Lloyd Hurrell - Kiap, soldier, planter – dies at 95
27 May 2012
BY JOHN FOWKE
LLOYD HURRELL CMG OBE MC DIED PEACEFULLY at home last Tuesday. He was the last of the pre-World War II Kiaps- and one with an exemplary record.
Later a pioneer coffee-planter at Wau in the 1950s, Lloyd was a member of the TPNG Legislative Council and one of the founders of the old Coffee Industry Board - the boardroom at the present Coffee Industry Corp in Goroka is named after him.
Lloyd is survived by his wife and five children. His son Don is one of the few AusAID consultants serving in PNG who can be said to have made a real difference by his presence as a police adviser in Goroka.
The National Archives of Australia note:
In 1939, (Albert) Lloyd Hurrell applied for the position of cadet patrol officer advertised in Sydney newspapers. After serving briefly as a Kiap in New Guinea, Hurrell joined the Australian Military Forces in 1940 (NGX18). He was awarded the Military Cross for his actions on 11 November 1942 during fierce fighting after the recapture of Kokoda.
After World War II, Hurrell returned to Kiap duties in New Guinea. In 1950 he was appointed Acting District Officer of the Menyamya district, and was instructed to establish a new settlement at this remote post in the ‘uncontrolled’ Western Highlands.
The following year, Hurrell was ordered to investigate a raid on the village of Kiatsong during which several people were killed. While investigating the raid, Hurrell’s party was attacked. He fired a warning shot, which unfortunately killed one of the attacking men.
Hurrell resigned from his Kiap duties in 1954, and established a farm and coffee plantation near Wau in the province of Morobe. He entered national politics in Papua New Guinea, and served for many years as President of the PNG Coffee Marketing Board. In 1969 Hurrell was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to the Board.
Three years ago, Lloyd published an account of his early PNG experiences in the memoir Hurrell's Way, described by James Sinclair as “a marvellous, highly informative read by an ex-soldier – Syria and Kokoda Track in World War II – and then patrol officer in New Guinea’s early days of Australian administration.”
Lloyd Hurrell’s funeral will be held at 11am on Monday 4 June at Tweed Heads Crematorium.
Top photograph from Lloyd Hurrell’s World War II army record of 1939
I lived at Wau from 1968-70, Employed by the Department of Lands, Surveys & Mines, firstly as a Land Development Officer and later Mining Registrar for NG, prior to being transferred to 'Moresby.
I have fond memories of Lloyd and Frank Hurrell. As a newcomer they and their families made me and my family more than welcome to Wau.
The Hurrells were well known and well respected, not only around Wau but throughout TPNG.
Posted by: John Williams | 09 August 2021 at 08:40 PM
Lloyd Hurrell was a good friend of my late father, Kikinai Nuipango Aitabio. We were neighbours living near to the big river called Wara Bulolo.
That time I was a kid (47 now). I can still recall Frank Hurrell. They were good old friends of good old days in the goldfields of Wau.
Posted by: Maima Ronnie Kikinai | 18 June 2019 at 02:43 PM
Lesley and Susan, Sorry to hear about Lloyd,but a wonderful innings for a gentleman who supported all things png and in particular Wau and Bulolo.
I remember the hurrell girls at swim meets in Bulolo and I still don't know how you got so good in the cold waters of Wau.
I'm older than you girls  and live in Canada [49 yrs] but get back to Queensland and Tweed Heads where my sister lives for three months every other year.
Hardly a day goes by I do not recall the 8 years, 1 at Bulolo Primary and seven years at BGT/CNGT/South Pacific Timbers in the electrical trade. Wonderful, blessed people we were and I still appreciate it.
Your father supported Bulolo and Wau and will be missed as a real Aussie gentleman and PNG pioneer.
All the best to all your families I am sure the Hurrell standards are alive and well in all of you.
I am son of Joe Price who dealt cattle with the Hurrells. Me and dad drove them down the gorge to Bulolo, me walking and dad riding a borrowed horse from Hurrells. Surely the Hurrells had a second horse but probably sensed a marginal horseman looking at me and decided to err on the side of caution. Love to all.
