On this day: Australians at War

New Britain. 4 April 1945. Private Leon Ravet of Parramatta, NSW Pte Bernard Kentwell of Cronulla, NSW, on patrol duty with their Owen sub machine guns. Both men served with the 19th Bat

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. X

4th April 1945: Private Leon Ravet of Parramatta and Private Bernard Kentwell of Cronulla on duty in New Britain, the largest island of New Guinea, near the end of the Second World War.

Both men are holding Owen submachine guns, which were designed and manufactured in Australia, and used by the Australian Army from 1943 until the 1960s.

On this day: Christmas Day in the Australian Women’s Army Service

Lae, New Guinea, 25 December 1945. The Right Honourable J.B. Chifley talking to Sergeant Pritchard, AWAS, the only woman interpreter of Japanese in the Australian Army.

25th December 1945: The Right Honourable J.B. Chifley is photographed talking to Sergeant Pritchard of the Australian Women’s Army Service in Lae, New Guinea.

Pritchard was the Australian Army’s only Japanese translator during the Second World War.

The AWAS saw tens of thousands of women serve in the army for the final four years of the war. The organisation was disbanded in 1947.

On this day: Australians take New Guinea from the Germans

16th December 1914 Australian flag-raising ceremony in Angorum, New Guinea. Proclamation of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force taking control of the country from the G

Source

This photograph was taken in 1914, several months into the First World War.

At the outbreak of the war part of New Guinea, a large island in Oceania, was under German control. Australia, whose mainland is about 150 kilometres from the island, raised the Australian flag in a ceremony on the 16th of December.

War Christmas in 1942

This is Christmas Day in Papua New Guinea in 1942. Injured Australian soldier George C. “Dick” Whittington is helped to a hospital by Raphael Oimbari. These native men were named the “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” by the Australian soldiers for the help they provided them in the Second World War.

Sadly, the injured soldier died a few weeks after this picture was taken.

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