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Edward Willis

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About Edward Willis

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    Courier Editor & Committee Member
  • Birthday 08/07/1947

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    Bill Willis

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  1. Edward Willis

    The Commando Memorial in Lochaber

    Hi Rob: I visited there quite a few years ago now and thought the attached booklet about the establishment of the memorial would be be of interest. Ed spean_bridge_50th_booklet.pdf
  2. WA RSL 'Listening Post' article about Timor 1942 Commando Campaign Tour.
  3. Edward Willis


    Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has just completed a visit to Timor-Leste to meet with members of the new government. During her visit she participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Dare Memorial and met with President Francisco Guterres. These two events have particular Doublereds interest as revealed by these Tweets from Australian Ambassador to Timor-Leste Peter Roberts and Facebook post from the the Office of the T-L Minister of Defense, Dr. Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus: https://twitter.com/AusAmbDili/status/1024496396391436288 https://twitter.com/AusAmbDili/status/1024221789809926145 https://www.facebook.com/Ministro-da-Defesa-Dr-Filomeno-da-Paixão-de-Jesus-203833936940153/?hc_ref=ARRHmiLeXLLgY7JfQ9tNR8Alff0WhqpexhZZmoAFZmnvX8KCkEEgPIIhH8cA69Njb0g&fref=nf
  4. This story complements my earlier post: ‘BRIGADIER MICHAEL CALVERT (1913–1998) – Trainer and Long-Term Friend of the Doublereds’. Learning map reading at training, Foster. L to R: unknown signaller, Mike Calvert, Freddie Spencer-Chapman Source: Sparrow Force [memoir of Lieutenant John Albert Rose NX65630] Both Freddie Spencer-Chapman and Michael Calvert were members of a small British military mission that arrived in Australia in November 1940. Its task was to establish a covert camp to train Australians as special forces for use behind enemy lines. The rugged and isolated Wilsons Promontory, a narrow-necked peninsula 230kms south east of Melbourne, was chosen. Reflecting on the 60 years since the establishment of the No. 2 Independent Company, original member Ray Aitken asserted in 2001 that: I firmly believe that the success of our Association stems from the oddity in our early history, namely, that spent in training on Wilson's Promontory, our contact with the British Army in the persons notably of Michael Calvert, a Commando demolitions officer, and Freddie Spencer-Chapman an Everest climber, … and again the strangeness of our service on the Island of Timor and hence our bond with the Timorese people. [Source: Ray Aitken '60 years young' 2/2 Commando Courier Vol. 137, June 2001: 1] SPENCER-CHAPMAN'S CHARACTER AND CAPABILITIES Ralph Barker wrote the first full biography of Spencer-Chapman in 1975 and provides the following insights into his character and capabilities based on those who came to know him at Wilson’s Promontory: [Source: Ralph Barker. - One man's jungle: a biography of F. Spencer Chapman, DSO. – London: Chatto & Windus, 1975: 178-182.] "He was asked if he would like to go to Australia, on a mission that was being sent to raise and train similar commando companies of Australians and New Zealanders, and he had no excuse to refuse. "I am to go abroad in two weeks' time," he told Uncle Sam. "It is sad in that I have just got things going here and am enjoying a really interesting and important job." But within a few days he was telling Erica Thompson: "I am looking forward to it for various reasons. Life has been rather too complicated lately. Joss was stationed up Kyle way and I have been seeing a good deal of her, which was very stupid I suppose. Queer that I don't seem to meet anybody else. Perhaps I shall in Australia .... " Another incentive was that Australia was the only continent he had not yet visited. No. 104 Mission, under Lieutenant-Colonel Mawhood, with Captain Mike Calvert* in charge of demolitions and Freddy in charge of fieldcraft, and with two warrant officers in support, left Britain on 6th October 1940 in the S.S. Rimutaka, crossing the North Atlantic and heading south for the Panama Canal. During the voyage Freddy and Mike Calvert established a relationship which they were always able to pick up again at the same point however long they were apart, based on mutual respect and an acceptance of where their lives and characters overlapped and interlocked and where they didn't. In fact, they had little in common. "Michael Calvert boxed and swam for Cambridge and the Army, has no nose left, and a large red good-natured rubber-like face which he can twist into the most ludicrous expressions," Freddy told Uncle Sam. "He is always laughing and cannot see why everybody else is not happy too." And of Freddy Mike Calvert said later: "He was a strange mixture. One moment he would be spouting high ideals, the next he would be supporting some perfidious scheme for blowing things up. He talked like a liberal and acted like an anarchist, and it amused me how swiftly he could change from one to the other." .... The Mission found the inertia of the Australian Government rather like England before Dunkirk, and with Mawhood absorbed in political and intelligence wrangles and intrigue, it was left to Freddy and Calvert to visit Australian units and recruit the men they needed. A training area was chosen on Wilson's Promontory, at the extreme southern point of Victoria, running out into the Bass Strait towards Tasmania; this promontory, about 20 miles long and up to eight wide, was virtually uninhabited, and it included every conceivable type of ground. There were high mountains and rocky crags, culminating in Mount Latrobe at 2,475 feet; eucalyptus forests as dense as any jungle; rolling open grassland and scrub; sand dunes and flats; every kind of swamp; harbours, beaches and islands to