Donald Gordon Bosgard, esteemed President of the Angoram Club, makes a point in the photo below!

April 16, 2013 at 1:38 am (Angoram, Angoram Club, Commentary, Don Bosgard, Donald Gordon Bosgard, East Sepik District, expatriates, Pacific war, Papua New Guinea, Sepik River)

Bosgard,the Lucases,Wall -Ang 60s - Copy

Donald Bosgard, Walter Lex, Ella Lucas, David Wall, Glen Lucas, Angoram in the late 1960s                                       ( Photo provided by Ella Lucas and refined by Paul Dennett)

Donald Gordon BOSGARD (27 June 1990, aged 70)

Don joined the PNG Administration immediately he was discharged from the Army after World War II and, besides serving elsewhere, spent many years in the Sepik District, firstly at Wewak and then at Angoram as Senior Clerk with the Department of Native Affairs. It is believed he was at Angoram for some twenty years and remained there assisting with the transition to Independence until his position was localised, retiring in March 1975. Don made many friends during his service in PNG and will be sadly missed by them.

After his retirement Don lived at Rose Bay, NSW, where he was a member of the RSL Club. His funeral was attended by numerous family and friends and a contingent from the Rose Bay RSL Club with its President giving the eulogy. Our Association was represented by Meg England and Pierre Donaldson.

Source: PNGAA, Vale, September 1990

According to Cardinal Newman: “It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say that he is one who never inflicts pain.” If this is so, Donald Gordon Bosgard more than fitted the bill.

It was my privilege to have known Don over a number of years in the Sepik District, and after he retired to Sydney.

To say that Don was of the old school would be an understatement. A dignified and refined man, always impeccably dressed and softly spoken in a clipped Anglo-Australian accent, and to me, he embedded all that was fine and good in a colonial gentleman. Some may have felt that Don was a bit snobbish and they would be slightly correct, but like Warburton, the Somerset Maugham, character, Don may have been a snob, but he was also a gentleman. He never harped on any of his own misfortunes to the discomfort of others.

Don’s father was a Dane who migrated to Australia before the First World War, and he served as a dentist with the Military Expeditionary Force that occupied German New Guinea at the start of the war. His mother came from Anglo-Australian stock with a fine history of officer naval service in the family. Don and his two brothers all served with distinction in WW II. One brother was killed in action in the Territory, and I heard he was even recommended for a VC. Don was at Shaggy Ridge. Peter, his other brother, was also prominent in the RSL in Moresby after the War.

For most of the time Don was in Angoram, he was president of the club, and what a monument to decorum and good manners he was, but more than a monument in his organizational abilities in running and directing club activities. He was an example to young government officers who came to the town.

On a recent visit to Angoram, I was impressed with what one of the local leaders said to me about Don. Eva, who we knew in the old days as Ipa, compared the treasury activities in the town today with their own building, and the number of staff most unfavourably with the excellent work Don did as just one person in a small office.

Don’s abilities were obvious for all to see, but he was content to remain in the clerical side of things. Some might say he lacked ambition, perhaps he did. I do know that a member of the House of Assembly had a mind to recommend him for a civil decoration.

Every afternoon after work, he would adjourn to his residence for a cup of tea, served by his faithful mankimasta, Rastus, and a shower. After which he would go to the club, but prior to leaving, Rastus would be instructed about the evening meal that he was to prepare. Before he actually left he might glance at the Observer. He refused to subscribe to the Post-Courier.

At the club, drinks and conversation would go on until about 8 or 9 o’clock. He was never the worst for liquor, and a lot of common sense was talked about the affairs of the station, and the world in general, while all the time smoking cigarettes. After which he would return to his donga, eat his evening meal, and in due course retire to his virtuous couch.

If he ever availed himself of the pleasures of the night that were on offer in Angoram, no one knew of it. I suspect, that he didn’t, as it was hardly the thing one would do considering what his sister, the old hag (As Don affectionately called her.) would have thought of such behaviour when on his leaves he returned to Rose Bay to stay with her in Sydney.

Don, I don’t know if you realize how much your friends from the old PNG days miss you. I guess by now a lot of them are with you already, but there are quite a few of us still down here.