Posted by: Leonard (Len) Price | 14 October 2015 at 10:06 PM
Natalie that is indeed sad. Your granddad was one of the best of the best.
All who knew your granddad and his wonderful wife, Margaret, got to know two of the most wonderful and well equipped persons to deal with the advancement of the people of PNG.
Margaret and Lloyd had a wonderful love of PNG, the cultures and the land.
Posted by: Colin Huggins | 29 June 2012 at 07:26 PM
I am saddened that I only know of my grandfather through reading this post.
What a shame. I would have loved to have gotten to know him better.
Posted by: Natalie Hurrell / Don's daughter | 29 June 2012 at 06:50 PM
Dad had a wonderful farewell, thanks to all his many friends who came to say goodbye. Mum said today,"Dad would've loved it."
It is hard to believe that he will never be with us again but that is how it is.
The Comboyne Hurrells that I dont even know-I would love to meet you some time.
I remember the trip that was made to our farm Kosali many years ago by Theo, Addie and Myra. Dad was so pleased to have them.
Posted by: Sue Spargo (Hurrell) | 11 June 2012 at 08:52 PM
I would like to add my memories of an important figure in my family.
Lloyd was, I think, my second cousin, cousin to my Mum, Leta Jones and nephew of my Grandma, Addie (Hurrell) Jones.
I too remember the visit my Grandma and Aunty Myra, Uncle Theo made to PNG to visit and catch up with Lloyd and his family.
I remember meeting my Grandma at Sydney Airport, Aunty Myra and Grandma carrying shoe boxes with the head and tail of stuffed crocodiles sticking out the ends.
My Grandma was very family orientated and kept us in touch with our vast number of family members. My daughter Nicole loved "patting" my Grandma's crocodile when we visited her, Nicole was 4yo when my Grandma passed and the family gave the crocodile to her.
It now holds pride of place with all my other family memorabilia in my home on Comboyne. Although I didn't know Lloyd personally the call of his passing brought these memories flooding back, Thank you Kath.
Posted by: Cheryl McCarthy | 08 June 2012 at 12:30 PM
I too would like to add my condolences. Lloyd was really my third cousin, I suppose, as I am a granddaughter of Theo Hurrell who was Les Hurrell's younger brother.
My grandparents only ever had one big trip and that was to visit Lloyd and Frank in PNG. My grandfather was so very very proud of his nephews and when they returned to our small town of Comboyne with a stuffed crocodile, they shared many stories with us.
The stuffed crocodile lived in my Grandma's hallway for the rest of her life and I know each day she remembered her much loved nephews and their families.
Not long after this trip Lesley visited Comboyne where she was quite a hit. I thouht she was the most beautiful and sophisticated woman I had ever seen.
The last time I saw Lloyd was at his brother Horace's funeral. We always called Horace Uncle Dickie. Lloyd held court relating to the considerable crowd he attracted stories of PNG and the war. He was an engaging and accomplished storyteller.
He will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege to know him. I am very proud to be his cousin and he enriched my life.
Posted by: Sue French | 02 June 2012 at 03:39 PM
That was my wonderful Uncle. What an amazing man he and Aunty Marg were. An era lost really.
I also remember Abdul d bull da mare! He wiped Joshua, (my dad Frank's dairy farm boss boy, uncle Lloyd's brother) off the fence at the farm!
You could peel his skin back in his head in a semicircle and see the skull below! He lived to continue to work on dad's farm!
So many wonderful memories.
Posted by: Fiona Basson | 31 May 2012 at 06:54 PM
Hi Robyn - I remember that horse well. Frank Hurrell (Lloyd's young brother) called that horse 'Abdul d bull bull d mare'. (Have I got the right horse Sue?)
We used to ride horses on the Wau airstrip and one day that horse got spooked and took off with me on it from the airstrip all the way back home.
I held on for dear life. Lost the saddle blanket as the horse tried to swipe me off near a fence. When we got home the horse stopped but my heart kept going for a week.
I am Sue's cousin, Fran Hurrell. Very proud to be a Hurrell. What a wonderful man my uncle was.
Thanks so much for the memories.
Posted by: Fran Murphy (Hurrell) | 29 May 2012 at 09:46 PM
Thank you Mark. I know your dad was highly regarded by my dad. He was an amazing man.