practise combined operations; and even a landing field. It was thus ideally suited for training troops who might have to fight anywhere from the Libyan desert to the jungles of New Guinea. A distinguished Australian soldier of the First World War, Major Stuart Love, was in overall command, and in Calvert's view he was an important influence in directing Freddy's ideas along practical lines. Calvert was an ideal foil for Freddy, and the Australians, suspicious at first of Freddy's clipped speech, unusual mode of dress (he was still wearing the kilt of the 5th Seaforths), and aesthetic good looks, were gradually won over. Yet for them Freddy was bound to remain something of an enigma. "His was not the easy camaraderie that appeals to all," writes ex-trainee Rolf Baldwin. "He was austere and other-worldly, and these are not the qualities that inspire universal affection." The other ranks were more amused than impressed by Freddy's stories of Greenland and the Himalayas, which, mimicked in a parody of the English accent, were always good for a laugh behind his back. And with the Australian's raw sensitivity towards British insularity, they resented such eccentricities as Freddy's choice of "the cry of the British tawny owl" as the rallying cry for a patrol. "What the bloody hell does he think we are?" they muttered. The inevitable snow bunting drew the same response. Yet they developed a strong affinity with him, as a pupil does for a master, and his detractors were greatly outnumbered by his admirers. "He told a good story and told it well," remembers J.H. Wass, "but always managed to turn it into a lesson which fitted into the training schedule. "Wass speaks of Freddy's magnetism being such that everyone came to almost worship him. "He had an impressive method of establishing a point in the training programme," writes Lex Fraser, who was second in command of the first of the Anzac independent companies. "For example, a day was to be spent in 'field-sketching' from the top of Mount Latrobe, and several groups were despatched to deal with varying segments of the field. The exercise could not be completed in the one day and as evening approached, some of the parties returned to base camp. Other parties completed the assignment and returned the following day. Freddy dressed the parties who returned down to size, with such effect that all, without direction, started off once again for Mount Latrobe, and some returned as long as three days later, but with the required information. This sort of training was invaluable to the morale of the independent companies." Most troops have a sneaking regard for a leader who is different and a little eccentric, even if he infuriates them at times, and the Australians had certainly never met anyone like Freddy before. He had many of the characteristics of the typical Pommie, with which they enjoyed a love-hate relationship of long standing; and in addition, he could out-walk, out-run, out-climb, out-track and out­ shoot the best of them. "I recall an incident," writes Lex Fraser, "when, after Freddy had established a time of 23/4 hours for climbing Mount Latrobe from our base camp on the Tidal River, an Australian succeeded in lowering this by half an hour. I can still see the determined look on Freddy's face as he left base camp and requested that he be checked on his arrival at the summit. He completed the limb in 13/4 hours and returned to camp at a lope. 'Now see if you can beat that,' he said. To my knowledge, this remarkable record was never beaten." Freddy himself described the training as a natural development of the Lochailort course, as practical as they could make it. While CaIvert taught the art of demolition, he taught how to get a party from A to B and back by day or night in any sort of country and to arrive in a fit state to carry out its appointed task. "This included all sorts of sidelines - a new conception of fitness, knowledge of the night sky, what to wear, what to take and how to carry it, what to eat and how to cook it, how to live off the country, tracking, memorizing routes, and how to escape if caught by the enemy." Few were to put these aspects of fieldcraft to better use than Freddy himself; but they were, of course, little more than an extension of the way he had so often lived his life, right back to his schooldays. Writing after the Burma campaign, Mike Calvert called Freddy "the best man at all forms of fieldcraft that I know". IN MALAYA On completing their Australian training assignment, Calvert was posted to India and Spencer-Chapman to Malaya. Commissioned into the Seaforth Highlanders as a lieutenant on 6 June 1939, Chapman's love of the outdoor life and adventure lead to him being chosen for the mission in Australia. That mission was to train Australian and New Zealand forces in guerrilla warfare and eventually to join what was then Special Training School 101 STS-101 in Singapore. This school had as one of its main objects the organization of parties to stay behind in areas the Japanese might overrun. Throughout the war Chapman remained a thorn in the Japanese side, accounting for the loss of no less than seven trains, fifteen bridges and forty motor vehicles and the killing of some hundreds of Japanese troops in a short period of time at the beginning of Japanese occupation. Source: Brian Moynahan. – Jungle soldier: the true story of Freddy Spencer Chapman. – London: Quercus, 2009: 276. In early 1942, he ran out of the supplies that had been hidden for stay behind parties such as his team. Freddie and his team then tried to escape from Malaya but had to hide from the Japanese in the Malayan jungle with the help of the Malayan Chinese Communists who lived in guerrilla camps in the jungle waging war with the Japanese. Source: Brian Moynahan. – Jungle soldier: the true story of Freddy Spencer Chapman. – London: Quercus, 2009: 209. However, due to the bad conditions in the jungle and also due to Japanese attacks, he gradually lost all his team members through disease and