lae war cemetery

LAE WAR CEMETERY (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)
SAS with the Maquis
By Ian Wellsted
SAS Great Escapes
By Damien Lewis
LAE WAR CEMETERY (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)
In the early months of 1942, Japan enjoyed a crushing superiority in the air, and it was Lae and its neighbouring airfields that were the objects of the first Japanese attack on New Guinea. Lae and Salamaua were bombed on 21 January 1942 by 100 planes, but the land forces did not enter the territory until 7 March, when 3,000 Japanese landed at Lae. There were landings too at Salamaua, followed on 21 July by further landings 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 became one of the bases from which the southward drive was launched and maintained until it was stopped at Ioribaiwa Ridge, a point within 60 kilometres of Port Moresby.

LAE WAR CEMETERY was commenced in 1944 by the Australian Army Graves Service and handed over to the Commission in 1947. It contains the graves of men who lost their lives during the New Guinea campaign whose graves were brought here from the temporary military cemeteries in areas where the fighting took place. The Indian casualties were soldiers of the army of undivided India who had been taken prisoner during the fighting in Malaya and Hong Kong. The great majority of the unidentified were recovered between But airfield and Wewak, where they had died while employed in working parties. Of the two men belonging to the army of the United Kingdom, one was attached to 2/9th Australian Infantry Battalion and the other was a member of the Hong Kong-Singapore Royal Artillery. The naval casualties were killed, or died of injuries received, on H.M. Ships King George V, Glenearn and Empire Arquebus, and the four men of the Merchant Navy were killed when the S.S. Gorgon was bombed and damaged in Milne Bay in April 1943.

The cemetery contains 2,818 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 444 of them unidentified. It was unveiled by the Governor-General of Australia, Field Marshal Slim, on 21 October 1953.

Prior to the First World War, north-eastern New Guinea and certain adjacent islands were German possessions, and were occupied by Australian Forces on 12 September 1914. Several cemeteries in New Guinea contain the graves of men who died during that war. There is one such grave in Lae War Cemetery, brought in from a burial ground where permanent maintenance could not be assured.

The LAE MEMORIAL, which stands in the cemetery, commemorates more than 300 officers and men of the Australian Army, the Australian Merchant Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force who lost their lives in these operations and have no known grave. Casualties of the Royal Australian Navy who lost their lives in the south-western Pacific region, and have no known grave but the sea, are commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial in England along with many of their comrades of the Royal Navy and of other Commonwealth Naval Forces.
  1. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Tregaskis, Thomas Norman (Curly)

    SURNAME Tregaskis FORENAME Thomas Norman (Curly) UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER VX105910 DATE OF DEATH 6th July 1943 AGE 19 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea N.D.5 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Canterbury,Victoria son of Walter Leslie and...
  2. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Topham, Robert Francis (Bob)

    SURNAME Topham FORENAME Robert Francis (Bob) UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Sergeant NUMBER VX58799 DATE OF DEATH 17th August 1943 AGE 28 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea N.D.16 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Yapeen,Victoria son of John Thomas and Elizabeth...
  3. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Thomas, Leonard (Len)

    SURNAME Thomas FORENAME Leonard (Len) UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Corporal NUMBER VX21564 DATE OF DEATH 17th August 1943 AGE 35 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea P.D.11 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 20.7.1908 South Melbourne, Victoria son of William David...
  4. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Snell, John William Joseph

    SURNAME Snell FORENAME John William Joseph UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Lance Sergeant NUMBER VX56555 DATE OF DEATH 3rd September 1943 AGE 22 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea N.C.6 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Richmond,Victoria son of John and Victoria...
  5. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Smyth, Raymond Edward

    SURNAME Smyth FORENAME Raymond Edward UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Lance Corporal NUMBER WX13256 DATE OF DEATH 25th August 1943 AGE 23 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea P.C.10 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Fremantle,Western Australia son of John Carlton and...
  6. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Sides, Francis William (Frank)

    SURNAME Sides FORENAME Francis William (Frank) UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Lance Sergeant NUMBER QX15400 DATE OF DEATH 25th August 1943 AGE 29 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea Q.A.3 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 15.12.1913 Mackay,Queensland son of John...
  7. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Shortis, Gregory