Robin, I remember it well.
Colin, one thing - I am not a granny yet but working on it.
Thank you for your lovely memories. Dad was a wonderful man and we appreciate your thoughts.
Posted by: Sue Spargo (Hurrell) | 29 May 2012 at 08:06 PM
I spent many school holiday periods at Lloyd Hurrell's Wau plantation as I was growing up in PNG. It was a memorable period in my life.
Lloyd was also a director of South Pacific Brewery Ltd when my father Bruce A Flynn was the General Manager.
I recall many delightful post Board Meeting dinners at my parents home where Lloyd conducted court with many storeys from the Eastern Highlands and Morobe areas.
A great man. RIP.
Posted by: Mark B Flynn | 28 May 2012 at 12:21 PM
I too recall the enjoyment of occasional Hurrell hospitality at the Wau plantation.
My condolences to Margaret, Leslie, Don, and Sue.
I can enter somewhat into Colin's horse riding adventures.
Lloyd possessed a spirited grey/white stallion that one day I was given as a mount upon which a Light Brigade like charge through the coffee rows was experienced.
I think it was an exercise by the girls to test the visitor's mettle more than a sedate equestrian pleasure.
Posted by: Robin Lillicrap | 27 May 2012 at 09:28 AM
Strange the ways of the world. I was "banished" to TPNG for being so headstrong about doing law and failing, and when I got to TPNG, I got two father figures, both the same age as my father: Finschhafen - Jack Smith and Wau - Lloyd Hurrell. Both in private enterprise!
I think I was never meant to be a teacher, I think agriculture was in those days my greater interest.
Thanks for putting my little "tribute" up, more like wonderful memories of times ago for me.
PS: Am enjoying the Martyn reports and the videos - thanks.
Posted by: Colin Huggins | 27 May 2012 at 08:52 AM
In 1968 I was transferred from Kambili, an idyllic posting on the lagoon area, just outside Dregerhaffen to Pindiu, to take over the Wau "A" school.
The 6th grade had as one of the few pupils the youngest of the Hurrell children, Sue.
Sue, who at this time was either 12 or 13, was an excellent student and also a very good swimmer and all around sports oriented girl. She also was a budding horse rider. So Sue and I had two loves of life,
water sports and the thrill of horse riding, the gymkhana!
Sue would on the weekends ride from the Hurrell plantation leading another horse and off we would go riding around Wau. Sue and I also erected horse jumps on the grounds of the Wau "A" school, something I
would think would raise eyebrows these days but was considered the "norm" in 1968. I was 26 years of age at this time.
After doing a lot of jumping of fallen trees and I think at times being a nuisance to the golfers, we would finish up in the afternoon at the Hurrell
Plantation where I enjoyed the company of Lloyd and his most gracious wife, Margaret and stay on for the epicurean delights of the evening dinner. I would then be driven home.
Lloyd and Margaret also lent me a car if I wanted to go to Lae for the weekend.
After leaving the then TPNG, every Christmas I would receive a card from the Hurrell family with news of their children and what they were doing. Margaret had the most beautiful hand writing I had ever seen. I
never meet the son Don as he was at boarding college in Australia and the eldest child, a girl, I believe was living in Argentina.
Unfortunately we lost contact with our movements, but by sheer luck I was able to get in contact with Sue again here in Brisbane. She and her husband came up from Casino, NSW, for the day. They were both
school teachers, the husband being a headmaster. This luncheon reunion is reported somewhere here on this blog. It was great to get all the news of Wau residents from Sue and also news on her family. Sue is now
The Hurrell coffee plantation and the poultry business, plus cattle were run on profesional lines. It was wonderful to see and be told all the processes that were in place. Lloyd was the perfect professional,
I'm sure in everything he undertook.
Lloyd, unlike my father, who also did his service in New Guinea, did tell me things about the war. Lloyd was like a father figure for me and I will greatly miss him.
My most sincere sympathy to Margaret and the family.
Thank you John for sending this sad news in for publication. Paul Oates had already sent me the news. Thanks for the memories. Farewell great friend.
Posted by: Colin Huggins | 27 May 2012 at 08:13 AM