OCDP reports on the real Papua New Guinea
The border 2: The PNG government must act

WW2 remains examined by Defence Department

The Office of Australian War Graves, part of the Department of Veterans' Affairs, has said human remains found near Kokopo on 16 June will be buried in the Bitapaka War Cemetery if they are identified as being Australian servicemen.

Responsibility for the recovery and identification of the remains lies with the Department of Defence, which has placed them in secure storage and will forensically examine them in the near future.

OAWG was responding to Bruce Crawford OAM, an executive member of the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles and Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles Ex Members Association, who expressed interest in the finding of the skeletal remains, suspected to be World War II Australians, in a pit near Kokopo.

“Men of the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (an Australian Regiment) met the Japanese on their landing at Rabaul on 23 January 1942 and, though overrun, continued to engage the Japanese as they retreated down the coast of New Britain,” Mr Crawford said.

“Though it is more likely the remains will turn out to be men of the 2/22nd Battalion, I would be pleased if you could note our interest, particularly if it turns out that the remains are those of men of the NGVR,” he said.


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