join unit.

18th January  - Party entrained to Thanbuzayat Base Camp and formed into No.5 Branch Thai War Prisoners Camp. The men worked at 18 Kilo (Hlepauk), 80 Kilo and 100 Kilo. Many men died of septic tropical ulcers and malaria at No.5 Branch hospital at 80 Kilo. This party was absorbed by No.3 Branch in December 1943.

20th January   - 157 Pioneers left Singapore by train. Major F. A. Woods (an Australian staff officer) remained in charge of this group until the Railway was completed.

24th January   - Pioneers arrive at Bampong, Thailand by train.

25th January   - Pioneers moved by motor transport to Tarso and Kanyu to clear campsites and build huts. The Pioneers were then moved to Hintock Road Camp.

Mid February   - All of Battalion now at Mangalore. Victoria personnel sent on leave. Major Aitken returns from Landforce Headquarters Tactical School, Queensland. Chaplain Ruby posted elsewhere.

10th March   - Lieutenant Colonel J. T. Lang travelled to Melbourne to interview Lieutenant Colonel Walker then attended an amphibious operations conference at Port Stephens. C.O. in a senior officers' course and absent from the unit for a month. Battalion personnel recalled for another move. Lieutenant D. R. Williamson joins Battalion and is posted to No. 2 (Anti-Aircraft) Platoon.

19th March   - Pioneers started work on Hintock sector of Burma Railway 150 to 156km from Bampong, Thailand. This consisted of rock cutting and building embankments. Food had to be carried from Kanyu as the use of a truck was refused (a round trip of 18 kilometres on foot).

21st March   - Warning order received for transfer to Queensland. Advance party under Major K. B. Kidd moved to Woodford in Southern Queensland. Concentration in this staging camp was completed before the end of the month. Battalion does four weeks of initial jungle training. Officers and N.C.Os attended lectures by Lieutenant Colonel J. R. Wolfenden and his jungle training team, and under his direction officers practised the technique of the platoon in the attack and in setting an ambush. Later, instruction was passed on and the companies practised in the dense under­growth surrounding the camp. Course conducted by signals officer Lieutenant B. L. Canning. Battalion to rejoin 7th Division.

25th March   - 35 Kilo sick evacuated to new hospital at 30 Kilo (Retpu). Williams Force and Anderson's Force becomes known as No.1 Mobile Force by the Japanese.

26th March   - Remainder of force (excluding the sick) marched to 26 Kilo to take over rail-laying.

24th April   - Force entrained to 45 Kilo (Anarkwan) which was infested with lice.

25th April (Anzac Day)   - First draft moved to Ravenshoe which was a dull camp lacking in most amenities. The original members of the Battalion, now totalling about 30, qualify for the 1939-43 Star and also a small blue chevron for each completed year of active service. Lieutenant D. Martin recalled from Brigade Headquarters. Chaplain K. Broderick posted elsewhere. Captain W. H. Mitchell posted to Divisional Headquarters.

1st May   - Divisional Commander Major General G. A. Vasey, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O. and Bar delivered a welcome address. Battalion sent to 21st Infantry Brigade for training with a series of exercises without troops. Battalion less essential camp services left camp by march route for a clearing in the dense jungle near Tully Falls where a camp (the troops called Langari) of native-type shelters (called "doovers") was made from jungle vines and thatched with coarse grasses. Companies carried out two weeks of jungle training and quick decision exercises. Captain F. G. Bellmaine and Captain N. F. Garrard swapped positions as Adjutant and A Company Commander. Regimental Quarter-master-Sergeant now Warrant Officer (II) S. A. Wellington. Special squad created under Private Mark Lewis for remedial exercises. 'Stinging tree' (Gympie Gympie) and 'wait a while' vine first encountered. Contact with any part of the tree set up a painful chemical reaction which became more intense when the victim was wet. Sergeant E. Jones, D Company, unfortunately fell into a tree after swimming a stream. The C.O. became badly entangled in a 'wait-a-while' vine when he crossed a creek by crawling along a fallen log and could be freed only after much cutting away. Leeches and ticks also abounded in the jungle. Australian Rules football team led by Corporal J. F. Cotter won all but one matches. Training included musketry on Corporal R. Collett's miniature range, grenade throwing on the course erected by Corporal G. R. Colcott, learning from Sergeant A. J. Chivers how to prepare a meal from dehydrated rations and the assault course designed by Sergeant E. Jones.