I can’t say I look forward to joining you up there, but at least knowing you’re there will be some compensation.

Among the expats in Angoram over the years there were many fine and dedicated people, but there was only one aristocrat who I can think of, and he was  Donald Gordon Bosgard.

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Many fine and upstanding old soldiers and others to be seen on the link below.

April 12, 2013 at 7:48 am (Angoram, Commentary, East Sepik District, Jim McKinnon, Pacific war, Photos, Sepik River)

ANZAC Day, Angoram, 1973


ADC Col Sanderson takes the salute.

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Successful and dramatic rescue of Indian Prisoners of the Japanese by the Allied Intelligence Bureau (AIB), Sepik Party, in February, 1945.

December 17, 2012 at 1:36 am (Commentary, Pacific war, R.K.Walls, Sepik River, Territory New Guinea)

R.K. Walls, 1941

R.K. Walls, 1941


Map associated with Lieut. R.K.Walls’ Kurringe op.

The Sepik Party under the command of Lieut. R.H. McColl, R.A.N.V.R. and assisted by Lieut. R.K. Walls, A.I.F. became aware that there was a group of Indians, prisoners of the Japanese, who were in dire need in Kurringe Village, in the vicinity of the Sepik River.

The intelligence regarding the state of these Indian POWs was gained by Lieut. Walls, and he was – “impressed with the necessity for succouring these Indian Imperial Troops as soon as possible in order to save lives, with all possible haste…”

A party consisting of: Lieut. R.K. Walls, Havildar Khazan Singh of 10/2 Punjab Regt. , 11 Native Police armed with Owen guns and 7 others with a variety of weapons including a Carbine, Bren gun and rifles, supported by 4 other natives with shot guns. All members carried grenades. The party also included 28 carriers.

On the 24th of January, 1945, this party arrived at Nunguaiia, a friendly village, as a staging post for the attack and rescue operation.

Early attempts to penetrate Kurringe failed owing to the flooding of the Screw River. Walls radioed for supplies to be dropped at Ndaina, a nearby village, and over the next couple of days, reconnaissance was secretly carried out on Kurringe.

Three so called Jap Captains were apprehended and interrogated at Nunguaiia, and some information was obtained which proved fairly reliable.

On February 2 & 3 rescue and attack operations were successfully carried out in the various parts of Kurringe Village.

This account is based on a covering note from Lieut. McColl to D.S.I.O. New Guinea with Lieut. Walls’ report of the Kurringe Operations, but I don’t have Appendices C & D which list the names of rescued Indians, and captured Japanese, but from what I can gather, 3 Japanese were killed and 4 or 5 were captured – one Cpl. Khawasakhi was killed while attempting to escape by Numbia, a Native Policeman. Nine Indians were rescued, some in dire physical condition.

In his covering note Lieut. K.H. McColl stated: “Attached herewith is Lieut. R. K. Walls’ report to me of his activities in connection with the rescue of Indians from Japanese hands at Kurringe. His plans for the project were very sound, and were carried out with commendable despatch, and were highly successful. I concur with his remarks regarding Havildar Khazan Singh of 10/2 Punjab Regt., who, in my opinion, is a fine soldier.”

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Rabaul & Vunapope, 1941 (Photos taken by R.K. Walls)

December 13, 2012 at 4:41 am (Commentary, Pacific war, Photos, R.K.Walls, Rabaul, Vunapope)


Rabaul & Vunapope, 1941

1. The Cathedral – Vunapope Mission – Kokopo

2. Bishop’s Palace. The path is of powdered coral.

3.Central Administration Bldg Rabaul – note the sentry – native police – bldg. is discoloured by the dust.

4. The Rabaul Swimming Pool – Rabaul C. Coy in Capt Freddie Field and Pte Charlie Hilliard in foreground.

5. Supreme Court Building Rabaul.

6 .Carpenter’s House viewed from across the lawn – Bill McClemens and self ( Kevin. Walls) – A hill formerly in existence here was levelled for site of house and a valley filled in for lawns – all by native labour by hand.