gunfire and was completely cut off. For more than one and a half years, he lived in jungle camps with Chinese Communist Guerrillas and travelled long distances through dense and difficult jungles often suffering high fevers, caused by malaria. In late 1943, he finally re-established contact with the British. Two other Britons joined him from Force 136. On a search-mission in the jungle for another stay-behind-Briton, Freddie was captured by the Japanese but managed to escape into jungle during the night, despite being surrounded by Japanese soldiers who were asleep as well as several on guard. Source: Brian Moynahan. – Jungle soldier: the true story of Freddy Spencer Chapman. – London: Quercus, 2009: 276. Due to continued Japanese attacks, he and the two members of Force 136, were isolated again among the Communist Guerrillas until early 1945. During that time, they had to fight against diseases of the jungle, namely, malaria, beriberi, dysentery and skin-ulcers from leech bites. Finally, with the help of the Malayan Chinese Communists, they managed to repair their radio equipment with spare-parts collected by the Communist Guerrillas (the military wing of this being the Malayan Peoples' Anti-Japanese Army) and could contact their headquarters in Colombo and organize reinforcements and supplies via parachute-drops into the jungle. Subsequently, they could support liaison of the British with the Malayan Chinese Communist Guerrillas and managed to escape from occupied Malaya in the submarine ‘HMS Statesman’ after a remarkable trek from the mainland jungle to the island Pulau Pangkor off the west coast disguised as Chinese labourers. Chapman was wounded twice during his time in Malaya, once in the leg by a steel nut from a homemade cartridge and once in the arm. He was captured both by Japanese troops and by Chinese bandits and escaped from both. He suffered in the jungle. Once he was seventeen days unconscious, suffered from tick-typhus, blackwater fever and pneumonia. Chronic malaria being the worst of it. He walked bare foot for six days. Source: Brian Moynahan. – Jungle soldier: the true story of Freddy Spencer Chapman. – London: Quercus, 2009: 354. However, much he suffered in the Malayan jungle, he attributed his survival to the basic rule that "the jungle is neutral". By this description he meant that one should view the surroundings as neither good or bad but neutral. The role of a survivalist is to expect nothing and accept the dangers and bounties of the jungle as of a natural course. Hence, one's steady state of mind was of the utmost importance to ensure that the physical health of body and the will to live were reinforced on a daily basis. In the foreword to Chapman's book on his experiences in Japanese occupied Malaya, ‘The Jungle Is Neutral’, Field Marshall Earl Wavell wrote "Colonel Chapman has never received the publicity and fame that were his predecessor's lot [referring to T.E. Lawrence]; but for sheer courage and endurance, physical and mental, the two men stand together as examples of what toughness the body will find, if the spirit within it is tough; …”. POST WAR On 21 February 1946 he was appointed to the Distinguished Service Order, backdated to 31 March 1944. A Bar followed on 7 November 1946. Like his fiend and training partner, Mike Calvert, Spencer-Chapman never fully settled into civilian life post-war, pursuing a career as a school headmaster and later manager of a university residential college; from time-to-time he suffered severe bouts of depression. When his health began to fail he took his own life at the age of 64. ADDITIONAL READING Work by Spencer-Chapman F. Spencer Chapman. – The jungle is neutral. – London: Chatto & Windus, 1950. https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.14185 Biographies of Spencer-Chapman Ralph Barker. - One man's jungle: a biography of F. Spencer Chapman, D.S.O.– London: Chatto & Windus, 1975. Brian Moynahan. – Jungle soldier: the true story of Freddy Spencer Chapman. – London: Quercus, 2009. Shorter biographical treatments of Spencer-Chapman Rebecca Kenneison ‘Freddy Spencer Chapman: from John’s to the jungle’ The Eagle 2014 [for members of St John’s College, Cambridge]: 35-42. https://en.calameo.com/read/002738954de73bd808b66 Jack Longland ‘Chapman, Frederick Spencer (1907–1971)’ in Oxford dictionary of national biography online. http://www.oxforddnb.com.rp.nla.gov.au/view/printable/30919 Alan Ogden. – Tigers burning bright: SOE heroes in the Far East. – London: Bene Factum Publishing Ltd, 2013. See espec. ‘Lieutenant Colonel Freddy Spencer Chapman, DSO and Bar’: 244-262. Linda Parker. – Ice, steel and fire: British explorers in peace and war 1921-1945. – Solihull, West Midlands: Helion & Company Limited, 2013. See Chapter 2 ‘Freddie Spencer Chapman’: 85-141. ‘Freddie Spencer Chapman’ Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freddie_Spencer_Chapman Vale J.H. Wass ‘Spencer Chapman’ 2/2 Commando CourierVol. 25, No. 235 November 1971: 22-23. https://doublereds.org.au/couriers/1971/Courier%20November%201971.pdf The author [Freddie Spencer Chapman] from a drawing by Peter Scott [1947] Source: F. Spencer Chapman. – The jungle is neutral. – London: Chatto & Windus, 1950: [ii]
  5. Hi Aaron: Thanks for your enquiry. The image is a still I captured from the following video recording: Independent Company [videorecording] : the Australian 2/2 Independent Company, Timor 1941-42 / produced with assistance from SBS T.V. and Film Victoria. [Victoria] : Media World, c1988. You can view the video using the following link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EZWtbFdnfuQgatuSixPC_yMVLIPbmnco/view?usp=sharing Unfortunately, there is no information with the video indicating the source of the image. It is of poor quality and I don't think it can be enhanced. There shouldn't be any problems reproducing the image, but any enquiries should be directed to SBS T.V. or Film Victoria. Mawhood sounds like an interesting character. Regards Ed Willis
  6. Edward Willis