8th May   - Lieutenant Colonel J. M. Williams accused of lying to the Japanese (that a bugler wasn't available) and sentenced to stand for 72 hours. He served 24 hours only because the Force was moved next day.

9th May   - Force moved to 60 Kilo where cholera broke out. Three Pioneers were buried at 60 Kilo cemetery and Private E. W. Worrall died at 55 Kilo hospital after contracting cholera at 60 Kilo. Force doing bridge building, ballasting and rail laying. Now no limit on hours worked.

Late May   - Full dress rehearsal held to find any problems in command and administration. The Battalion took part in a realistic exercise lasting three days. The band trained as stretcher-bearers and learnt first-aid. Lieutenant J. B. St. Vincent Welch appointed a liaison officer with Brigade Headquarters. Captain W. H. Mitchell was promoted and transferred to an independent command in the Torres Straits. New chaplain the Rev. S. G. Claughton attached. Sergeant R. Lang and Sergeant G. W. Sauer posted elsewhere after graduating as Lieutenants.

1st June   - All `fit' men sent to Hintock River Camp to work three shifts using a large compressor at a 2 kilometre long cutting. 27 Pioneers died along this section (cholera broke out as well). Many were evacuated to hospitals between 20/08/1943 and 02/09/1943.

7th June   - J. H. Templeman and a few Pioneers sent to 45 Kilo ballast pits. Most of the Force under Lieutenant Colonel J. M. Williams did ballasting work at 40 Kilo in malaria infested area. No quinine supplied by Japanese for 4 weeks. Sixteen men died at 40 Kilo in 4 weeks.

12th June   - Six B24 Liberators bombed Thanbuzayat Base Camp; destroying some coolie huts and a section of rail. 8 P.O.W.s killed by a direct hit and 2 by bomb splinters in the camp.

12th June   - Battalion won 21st Infantry Brigade Sports. A grand rodeo and race meeting were planned for Mount Garnet in mid-July, although racecourse buildings were in disrepair and the track overgrown. C Company moved to Mount Garnet and commenced work on a new corral and on the existing buildings. Remainder of Battalion visited 2/3rd Pioneer Battalion at Kairi.

15th June   - B24 Liberators bombed Thanbuzayat Base Camp. 21 P.O.W.s killed.

16th June   - Thanbuzayat Base Camp evacuated.

22nd June   - Reformed Battalion celebrated first anniversary with a barbecue. A and D Companies moved to Mount Garnet and B Company to Divisional Headquarters. Some officers attached to 2/4th Field Regiment. In exercise "Rodeo", an American parachute battalion was "wiped-out" when it floated to earth directly over the Battalion. Left behind were a small maintenance party under Lieutenant R. B. White at the racecourse and Lieutenant M. W. N. Armstrong at the dispersal area. The exercise ended at Mount Garnet. Captain H. J. E. Page, Lieutenant R. Westfield and Lieutenant J. M. Sandell were recalled and whilst the remainder of the Battalion watched the rodeo, Captain A. J. McInnes, Lieutenant B. G. Stevenson and 150 other ranks embarked on H.M.A.T. Canberra and sailed from Townsville, Queensland in the evening to establish Battalion camp at Port Moresby, New Guinea. Exercise "Rodeo" was a rehearsal for the operations ahead. It was typical of Major General Vasey that in the midst of planning a campaign he not only arranged for the race meeting, but also found the time to act as the judge. The main body in two echelons moved by road to the Oonoonba staging camp near Townsville.

3rd July   - Main party (under Lieutenant Colonel J. M. Williams) returned to 60 Kilo from 40 Kilo. 122 men left behind too sick to travel (they were moved nearly 3 weeks later to 30 Kilo hospital and about 80% died).

25th July   - Men embarked on H.M.T. Duntroon.

26th July   - H.M.T. Duntroon sails for Port Moresby, New Guinea.