7. The verandah – adjustable verandah blinds imported from America – practically everything else is an Eastern curio or treasure. Big bowl is of green glass half filled with water – purple flowers very tiny floating on top. Lt Crawford and self (Walls) in background.

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Photo taken in 1941 by R.K.Walls

December 12, 2012 at 7:51 am (Commentary, Pacific war, Photos, R.K.Walls, Rabaul, Territory New Guinea)

Click on link below:

Photo taken in 1941

CQMS Draper & Pte Bob Watts at Kabakaul Plantation where Aussies landed in 1914. Note plantation in the background & tinned beer in hand.

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Scenes around Rabaul,1941

December 11, 2012 at 5:30 am (Commentary, Pacific war, Photos, R.K.Walls, Rabaul, Territory New Guinea)

Photos taken by R.K.Walls.

For photos click on the link below:

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Japanese prisoners of war at Aitape in 1945

December 9, 2012 at 11:37 pm (Commentary, Pacific war, Photos, R.K.Walls, Territory New Guinea)

Click on link below:

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Kevin Walls’ photos 1941

December 9, 2012 at 6:00 am (Commentary, Pacific war, Photos, R.K.Walls, Rabaul)

Click on the link below:

Photos from left to right:

1.  Good example native hut – sides of coconut fronds – roof thatched with kunai grass

2.  New Guinea Club

3. The Treasury Building, Rabaul

4. Snap through porthole of ‘Katoomba’ in Sydney Harbour en route to Rabaul

5.  – outside the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Rabaul

6. Sgt. Walls & Lieut. Tolmer

7. Capt. Stockwell & Tommy Brannelly

8. Typical example of road around Rabaul

9. R.C. Church, St Xavier’s  – possibly the only fence in Rabaul

10. New Guinea Club

For a informative account of Kevin’s (R.K.Walls) active service, I would suggest a reading of The Coast Watchers by Patrick Lindsay, published by William Heinemann Australia, in 2010.

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Meeting up with Fr Kevin Kerley SM at Villa Maria, Hunters Hill, 4th January 2012

January 5, 2012 at 1:52 am (Commentary, John Bowers, Pacific war, Panguna Mine on Bougainville, PNG)

Fr Kerley & Mr Bowers

What an engaging and informative experience it was for me to meet up with Fr Kevin in the company of my old friend, John Bowers, and to be introduced to Fr Bob Barber, Fr Gerard Arbuckle, and other members of the community at a luncheon beautifully prepared by the kitchen staff.

Before and after lunch it was fascinating to hear something of Fr Kevin’s experiences in Bougainville during its crisis years. He has recently been accepted as a member of the Australian Peacekeeper & Peacemaker Veterans’ Association. At age 83, he continues to work on his memoirs and he’s made available accounts of his life in Bougainville to academic institutions.

Fr Kevin has a deep interest in Australian military history. His brother was a WW II veteran, and Kevin has made a study of the Pacific War.

John Bowers, a Sandhurst man, ex-British Army, and former PNG Patrol Officer, Special Branch Officer, and Judge’s Associate, with Kevin, shares an abiding interest in military history.

The topics discussed ranged from aspects of the Hegelian dialectic, terror and intimidation to survival of non-combatants in war areas. Fr Kevin’s Bougainville situation during the crisis years, in the middle as it were, between the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, and the PNG Police and Defence Forces, all in the mix, with his dedication to his parishioners and other local villagers, makes one realize the complexity of the circumstances he was in.

Both John’s and Kevin’s insights into the Malayan Emergency, Communist Insurgency War, guerrilla warfare and other aspects of military history, with the comments Kevin made about many famous and infamous wartime personalities, made for intelligent and informative conversation.

To talk with a man like Fr Kevin Kerley, and share his unique experiences, made a enjoyable and worthwhile day for me.

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Professor Hank Nelson comments

April 18, 2010 at 5:20 am (Angoram, David Wall, expatriates, Love on the Run, Pacific war, Papua New Guinea, Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk, Temlett Conibeer) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Letter from Professor Hank Nelson

I was so grateful to receive the above from Hank Nelson. The now late Professor Hank Nelson was a wonderful man and great academic.


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