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WWII IN EAST TIMOR - AN AUSTRALIAN ARMY SITE AND TRAVEL GUIDE -- COMPLETING THE REMAINING SITE SURVEY WORK, AUGUST 2022


Edward Willis
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Perhaps even the grandchildren, or your sons and daughters one day will follow in your footsteps in Timor Leste?  To be walking the hills together seeing those places where, as young commandos with your Timorese companheiros you fought the enemy, will be a grand tribute to honour our wartime generations.

Letter from Francisco Xavier do Amaral (1937-2012), first President of Timor-Leste to Jack Carey, President, 2/2 Commando Association of Australia, 2008

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Ed Willis, President of the 2/2 Commando Association of Australia, in partnership with ex-SAS officer, the late Jim Truscott, OAM, were awarded an Army History Unit Research Grant of $10,556 for the 2020/2021 financial year.  (https://www.army.gov.au/our-heritage/history/army-history-research-grants)

The Australian Army History Unit is responsible for developing policy and programs for the collection, conservation, interpretation and promotion of Australian Army history.

The grant was awarded for the preparation of a ‘WWII in East Timor – an Australian Army site and travel guide’ (STG) with the following objective:

‘Australian Defence personnel and others travelling to East Timor and wishing to learn more about and visit sites connected with the commando campaign conducted by the No. 2 and No. 4 Independent Company’s and the clandestine operations of the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD) during WWII would benefit from better documentation and identification the sites associated with those events and how to locate them.  The site and travel guide (STG) is intended to meet that need’.

The availability of such information will enable those wishing to visit these sites on an organised tour or travelling independently to readily locate them and be better able to appreciate their history and significance.

The grant money has been used to cover costs associated with additional site survey work in East Timor, particularly in the central and eastern areas of the country, and further library and archival research in Darwin, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne.

In the 80th Anniversary Year (1942-2022) of the campaign, Ed Willis and Murray Thornton are travelling to East Timor between 29 July – 1 September 2022 to finalise the survey of WWII sites.  The background to this survey and their intended itinerary have been attached to this post.

See also the linked video presentation regarding this project:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13-F-_hY9MIquzFLWwxgh70IZgPv-1EUE/view?usp=sharing

Timor Itinerary & accommodation - public version.pdf 1845612975_WWIIinETsitesurveyAugust2022.1.pdf

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