28th July   - Battalion disembarked at Port Moresby, New Guinea with the sunken Macdhui visible in harbour (bombed 16/06/1942 and 17/06/1942). Driven to camp in Seven Mile Valley to begin training in preparation of unit equipment and stores for movement in trackless country, defence of an airstrip, a long and difficult route march, and improvised river crossings. Laloki River near 17 mile was used for training. Diarrhoea swept through the Battalion while at Rouna Falls.

29th July   - Air-raid alarm sounded but no enemy aircraft seen.

Early August   - In preparation of the capture of Nadzab then Lae (airfield on left was last landfall of Amelia Earhart), Major K. B. Kidd, Lieutenant D. O. Smith and Private P. Robinson, of B Company moved by air to Tsili Tsili airstrip to do reconnaissance of crossings of the Watut River, tracks across country to Kirkland's Dump and crossings of the Markham River opposite the Dump. Nadzab is situated at the source of the Markham River which enters the sea just south of Lae (Markham River mouth left background) and the Ramu River which flows north between Madang and Wewak. Both are ideal to transport troops. The Nadzab airstrips were overgrown with tall kunai grass and had log obstacles placed by the Japanese who patrolled Nadzab and nearby Gabmatzung every two weeks. American one man tents and Handy-talkie wireless sets first used by the Battalion.

22nd August   - Battalion less Support Group of 71 men under Warrant Officer (I) S. A. Wellington and the L.O.B. Group (seven officers and 61 other ranks) moved to Ward's Strip, Port Moresby. Thirty-five aircraft carried 20 fully equipped soldiers or 5000 lb. of stores and equipment or a proportion of both to Tsili Tsili (two strips laid out in a cross and almost completely surrounded by tall mountains). For five days working parties unloaded air­craft and carried stores to the Watut River dump.

30th August   - An advanced group consisting of Captain W. Dunphy and a Pioneer reconnaissance party under Lieutenant D. O. Smith, together with Warrant Officer Swanson of A.N.G.A.U. and 45 natives, left Tsili Tsili two days earlier to improve the route.

1st September   - Main body under Lieutenant Colonel J. T. Lang with most of the Engineers, and small parties from 2/4th Field Regiment, 7th Division Signals, and a Field Security Section (780 troops and 760 natives) began trek to Kirkland's Dump (50 miles) near Nadzab. Each carried from 60 to 80 lb. Seven miles were covered to the first camp at Barwuf rest house.

2nd September   - 12 miles of jungle, swamp and tall grass traversed to Waime.

3rd September   - Very steep climb of 1200 feet then a nine inch deep swamp and another climb to Kunai Patch. Foul smelling jungle mud replaced by stifling heat of kunai grass. No medical evacuations were possible.

4th September   - Very rugged country in a climb of 1800 feet across a ridge to Kirkland's Dump. Remainder of Engineers and 60 Pioneers (12 from each company) under Lieutenant C. Wegg started voyage with 12 large folding boats carrying heavy equip­ment down the Watut River to the Markham opposite Kirkland's. Both rivers are very cold, deep and very fast with shoals, islands and submerged snags. For 20 hours the river party, often standing waist deep, shoved the heavy craft off obstacles. One man drowned and three boats were wrecked during trip.

5th September   - River party arrived just after midnight. By 0315 hours seven had been unloaded and concealed. The Markham River flowed 4 to 6 knots with braided channels 10 to 12 feet deep. Deeper channels were 100 to 300 feet wide. River measured from half to one mile bank to bank. At 1000 hours a bomber laid smoke screen over Nadzab with transport aircraft flying twelve abreast dropping paratroopers and supplies soon after. Parachutes of different colours coded supplies. A Company crossed the river in the folding boats to establish a bridgehead. B Company platoon crossed and moved to Erap River two miles away as lookout. Engineers constructed bridge and ropeway across last of the four channels. By 1415 hours whole group was across. B Company as advanced guard hacked a track with knives and bayonets to Nadzab airstrip in four hours.

6th September   - Entire overland party used American flame-throwers and incendiary bombs to burn off the long grass. First transport aircraft landed four hours later. Captain V. M. Putland and his Regi­mental Aid Post staff (including Private E. Thatcher) treated many minor injuries and set four broken legs (Gabmatzung Mission used as main dressing station at Nadzab). C and D Companies unloaded aircraft and improved the landing strip.