    Timor 1942 Commando Campaign Tour - Successfully Completed

    Thanks for your supportive reply Helen. I think you're right about the Australian flag at Balibo - I think there is some fine print on the display that says it is a reproduction. All the recommendations I made in the tour report were discussed and supported at the last 2/2 Committee meeting. Priority was given to trying to get something done about the Dare memorial. I've contacted the Australian Ambassador in T-L to see if he can advise who has current ownership or responsibility for the site so the Association can work with whoever that is to remedy the situation. No response as yet. I continued contact with Mick Stone who is working with Ines on inaugurating a new memorial at Viqueque honouring the Timorese and Australians involved with Z Special operations and H-Force and local Timorese resistance members that will take place mid August. We're hoping that if this works well it will be a precursor of similar monuments and memorials elsewhere in T-L, such as at Nunutana. It would be great if Ambassador Guterres could meet with the 2/2 Committee whenever he is Perth - I'll suggest inviting him to the Committee. Actions to progress all the report recommendations are happening and I was hoping to get better informed and even get some 'runs on the board' before reporting more fully on them through Facebook, Doublereds and the Courier. Members of the tour group who are not on the Committee are helping with this. Any insights or information you have would be welcome. Timor Adventures are keen to run the tour again next year around the same time; I'm hoping to be involved again as well. Regards Ed
  7. Edward Willis

    George James Beedham MILSOM

    George joined the unit on Timor as a Private from 2/40th Battalion, after the fall of Koepang, approx. March 1942. He was one of the former Koepang men, who moved to the village of Mape for intensive commando training and on 8 May 1942, they were formed into a new Platoon, “D” Platoon under the command of Lieutenant Turton and later under Lt Doig. After the campaign on Timor, he embarked with the unit, for Australia aboard the Royal Dutch destroyer “Tjerk Hiddes” on 11 Dec 1942. He transferred to the 22nd Australian Motor Regiment on 12 Apr 1943 and re joined the unit on 9 Dec 1944. He embarked for New Britain aboard “TAROONA” on 9 Apr 1945 with the unit as a Trooper and embarked for Australia on 20 Jul 1945. George joined the Army Military History Section on 19 Sept 1945 and promoted to Sergeant on 8 Oct 1945. He went back to Timor with the Military History Section on 13 Oct 1945 and returned to Australia 8 Mar 1946. He was discharged on 12 Mar 1947. George James Beedham MILSOM (1918 – 1965) -TX4141 George Milsom was one of the 2/40 Battalion men who made their way from Dutch Timor to Portuguese Timor following the surrender of the rest of the Battalion contingent to the Japanese on 23 February 1942 after a heroic defensive battle against the invaders. About 200 Sparrow Force men escaped to Portuguese Timor. Most of these men were trades and specialist staff such as cooks and clerks and unsuited for a combat role and were later evacuated to Australia; a number of 2/40 men including George Milsom, however, were taken on as No. 2 Independent Company members, retrained and formed into a new platoon (D Platoon) under the command of Lt Don Turton, and served with distinction throughout the remainder of the Timor campaign before being evacuated back to Australia in December 1942. A major part of the art and photographs in the Australian War Memorial collection related to the 2nd Independent Company campaign in Portuguese Timor were created by two men who were members of the Australian Military History Section mission that went there in late 1945 and early 1946, namely war artist Charles Bush and photographer Keith Davis. The artistic and photographic contributions of these two men significantly add to the historical archive of the campaign not only by providing visual records of the places where the Doublereds lived and fought but also of some of the Timorese creados and Portuguese deportados who provided such essential support. The mission’s success was achievable by its being guided by Sergeant George Milsom, who through his war service in Portuguese Timor was very familiar with the sites visited and depicted by Bush and Davis. One of George Milsom’s daughters Elizabeth (Liz) Milsom is an artist who lives in Melbourne. Back in May 2010 Liz exhibited some of her father's Timorese related art work and other items that are now in her possession. Liz has very kindly made available images of items shown in the exhibition including a brief biography of her father, photographs from his participation in the Military History Section’s Timor Mission, woven pouches, illustrated letters that he wrote home and watercolour paintings of scenes of Timorese life inspired by his service there during WWII. The images provided by Liz are supplemented by others featuring George Milsom taken by Kenneth Davis during the Military History Section’s Timor Mission that are in the Australian War Memorial’s collection. GEORGE MILSOM George James Beedham Milsom was born in Unley, South Australia on 1 April 1918. He moved with his family to Tasmania where his father worked as an engineer for the Hydro Commission at The Great Lake. In 1940 George enlisted in the army and became a member of the 2/40th Battalion, which travelled to Koepang in Dutch Timor on the 8 December 1941. When the Japanese invaded what was then Dutch Timor in February 1942, the main body of Australian soldiers were overwhelmed and after three days of vicious fighting were forced to surrender. Around 300 soldiers refused to do this and set out to join the Australian forces in what was then Portuguese Timor. Only 40 soldiers arrived. The remainder were either betrayed to the Japanese or killed by West Timorese. George was one of the surviving soldiers and he joined the Australian 2/2nd Commando Unit stationed in Portuguese Timor. George is in the back row wearing his hat Source: Henning, Peter (2014). Doomed battalion : mateship and leadership in war and captivity : the Australian 2/40 battalion 1940-45 (2nd edition). Peter Henning, Exeter, Tas. Each Australian soldier serving in Portuguese Timor was befriended by a young Timorese who became their guide, comrade, porter and assistant. They helped the soldiers set up ambushes, carried their weapons, found food for them and lead them to safety after engagement with the Japanese. These Timorese men were called Creados, a Portuguese word meaning servant. However, the relationship between the Creados and the Australians was much more than this. They regarded each other as mates and deep friendships ensued. George's Creado was named Manuberi and he was from Ainaro. George returned to Australia after one year in Timor. He had developed malaria symptoms and was admitted to Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital. The war ended, George recovered, was promoted to Sergeant and became a member of a Military History Team. In 1946 a three-man team was sent to both Dutch and Portuguese Timor to record significant battle sites. George was the guide of this team; Lieutenant Charles Bush was the official war artist and sometimes used George as a model and Sergeant Keith Davis the photographer. In Dili they received help from two new Creados Fernando and Akiu. When George returned to Melbourne after his second trip to Timor he was hospitalised with malaria, tropical ulcers and amoebic dysentery. Some of the watercolours that George painted were made on site in Timor and some when he was in hospital. One of his visitors while in hospital was Mary Adams whom he had met in Tasmania. Mary's father F.R. Adams was the headmaster of Launceston Grammar where George attended school. George and Mary married at St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne in 1947. After living in Tasmania for about two years, George, Mary and children Robyn and Margaret, moved to King Island where George was granted a soldier settlement farm. During the next thirteen years on the sheep farm George and Mary had three more children, Alison, Elizabeth and John. In 1965 the family moved to Melbourne when George was diagnosed with cancer. He died that year leaving behind a special collection of Timor memorabilia. 45 years later his daughter Elizabeth, an artist living in the City of Port Phillip and a member of the Friends of Suai, is learning about her father through his connection with East Timor and is keen to keep the friendship ongoing. George Milsom was an avid letter writer and his parents kept all of his letters. George wrote two letters home after his arrival in Koepang in 1942. In January 1942 he writes that he has "sores on his leg which developed from mosquito bites"; these sores became tropical ulcers. During the second period in Timor (1945-46) George wrote around twenty letters home to his parents in Tasmania. In one of these letters he describes the meeting with Manuberi at a crowded market in Dili. When Manuberi heard that George had returned to Timor he walked over 50 miles from his village to see him. 1. Betano, Timor 15.12.1945 with the wreck of HMAS Voyager in the background, Sgt Milsom, Military History Section Field Team, and Jacob, who had: assisted the Australians against the Japanese, discuss the location of the evacuation of the 2/2nd Independent company in 1942. Photograph Keith Davis (AWM121479) 2. George and Manuberi from Ainaro 3. Sketch by Charles Bush of Manuberi 4. Timor, 10.11.1945. this boy Fernando was bayoneted by the Japanese, during their occupation of Timor. When the Australians returned in 1945, they kitted him out with a slouch hat, rifle and webbing. Photograph Keith Davis (AWM121423) 5. George and Manuberi, Dili, 12.1.1945. Photograph Keith Davis (AWM125263) 6. Dili, 29.12.1945 Military History Tours, left to right; Manuel Camara, Keith Davis, Antonio, Fernando, · Chas Bush, Georges Milsom, and Akiu. (AWM125248) 7. Our faithful staff; Alberto, Fernando, Akiu, Feb, 1946 8. Dili, Timor,9.12.1945 José Eduardo de abreu de silva Marques (Joe), seen with Sgt Milsom, reminisce over a map drawn by Milsom in 1942 when he was serving with the 2/2nd Independent Company. 'Joe' as he was known to Australian troops had assisted Milsom in recording the positions of Japanese troops. Photograph Keith Davis (AWM141403) 9. Sgt G. Milsom and war artist Lt Charles Bush, 1945 10. Military History Section Field Team 1945 - Sgt Keith Davis, Lt Charles Bush, Sgt George Milsom 11. Photograph of hand drawn map by George. The original is in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Photograph by Keith Davis. (AWM100888) 12. Sgt G. Milsom 1946 13. Tjamplong, Protestant church, Dutch Timor, used by the Australians in 1942 14. George in Catalina over Arafura sea en route to Timor, 13.10.45 15. [Church Ainaro] Photograph G. Milsom 16. [Waterfront Koepang?] Photograph G. Milsom ART WORKS BY GEORGE MILSOM AND OTHER ITEMS DISPLAYED AT THE 2010 EXHIBITION Native woven pouches Natives attending market, Native with bananas for sale, Chief of a village and Portuguese ‘posto’ Untitled [Village scene] Church - Tjamplong Soldier passing through village, Soldier buying paw-paws, Timor ponies and On the track View from a village in the mountains, Mountain village scene, Group of dancers, and Mountain scene Letters home IMAGES FEATURING GEORGE MILSOM TAKEN BY KENNETH DAVIS DURING THE MILITARY HISTORY SECTION’S TIMOR MISSION THAT ARE IN THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL’S COLLECTION Portuguese locals and the Australians they entertained at Christmas dinner [1945]. Identified are: (1) 252442 Flight Lieutenant Clive Maurice Hamer, of RAAF Intelligence; (2) an unidentified Portuguese local; (3) VX128381 Sergeant Keith Benjamin Davis, Military History Section, official war photographer; (4) an unidentified Portuguese local; (5) VX128043 Lieutenant Charles William Bush, Military History Section, official war artist; (6) an unidentified Portuguese local; (7) TX4141 Sergeant George James Beedham Milsom, Military History Section, formerly of the 2/2nd Independent Company; (8) an unidentified Portuguese local; (9) NX133274 Captain Reginald James Crilley, Australian War Graves Unit; (10) an unidentified Portuguese local; (11) 42005 Warrant Officer Deryck Noel Bingley, RAAF. DILI, PORTUGUESE TIMOR. 1946-01-11. SERGEANT G. MILSOM (LEFT) TALKING TO VASCO MARIA DE MARCAL (RIGHT), A PORTUGUESE WHO HAD BEEN OF GREAT ASSISTANCE TO THE AUSTRALIANS OF SPARROW FORCE DURING 1942. HE FOUGHT WITH CAPTAIN DEXTER AND "A" PLATOON AT AINARO, SAUIE, FATUCAUE AND BETANO. HE EMBARKED FOR AUSTRALIA WITH THE 2/2ND INDEPENDENT COMPANY AT BETANO ON 1942-12-12 AND LATER WORKED IN A WAR FACTORY. (PHOTOGRAPHER SGT K. B. DAVIS) DILI, PORTUGUESE TIMOR 1945-12-09. JOSE EDUARDO DE ABREU DE SILVA MARQUES, KNOWN TO THE AUSTRALIAN TROOPS AS "JOE", WAS COMMANDANT AT THE HATU-UDO POSTO (ADMINISTRATIVE HEADQUARTERS) WHEN THE AUSTRALIAN GUERILLAS WERE IN THE AREA IN 1942. HE AND PRIVATE G. MILSOM OF THE 2/2ND INDEPENDENT COMPANY WERE DISCUSSING THE DISPOSITION OF JAPANESE TROOPS USING A MAP DRAWN BY MILSOM, AND BY EXTREME COINCIDENCE, A DROP OF OIL FROM THEIR GOURD LAMP FELL ON THE EXACT SPOT AT THE EXACT TIME AS HMAS VOYAGER RAN AGROUND AT BETANO ON 1942-09-25. MARQUES LATER ESCAPED TO AUSTRALIA ON HMAS CASTLEMAINE AND RETURNED TO DILI ON SS ANGOLA ON 1945-12-08 WHERE HE AGAIN MET MILSOM WHO WAS NOW ACTING AS A GUIDE WITH THE MILITARY HISTORY SECTION. THEY ARE SEEN EXAMINING A PHOTOCOPY OF MILSOM'S MAP AS HE POINTS OUT THE OIL SPOT. (PHOTOGRAPHER SGT K. DAVIS) Informal outdoor portrait of, left to right: Sergeant (Sgt) George Milsom, ex 2/2nd Independent Company and Military History Section (MHS) field team; Staff Sergeant Paul Takeo Bannai, a Japanese-American interpreter with the United States Army Intelligence Service, later the first Japanese-American member of the California State Legislature; and Sgt Keith B. Davis, official photographer MHS and member of the field team. MAPE, PORTUGUESE TIMOR 1945-12-12. SERGEANT G. MILSOM, FORMERLY OF 2/2ND INDEPENDENT COMPANY, AND NOW ACTING AS GUIDE TO THE MILITARY HISTORY SECTION FIELD TEAM ATTACHED TO TIMFORCE, EXAMINES THE REMAINS OF BATTERIES IN THE BUILDING USED BY AUSTRALIAN SIGNALLERS AT FORCE HEADQUARTERS OF THE COMPANY. (PHOTOGRAPHER SGT K. DAVIS) 125405 - MUREMA, PORTUGUESE TIMOR. 