My Grandfather was killed in Papua New Guinea at Milne Bay on 2/10/1943 and I would love to know anything about  what was happening with the 2/43rd in those last months of his life. Does anyone know anyone who could fill me in. It is important to me, to at least try and piece together last months,or  weeks of his life. He was 24 when he died and that is so young.

I hope someone can advise me or tell me where I should be looking.

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Hi Sharon

The Australian War Memorial holds the unit diaries for the Australian Defence Forces, and these diaries give an account of what the unit's daily activities.  The unit diaries for the 2/43 Battalion have been digitised by the AWM and are available online at

You can also find a short history of the 2/43 Battalion prepared by the Australian War Memorial on their website at



(NAA staff)

The unit diaries for the 2/43 can now be found at

Hi Sharon, I have just come across your blog and found it interesting. My uncle was in the 2/43 battalion stationed in Lae in 1943.
He was killed on the 1-10 -1943.
I know he was at Scarlett Beach the day before he was killed. I also have his diary in which the last entry is the night before he died.
I would love go find out any information you had.
Regards Glen.

Hi Glen, I wish I could help you, but as I said in my first blog, I don't a thing about what happened. I can only hope that some-one who had a family member in the 2/43 will read the blogs and come forward with some information. I have Stanley's service records, but it is very hard to read as it is written freehand.

Maybe your uncle and Stanley Charles Richardson  knew each other. Maybe they were mates. It just breaks my heart to think of him dying without any loved ones around him. They were  so young. Stanley never got to see his sons grow up. He never got to see good times. None of them got to be welcomed home.

I know his wife never went to PNG to visit his grave, which is very sad and she didn't want any of his service or campaign  medals,  I would of loved to have given the medals to my brother. I guess it was too much for her. 

Anyway I would love to hear what your uncle wrote in his diary, maybe that would shed some light on the 2/43. If you want to share some of your thoughts from his diary, let me know and I will be only too happy to hear them.




Sharon, did you look at the link that Tonia gave you to read the Unit diaries?  They give a very detailed description of the Battalion's movements.


Yes I have read the information. I was hoping that some-one might have had a family member in the 2/43 and therefore would have a more personal look at the group as men, not as a machine if you get my meaning. And maybe some-one will know him.

Thanks for your reply.




Hi Sharon,
Some of my uncles diary is written in Japanese, so I'm assuming he found the diary and started making entry's or perhaps the diary belonged to a solder he killed! His entries are in pencil and not to detailed, just two or three lines, but still intriguing! He mentions morning parade and his location plus the food.His final entry was the day before he died. The diary is in good condition considering what it's been through and I'm amazed to think this little book was once in my uncles hands.
I have two of his medals and my cousin has the others.
I went to the Lae national War cemetery last year! Although I never meet him it was surreal to finally see his resting place and see many of his battalion mates buried next to him. I took photos of the 2/43 squad plaques as I could find. Quite a few died the same day as my uncle Dan and they're buried close by.
I can understand your grandmother never visiting his grave... Something's are just too hard!
I believe your grandfather and my uncle would have know each other and it makes me sad that they died so young!

Regards Glen.

Hi Glen

Thanks for getting in touch. I think that's great that you have his diary and his medals, As I said Nanna didn't want his medals and she never said anything about his diary. I don't suppose she had his diary. I wonder if I you could tell me the medals the 2/43 had and then I could possibly look at getting them made for my brother. As for the diary I guess that's long gone, which is sad because then I could of had a glimpse into his thoughts. He died on the 4 or 5 of October.



Hi Sharon, apologies for taking so long to reply.
The medals my uncle was entitled too were 1939/45 Star, African Star, Pacific Star, 1939/45 War Medal Silver, Australian Service Medal.
I don't think he was entilited to anymore. Sure your grandfather would have been entilited to the same.

Thanks Glen, I appreciate your help. It would be great to get copies of these for my brother. I think it would be nice for someone to have them .

Kind regards



As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I'm writing a book about the 2/43rd. It's possible I've come across your uncle in researching this work. Get in touch if you think I could give you any information.



Hi Mark,

I would be interested in knowing more about my uncle Dan. My father  has told me stories about him, but there's always more to know.  I only have one photo of him with his battalion, but as mentioned previously I do have his diary.It's  partly written in Japanese so  I'm not sure how he acquired it. Perhaps he found it or it belonged to someone he had killed. 

I believe he enlisted in Casino, NSW but not sure. 

Dad believes the unit were sent to Cairns for jungle training, before deployment to PNG. 

I did visit Lae  a few years  back  and many of unit were killed  on the same date as him.  I believe the battle took place  was at  Scarlet Beach as this was his last entry. 

If you could update me on anything you have, that would be great  and I'd love to read your book when completed. 

If I can help in any way, please contact me. My father is still alive and may be able to provide you with information.

Thank you.




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