11th September   – Battalion (less C and D companies) moved down track along Markham River north bank to prevent an enemy party estimated at 200 from crossing the river to Heath's Plantation from Markham Point on the south bank. These plantations had largely reverted to jungle. Patrol under Lieutenant F. J. Bolitho sent to make contact with 2/25th Infantry Battalion patrol some miles north was fired upon and withdrew. Contact made with paratroops in Narakapor Plantation.

12th September   - Lieutenant F. J. Bolitho again set out to locate 2/25th Battalion without success. Another patrol of 13 men under Lieutenant D. O. Smith hacked its way to a position a mile and a half east of the Battalion and saw evidence of recent enemy occupation of native villages, enemy tracks leading toward Heath's and returned. Later, B Company occupied this area. Patrol of 17 men under Lieutenant T. Hulse routed stronger enemy patrol. C Company continued to improve the two landing strips in use and to unload aircraft and D Company constructed a jeep supply track from Gabmatzung to Munum Waters. 5 (Anti-Tank) Platoon re­joined the Battalion after being previously air lifted to Dobodura under Corps command. Battle at Heath's between patrols continued overnight with 54th Battery, 2/4th Field Regiment in artillery support.

13th September   - Battalion less the two detached companies ordered to provide flank pro­tection for major attack on Heath’s Plantation. Patrol under Lieutenant D. O. Smith hacked through to a deep, broad stream (Narinsera Waters). The patrol split there. Lieutenant D. O. Smith, Lance Corporal A. J. Nunn, Private Wilson and Private H. T. J. Chapman swam across and set out to a bridge on Lae Road to observe the enemy apparently evacuating the forward positions by moving back from Heath's with wounded, mortars and guns. Private Wilson found Japanese operation orders in a discarded greatcoat. After 20 minutes, the party withdrew to Heath's. With this information, the bridge was shelled by 54th Battery. Lieutenant D. O. Smith mentioned in despatches. Lieutenant T. Hulse and Lieutenant D. R. Williamson also patrolled to Heath's. Lieutenant T. Hulse's patrol found an enemy patrol, killing two, wounding one and putting the remainder to flight. Private A. S. Hatchard of A Company wounded. Lieutenant T. Hulse awarded Military Cross. Lance Corporal P. K. Egan awarded Military Medal. Standing patrol with a medium machine-gun under Lieutenant B. G. Stevenson and Lieutenant W. A. Hood positioned on track immediately south of Heath's. Platoon under Lieutenant S. A. Coles was in the planta­tion itself. C.O. Lieutenant Colonel J. T. Lang moved to Heath's leaving Adjutant Captain G. F. Bellmaine in control of Battalion Headquarters.

14th September   - A Company was placed under command of 2/33rd Infantry Battalion to replace the Company which had been practically wiped out when a Liberator bomber crashed into five trucks killing the crew, 59 men in the trucks and injured 92 after engine failure on takeoff at Jackson's airfield, Port Moresby on 07/09/1943. 2/33rd battalion was to bypass south of the road and secure Heath's with two companies. Remaining companies manned a roadblock behind the enemy. Airstrike on Edwards's Plantation with strafing back along the track from Edwards's to Jacobsen's. 2/33rd Battalion with A Company under command encountered enemy at Edwards's plantation. A Company in the role of reserve moved forward to the bridge previously discovered by Lieutenant D. O. Smith. By 1030 hours, 2/25th Battalion had advanced over 1000 yards. Heath's Plantation fell during the afternoon. At least 300 enemy dead with captured operation orders indicated enemy already considering abandoning Lae and withdrawing toward Sio Mission. 15 minutes after fall of Heath's, A Company ambushed with Private W. L. J. Green and Private N. Prior both seriously wounded immediately. Private R. B. Tout and Private C. Irwin fell wounded next. Private R. B. Tout crawled to safety. Private J. E. G. Barger and Sergeant H. G. Reilly carried back Private C. Irwin who had been wounded in the back and shoulder and also retrieved the Bren gun Private R. B. Tout had been operating. Private C. Irwin wounded again lying on the ground by a sniper concealed in trees immediately above the company. Eight enemy killed but remainder of ambush party escaped. Captain N. F. Garrard ordered Sergeant H. A. Downer (8 Platoon) and Sergeant H. G. Reilly (9 Platoon) to each take 12 man patrols to follow the enemy and take up defensive positions overlooking the company. Lieutenant D. O. Smith's patrol returned from Narinsera Waters. At 0205 hours enemy mortars opened fire to cover the enemy's withdrawal.

