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Kokoda Trail Memorial

Kokoda Trail Memorial
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Description / Background

The memorial is made from sandstone blocks on a sandstone paved area, flanked on both sides with bollards, chains and rosemary. It features an engraved pictograph of the Kokoda Trail and has bronze plaques embedded into the surface.



Kokoda Trail Memorial. Lest we forget.


Within the body of this Memorial is a container of soil from the Kokoda Trail representing a direct link to the place where so many lost their lives. The history and the names of those who contributed to the construction and funding of this memorial are recorded in a 'Book of Remembrance' held at the main library of Ku-ring-gai.


Kokoda Trail Memorial

This Memorial is dedicated to the memory of the Australian Soldiers who fought and gave their lives in Papua and New Guinea in 1942. Many were young, untrained and ill equipped for jungle warfare. Their bravery and sacrifice helped save the Australian mainland from possible invasion by the Imperial Japanese Forces.

Unveiled on Sunday 20th November 2005 by General Peter J. Cosgrove AC MC Chief of the Australian Defence Force 2002-2005. Mr Greg Hodgson Memorial Committee Chair. Dr Brendan Nelson Federal Member For Bradfield. Councillor Elaine Malicki Mayor Of Ku-ring-gai. Residents of Kokoda Avenue and the wider community together with the RSL, local businesses and commercial bodies with assistance from The Commonwealth Government and Ku-ring-gai Council have funded this memorial. Lest we forget. 



14th Field Regiment of Artillery; 2/14th Field Company Engineers; 3rd Infantry Battalion: 14th Brigade; 36th Infantry Battalion: 14th Brigade; 55th Infantry Battalion: 14th Brigade; 2/1st Infantry Battalion: 16th Brigade; 2/2nd Infantry Battalion: 16th Brigade; 2/3rd Infantry Battalion: 16th Brigade; 2/33rd Infantry Battalion; 25th Brigade; 53rd Infantry Battalion: 30th Brigade; 2/1st Pioneer Battalion (Engineer/Infantry Support).

Since the war there has been an ongoing debate as to whether this path should be called the Kokoda Trail or the Kokoda Track. ‘Trail’, although probably American in origin, has been used in many Australian history books and adopted by the Australian Army as the official battle honour. ‘Track’ has origins stepped in Australian bush and is commonly used by Australian veterans and in the official Australian history of the war. Text: Ross J. Bastiaan 2005. 



Headquarters 1st Australian Army & elements of Headquarters 1st Corps including signals. Headquarters New Guinea Force Staff & subordinate units including: New Guinea Force Engineers; New Guinea Force Signals; New Guinea Force Australian Army Corps; New Guinea Force Lines of Communications Workshop; Australian Comfort Funds. Headquarters 7th Australian Division and subordinate units including: 7th Division Signals; 7th Division Army Service Corps; 7th Division Provost Company (Military Police); 2/6th Independent (Commando) Company; 25th Field Ambulance; 14th Field Ambulance. 

Philanthropic organisations including the Salvation Army and the Young Men’s Christian Association.

Australia was involved from the beginning of the Second World War on 3rd September 1939 until the end on 2nd September 1945. Australians fought in many of the major battles and from a population of seven million, almost one million men and women enlisted in the defence forces. Of the 400,000 Australians who served overseas, 27,000 died. Against Japan alone the Australian Army suffered 15,000 personnel killed of which almost 8,000 were prisoners of war. Text: Ross J. Bastian 2005. 



2/5th Field Company Engineers; 2/14th Infantry Battalion: 21st Brigade; 39th Infantry Battalion: 30th Brigade; 2/4th Field Ambulance; 2/6th Field Ambulance. 

During the Second World War Australia’s contribution to the defeat of Germany, Japan and Italy was especially important during the years of 1941, 1942 and 1943.

Japanese land forces in 1942 were stopped for the first time in the War by Australian troops in the battle for Milne Bay and immediately after on the Kokoda Trail. Over the next two years the Australians systematically drove the Japanese from most Australian controlled New Guinea. In the last year of the war the Allies did not need the Australians in any major role. The Australians therefore concentrated on smaller campaigns which were principally associated with elimination of pockets of Japanese resistance caused by the rapid northerly Allied advance in the Pacific. Text: Ross J. Bastiaan 2005. 



2/6th Field Company Engineers; 2/16th Infantry Battalion: 21st Brigade; 2/4th Field Ambulance.

In the Second World War (1939-1945) the Australian Army was raised with soldiers from all six States and Territories of the Australian Commonwealth. Two land armies were formed, the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) raised by voluntary enlistment for service abroad, and the Australian Military Forces, based in part on compulsory service in a militia force created for home defence (which later included Papua).

The AIF Units (2/3rd Inf. Bat.) had the prefix 2/ to differentiate them from their World War One predecessors, and the militia units had a non-prefixed number before the unit name (3rd Inf. Bat.). Many Australian units were established in one particular State and the personnel in that unit largely drawn from that State. Australians from other States however made up significant numbers in all units. Text: Ross J. Bastiaan 2005. 


TASMANIA 2/6th Field Company Engineers.

In the Australian Army of 1942 a division was made up of three brigades, each comprising three battalions. Although many men were in the infantry, others provided close support in such areas as command, communications, transport and materials.

During the war the numbers of men in different army units varied with time. As a guide, in the Kokoda campaign of 23rd July to 13th November 1942, the approximate unit strengths were as follows, although available troops invariably numbered much fewer: Brigade 3500; Battalion 700; Infantry Company 120; Field Regiment of Artillery 500; Field Company Engineers 200; Field Ambulance 200; Headquarters 1st Aust Army 100; Headquarters 7th Div. AIF 40; New Guinea Force Sigs 30; 1st Indep. Light Horse Troop 30; Independent Company 100. Text: Ross J. Bastiaan 2005. 



13th Field Artillery Regiment; 2/6th Field Company Engineers; 2/27th Infantry Battalion: 21st Brigade; 2/4th Field Ambulance; 1st Independent Light Horse Troop (Australian Army Service Corps). 

The emblem ‘The Rising Sun’ has been the General Service Badge of the Australian Army since the Anglo-Boer War at the beginning of the twentieth century. Its origins are believed to stem from a trophy modelled around a collection of bayonets radiating in a semi-circle from a royal crown. The term ‘rising sun’ has an uncertain origin but has been associated with the brand name of a popular Australian jam used by Australian troops at the turn of the century.Text: Ross J Bastiaan



2nd Field Company Engineers; 2/25th Infantry Battalion: 25th Brigade; 2/31st Infantry Battalion: 25th Brigade; 49th Infantry Battalion: 30th Brigade.

During the Kokoda campaign the Royal Australian Air Force gave important support to the Army in supply and air reconnaissance. The Royal Australian Navy was instrumental in the safe transport of men and materials to Papua, whilst the Allied forces, especially the Americans, contributed essential materials and personnel towards the overall success of the campaign. 

The Kokoda campaign was from the 32nd July 1942 until the 13th November 1942. