lae memorial

LAE MEMORIAL

LAE MEMORIAL​

HISTORY INFORMATION
The Japanese attack on New Guinea, a necessary preliminary to the projected invasion of Australia, commenced with heavy air raids on Lae and Salamaua, followed by the landings of troops. At Lae, a town and port at the mouth of the Markham River on the Huon Gulf, 3,000 Japanese landed on 7 March 1942. There were landings, too, at Salamaua. The enemy did not however immediately attempt the conquest of the island, but on 21 July he landed troops at Buna and Gona on the east coast in preparation for a drive through the Owen Stanley Mountains across the Papuan peninsula to Port Moresby. The vital stage of the New Guinea campaign dates from that time. Lae and Salamaua became bases from which this southward drive was launched until it was stopped at Ioribaiwa Ridge, a point within 35 miles of Port Moresby.

When in January 1943 the Japanese renewed their attempts to reach Port Moresby, this time by the Markham and Bulolo valleys, their first objective was Wau, with its airfield. With reinforecements landing on the airfield only 800 yards from the enemy, the attack was held and the Japanese withdrew in February. Thereafter the initiative passed to the Australian troops who steadfastly forced the Japanese back. On 11 September 1943 Salamaua was captured and on 16 September, after attack by seaborne and airborne forces, Lae was taken.

The Lae Memorial commemorates 324 officers and men of the Royal Australian Army, the Australian Merchant Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and some New Guinea local forces who lost their lives in operations in the area, and who have no known grave.

Men of the Royal Australian Navy who lost their lives in the south-western Pacific region, and have no graves but the sea, are commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in England, along with many of their comrades of the Royal Navy and of other Commonwealth Naval Forces.

The Lae Memorial, contained within the entrance building of Lae War Cemetery, takes the form of bronze tablets fixed to walls linking the end columns of the building, upon which are engraved the names of members of the Australian Armed Forces. Above the tablets is an inscription which reads:

AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM

1939 - HERE ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF THE OFFICERS AND MEN WHO DIED IN NEW GUINEA, ON LAND, AT SEA AND IN THE AIR, BUT TO WHOM THE FORTUNE OF WAR DENIED THE KNOWN AND HONOURED BURIAL GIVEN TO THEIR COMRADES IN DEATH - 1945.

The memorial was unveiled in October 1953 by Field Marshal Sir William Slim, Governor-General of Australia.
  1. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Ochiltree, Edward Graham

    SURNAME Ochiltree FORENAME Edward Graham UNIT 2/9 Commando Squadron RANK Lance Sergeant NUMBER NX5515 DATE OF DEATH 20th January 1945 AGE 29 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 1 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 8.5.1915 Dubbo,New south Wales son of Alfred Graham...
  2. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Smith, Desmond Noel Kennedy

    SURNAME Smith FORENAME Desmond Noel Kennedy UNIT 2/5 Independent Company RANK Corporal NUMBER WX14608 DATE OF DEATH 27th January 1943 AGE 21 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 2 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Claud Erskine Kennedy and Catherine Gladys...
  3. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Pedder, Ernest Anthony

    SURNAME Pedder FORENAME Ernest Anthony UNIT 2/5 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER VX108572 DATE OF DEATH 3rd February 1943 AGE 20 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 2 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Ernest Anton and Louisa Agnes Pedder KIA New Guinea
  4. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Kneen, Thomas Paul

    SURNAME Kneen FORENAME Thomas Paul UNIT 2/5 Independent Company RANK Major NUMBER NX65838 DATE OF DEATH 1st July 1942 AGE 28 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 2 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Edwyn Corlett and Cecil Maud Kneen,Douglas,Isle of Man educated...
  5. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Bonnell, John Maxwell

    SURNAME Bonnell FORENAME John Maxwell UNIT 2/5 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER VX122008 DATE OF DEATH 21st April 1943 AGE 19 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 2 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Arthur Leslie and Ivy Kathleen Bonnell,Toorak,Victoria KIA...
  6. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Snadden, Joseph William

    SURNAME Snadden FORENAME Joseph William UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER VX105900 DATE OF DEATH 10th February 1943 AGE 25 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 2 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Footscray,Victoria son of Joseph and Hannah Snadden,Upper...
  7. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Cooper, Ronald Anthony

    SURNAME Cooper FORENAME Ronald Anthony UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Lance Corporal NUMBER NX44160 DATE OF DEATH 10th February 1943 AGE 19 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 2 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Bulli,New South Wales son of Frederick Mervyn and...
  8. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Mitchell, Percy Robert

    SURNAME Mitchell FORENAME Percy Robert UNIT 2/2 Commando Squadron RANK Trooper NUMBER VX117978 DATE OF DEATH 25th October 1943 AGE 20 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 1 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Stanley and Florence Anna Mitchell,Llanelly,Victoria died...
  9. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Cole, Henry John

    SURNAME Cole FORENAME Henry John UNIT 2/2 Commando Squadron RANK Trooper NUMBER NX51317 DATE OF DEATH 27th January 1944 AGE 32 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 1 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Robert Middleton and Mrs Cole,Brewarrina,New South Wales died New...
  10. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Brown, Hugh

    SURNAME Brown FORENAME Hugh UNIT 2/2 Commando Squadron RANK Trooper NUMBER NX57432 DATE OF DEATH 25th October 1943 AGE 29 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 1 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of George Gibb and Margaret Brown,Willoughby,New South Wales died New Guinea
  11. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Beardman, Roy Louis

    SURNAME Beardman FORENAME Roy Louis UNIT 2/2 Commando Squadron RANK Trooper NUMBER WX34934 DATE OF DEATH 10th January 1944 AGE 22 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 1 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Richard Aubrey and Violet Sarah Beardman,Bruce Rock,Western...
  12. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Siffleet, Leonard George

    SURNAME Siffleet FORENAME Leonard George UNIT M Special Unit (Infantry) RANK Sergeant NUMBER NX 143314 DATE OF DEATH 24th October 1943 AGE 27 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 2 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Leo Vincent and Alma Elizabeth Siffleet,Gunneda,New...
  13. ZSU Walklate, Spencer Henry

    SURNAME Walklate FORENAME Spencer Henry UNIT A.I.F. RANK Lance Corporal NUMBER NX 202843 DATE OF DEATH 13th April 1945 AGE 27 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 2 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Spencer Henry and May Hope Walklate husband of Linda Maude...
  14. ZSU Gubbay, Alan Robert

    SURNAME Gubbay FORENAME Alan Robert UNIT A.I.F. RANK Lieutenant NUMBER NX 82924 DATE OF DEATH 13th April 1945 AGE 22 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 2 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Dal David and Simone Marthe Gubbay,Port Vila,New Hebrides Op.Copper - died
  15. ZSU Eagleton, Ronald Edward

    SURNAME Eagleton FORENAME Ronald Edward UNIT A.I.F. RANK Private NUMBER NX 9265 DATE OF DEATH 13th April 1945 AGE 20 GRAVESITE Lae Memorial,Papua New Guinea Panel 2 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION son of Edward John and Gladys Jane Eagleton,Sutherland,New South Wales,Australia...
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