15th September   - B Company under command of 2/25th Battalion. Patrol under Lieutenant A. F. Knights sent toward Tari to observe results of last night's bombardment but forced to return. Private W. L. J. Green died of wounds. At 1015 hours, Lieutenant E. B. Reid and 22 men sent to reconnoitre all tracks on north bank of Markham River. They left Markham Point and moved to Vernon's Plantation. Meanwhile A Company had occupied a ridge over­looking an enemy 'woodpecker' post at Edwards's which 7 Platoon under Lieutenant T. Hulse attacked without success. At 1250 hours the forward company of 2/33 Battalion came under heavy machine gun fire. Corporal H. T. Bardsley's and Corporal T. Indian's) sections attacked but remaining section under Corporal S. J. Hucker had to cover their withdrawal. Private H. M. Eddy killed and Private T. F. Byrne later died from wounds. Corporal S. J. Hucker awarded Military Medal. At 2230 hours two enemy approached Corporal A. E. Daldy's section, which killed one and wounded the other who fell into the river.

16th September   - Lieutenant E. B. Reid's patrol continued to blaze trail for Battalion. Extensive patches of wait-a-while vine cut by Corporal R. Collett. Private A. Maynard and Private S. Maynard hacked coarse grass and vines for two hours in swamp three feet deep for the last mile until patrol arrived at Markham mouth at 1530 hours. Patrol under Lieutenant B. G. Stevenson and Lieutenant W. A. Hood sent to observe Tari. Battalion resumed advance on Lae often waist deep in swamp water with B Company rejoined. 2/31st Battalion entered Lae from the north. 7th Division patrols entered the town first at 1100 hours but 9th Division approaching from the east of town across the Buso River shelled the captured defences in error. Battalion moved into Lae late afternoon and camped on the airfield. The enemy had left a skeleton force to man bunkers which were quickly overcome. A Company suffered one man killed and six wounded (two later died). Damaged sunken Japanese ship Tenyo Maru seen off Lae airfield (bombed by R.A.A.F. Beaufort bombers).

17th September   - Moved to Kinsaioke Camp to do rail work.

17th September   - Patrol under Lieutenant E. B. Reid relieved by B Company. Battalion moved from Lae airfield to north western outskirts of town then to Munum Waters and a position four miles east of Nadzab. C and D Companies remained detached.

20th September   - Nine enemy twin-engined bombers with fighter cover bombed Nadzab with anti-personnel and fragmentation bombs.

23rd September   - Detached companies rejoined Battalion which moved to Camp Diddy to protect Nadzab (ten miles away) from any threat from Boana. 12 men from C Company under Lieutenant R. B. White patrolled along Boana track. Six men and two natives under Sergeant J. W. French patrolled to Busu River near the village of Gumbuk then to Boana. Patrol under Lieutenant R. E. Harris did not sight any enemy either.

29th September   - Lieutenant C. L. Fraser and a small party left for Kaiapit.

1st October   - Remainder of Battalion arrives at Kaiapit. Defence of the two airstrips passed to Battalion with C and B Companies sent some distance to warn of enemy from east or north. Infrequent landings made aircraft evacuation of casualties slow with cases often living beside the airstrip for several days. Lieutenant J. Drummond of C Company led the only long-distance patrol to establish an Air Wireless Warning Post consisting of two N.C.Os at Wantoat. Lieutenant Drummond, Corporal S. R. Mathews, 12 other ranks, two police boys and 200 native carriers moved west on route 53 for four days via Gantisap, Dantap, Yudan and Huperang to Wantoat landing strip. At the foothills of Wantoat a bridge had to be constructed for the crossing of the Upper Leron River. Return via route 51 branching at Huperang to Sukurum, Wongat, Sumangorun, Sangan to Kaiapit. Patrol divided into three : Corporal S. R. Mathews to one party, Private W. J. Stewart to another and the third with Lieutenant Drummond when enemy found waiting en route. Opposition killed with Private L. A. Moy almost accidentally shot. The patrol arrived at Kaiapit on the fourteenth day. Battalion had moved on but Major H. E. Tope was waiting and they all flew out next day to rejoin. Operations continued up to Uria River (foreground, Ramu River in background) with fighting continuous since the capture of Kaiapit.

