Colin F. Jones

NEW GUINEA, 1943

There are decaying bones in the New Guinea Hills,
Rusted pannikins where the cascade spills,
From Guadagasal to Mubo Village,
Rotting slouch hats for the rats to pillage.
There are remnants of camps on The Saddle,
And along the Bitoi River where insects paddle,
As far as Mat Mat and Vickers Ridge,
Along the mountain passes the trails bridge.
From Observation Hill above Kitchen Creek,
With Green Hill forming the other peak,
They watched the river by Mount Tambu wind,
Towards Komiatum Spur then on to find,
Salamaua on the flatland near the sea,
To where the enemy in disarray did flee.

Bobdubi, Selebob, Pilamong and Missim,
At Mubo and Waipali men are still missing,
From the fierce battles fought in forty-three,
From ditch and ledge and jungle tree.
Hour after hour they climbed the inclines,
Vanishing in mists while jungle vines,
Clung to their packs on broad backs loaded,
As all around the bombs exploded.
There were no bolder men than these brave Aussies,
Who fought and won despite their losses,
Who conquered the jungle the rivers and foe,
Their fear, their doubts without shame and so,
They did Australia proud these soldiers of honour,
Who will be revered as great Warriors forever you know.

Colin F. Jones: New Guinea, 1943