    SURNAME Shortis FORENAME Gregory UNIT M Special Unit (Infantry) RANK Trooper NUMBER NX69784 DATE OF DEATH 25th March 1944 AGE 27 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea H.A.16 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Marrickville,New South Wales son of John and Elsie Mary...
  8. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Russell, Donald McRae

    SURNAME Russell FORENAME Donald McRae UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Captain NUMBER VX44768 DATE OF DEATH 2nd February 1943 AGE 23 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea K.A.9 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Adelaide,South Australia son of Walter McRae and Pauline...
  9. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Robb, Cyril Thomas (Squib)

    SURNAME Robb FORENAME Cyril Thomas (Squib) UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER QX34340 DATE OF DEATH 17th August 1943 AGE 21 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea Q.D.15 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Marrickville,New South Wales son of Cyril Andrew and...
  10. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Prentice, Leslie Alexander

    SURNAME Prentice FORENAME Leslie Alexander UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Lance Corporal NUMBER VX105889 DATE OF DEATH 9th July 1943 AGE 19 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea Q.A.11 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born North Melbourne,Victoria son of Alexander and Ivy...
  11. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Pheeney, Kitchener

    SURNAME Pheeney FORENAME Kitchener UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX48066 DATE OF DEATH 31st January 1943 AGE 20 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea J.A.14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Tilba,New South Wales son of Thomas and Eliza Sophia...
  12. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Parker, Reginald Philip

    SURNAME Parker FORENAME Reginald Philip UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Corporal NUMBER WX12270 DATE OF DEATH 6th February 1943 AGE 25 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea G.A.1 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born 22.05.1917, Pingelly, Western Australia son of William...
  13. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Osborne, Harold Thomas (Aussie)

    SURNAME Osborne FORENAME Harold Thomas (Aussie) UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER WX12996 DATE OF DEATH 15th May 1943 AGE 18 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea M.D.14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Subiaco,Western Australia son of Thomas and Elsie...
  14. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Nordin, Nils Bertil

    SURNAME Nordin FORENAME Nils Bertil UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER VX109264 DATE OF DEATH 17th August 1943 AGE 25 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea P.D.14 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Luckston,Sweden son of Nils Anton and Hilma Gunilla...
  15. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Muir, Andrew Steuart (Bonnie)

    SURNAME Muir FORENAME Andrew Steuart (Bonnie) UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Lance Sergeant NUMBER VX57539 DATE OF DEATH 29th July 1943 AGE 27 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea Q.D.7 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Kerang,Victoria son of Andrew Steuart and Agnes...
  16. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Morgan, Thomas Henry

    SURNAME Morgan FORENAME Thomas Henry UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX66736 DATE OF DEATH 19th August 1943 AGE 33 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea N.B.15 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Sydney,New South Wales son of Edward Bruce and Mary Esther...
  17. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Mitchell, Clement Patrick

    SURNAME Mitchell FORENAME Clement Patrick UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER WX9730 DATE OF DEATH 3rd February 1943 AGE 25 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea K.B.10 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Perth,Western Australia son of Matthew and Elizabeth...
  18. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS Miell, Ross William Gordon (Snowy)

    SURNAME Miell FORENAME Ross William Gordon (Snowy) UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER DX20 DATE OF DEATH 2nd February 1943 AGE 30 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea H.C.10 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Tailem Bend,South Australia son of Edmund Rankin...
  19. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS McRonald, Donald (Bill)

    SURNAME McRonald FORENAME Donald (Bill) UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX69445 DATE OF DEATH 3rd February 1943 AGE 23 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea H.D.15 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Arncliffe,New South Wales son of Donald and Elizabeth...
  20. AUSTRALIAN COMMANDOS McDougall, William James

    SURNAME McDougall FORENAME William James UNIT 2/3 Independent Company RANK Private NUMBER NX38916 DATE OF DEATH 18th June 1943 AGE 21 GRAVESITE Lae War Cemetery,Papua New Guinea P.A.3 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION born Wickham,New South Wales son of William Munro and Jane...
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