11th October   - Opposing enemy force (78th Infantry Regiment) now reduced to 900 men (500 killed since fall of Kaiapit).

14th October   - Advance Battalion party reconnoitred a campsite at Bebei.

19th October   - B and C Companies moved to Bebei.

20th October   - D Company moved to Dumpu (Uria River foreground, Ramu River in background) village for work with 2/6th Field Company. C Company worked on a road between the Faria and Mosia Rivers. B Company cut approaches to and constructed a bridge across Mosia River. A Company worked on cutting near Uria River.

25th October   - Both ends of the railway joined at 145 Kilo. Williams Force at 131 Kilo. Return to ballasting after one week break.

28th October   - Battalion placed under command of 21st Infantry Brigade and moved to Kum­barum.

29th October   - Battalion set out on long climb to Levett's Post but followed the wrong course and camped for the night.

30th October   - Levett's Post reached. 8 Platoon under Lieutenant R. Philpots located at Moto's Post. 10 Platoon under Lieutenant S. A. Coles located at Sam's Post overlooking Gurumbu.

5th November   - Lieutenant R. E. Harris with a few men patrolled Gurumbu-Berringge-Mungu area and clashed with enemy. Sergeant E. Jones sent section in support but patrol returned safe with Samurai sword.

8th November   - Battalion moved to spur above Moto's Post. Patrol under Lieutenant R. B. White's sent to observe enemy movements along Paipa Kankiryo road encountered heavy fire half mile beyond Tom's Post. Lieutenant R. B. White fell wounded, could not be rescued and was later posted missing presumed dead.

Late November   - C Company at Tom's Post attacked by Japanese patrol but Lieutenant Drummond's men beat off the attackers who left behind an officer's sword. Battalion moved back to Kumbarum (a rest area) to do road construction.

December   - Arrival of first mail from Australia (although much had been written and sent July 1942). Men classed as very sick, sick and fit (only 24 out of 884 were graded as fit in No.1 Mobile Force).

December   - Gusap and Dumpu airstrips bombed. Enemy limited offensive in Kesawai area. Battalion sent to new area in infantry role. Major General Vasey visited Battalion.

11th December   - Battalion moved to Lakes area.

13th December   - Japs over ran two 2/25th Battalion companies further up the valley. Pioneers ordered to occupy high ridge overlooking Mene River valley and Shaggy Ridge (on right, Faria River valley on left). A Company held low saddle in Faria River valley (view from Shaggy Ridge) and remaining companies were strung along ridge 2600 feet above sea level.

Mid December   - Platoon under Lieutenant S. A. Coles sent up Uria River to rendezvous east of Levett's Post. Carrier line of rations escorted by Lieutenant D. O. Smith to the same rendezvous. Lieutenant S. A. Coles returned after three or four days but Lieutenant D. O. Smith, Corporal W. F. Anson, Lance Corporal A. J. Nunn and Private H. T. J. Chapman patrolled six days through the Finisterres to Gusap (10 knot Gusap River shown) then were flown to Dumpu airstrip. Shaggy Ridge left flank protection given to Battalion. Companies occupied Bert's Post and the Pines, Brian's Hill and Herald Hill. Patrol under Lieutenant P. H. Scholz with party from D Company observed wired enemy zone on northern end of Shaggy Ridge without being seen.

26th December   - Sick moved from 131 Kilo to 133 Kilo (Niki).

27th December   - 2/4th Field Regiment fired 3500 shells at The Pimple while fighter bombers divebombed and strafed in support of successful attack by 2/16th Infantry Battalion carried out on a one man front owing to the narrowness of the ridge. Patrol up Mene River Valley by D Company led by Captain A. J. McInnes carried rations to dump near Canning's Saddle (named after the Battalion's signals officer, Lieutenant B. L. Canning). Smaller party set out from here to climb Shaggy Ridge and observe enemy.