1946-01-25. THE MILITARY HISTORY SECTION FIELD TEAM, HALTED ON THE ROAD TO ATSABE BY A LANDSLIDE ... AINARO, PORTUGUESE TIMOR. 1946-01-24. SERGEANT G. MILSOM, MILITARY HISTORY SECTION FIELD TEAM AND FORMERLY OF THE 2/2ND INDEPENDENT COMPANY, STANDS BESIDE THE GRAVE OF THREE PORTUGUESE PRIESTS. FATHERS PIRIS, ALBERTO AND LUIZ WERE KILLED BECAUSE OF THEIR ANTI JAPANESE SYMPATHIES. (PHOTOGRAPHER SGT K. B. DAVIS) AINARO, PORTUGUESE TIMOR. 1946-01-23. SERGEANT G. MILSOM, MILITARY HISTORY SECTION FIELD TEAM AND JAMIE, A TIMORESE WHO FOUGHT ALONGSIDE THE AUSTRALIANS, OUTSIDE WHAT WAS SPARROW FORCE BARRACKS DURING THE AUSTRALIAN OCCUPATION OF THE TOWN IN 1942. THE BUILDING ON THE LEFT WAS USED AS A COOKHOUSE. (PHOTOGRAPHER SGT K. B. DAVIS) LAUTEM PLAIN, PORTUGUESE TIMOR. 1946-01-04. LIEUTENANT BUSH, OFFICIAL ARTIST, AND SERGEANT MILSOM, MILITARY HISTORY FIELD TEAM, EXAMINING ONE OF THE SHARPENED BAMBOO STAKES THE JAPANESE PLACED ON THE PLAINS AND OPEN SPACES THEY THOUGHT SUITABLE FOR ALLIED PARACHUTE LANDINGS. (PHOTOGRAPHER SGT K. B. DAVIS) Lautem, Portuguese Timor. Senhor Gonsales seated on the verandah of a mud house built by the Japanese. VX128043 Charles William Bush (in shorts), Military History Section (MHS), an Official War Artist, is working at an easel. Also identified (far right, back to camera) is TX4141 George James Beedham Milsom, MHS. AINARO, PORTUGUESE TIMOR. 1946-01-24. SERGEANT G. MILSOM, MILITARY HISTORY SECTION FIELD TEAM AND FORMERLY OF THE 2/2ND INDEPENDENT COMPANY, RE-ENACTS WHAT WAS A REGULAR OCCURRENCE DURING THE AUSTRALIAN OCCUPATION OF AINARO. AS MANUBERI HIS CREADO OR NATIVE HELPER POINTS TO THE DISTANCE SGT MILSOM RINGS ONE OF THE CHURCH BELLS THAT WERE USED TO SOUND AIR RAID ALARMS WHEN THE JAPANESE AIRFORCE LAUNCHED BOMBING RAIDS ON THE TOWN. (PHOTOGRAPHER SGT K. B. DAVIS) SAME, PORTUGUESE TIMOR 1945-12-16. SERGEANT G. MILSOM, MILITARY HISTORY SECTION FIELD TEAM, FORMERLY A MEMBER OF THE 2/2ND INDEPENDENT COMPANY, RENEWS ACQUAINTANCES AMONG TIMORESE NATIVES. SERGEANT MILSOM ACTED AS GUIDE TO THE MILITARY HISTORY TEAM AS IT TRAVERSED THE AREAS WHERE THE 2/2ND AND 2/4TH INDEPENDENT COMPANIES CARRIED OUT GUERRILLA WARFARE AGAINST THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION FORCES.
  8. Hi Rob: Thanks for the reply and comment. I should have re-read my own post because at the beginning I say the photo of interest was in the 'Debt of Honour' exhibition where it gets the same publisher copyright acknowledgement as given by Cleary. Yes Calvert was an amazing man; Spencer-Chapman's story is well worth telling as well and I hope to do a Doublereds post on him too. Ed
  9. Edward Willis

    Timor 1942 Commando Campaign Tour - Successfully Completed

    Thanks for your response Ben. I'm hopeful that there will be another tour so keep any eye on Doublereds and Facebook for developments. I'll be reporting more fully on the tour shortly - all the feedback I've had from members of the tour party has been very positive and hopefully some of their stories and thoughts will emerge soon - this will help promote interest in future tours like ours – as well as a great experience for those involved, I think our group did have a positive impact economically and socially on the people we encountered and the places we visited during the tour and it would be great to keep that going.
  10. Edward Willis

    Dili - Av. de Portugal - View of Cristo Rei.JPG

    © 2/2 Commando Association of Australia

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  15. Edward Willis

    Dili - Arport - Welcome dancers.JPG

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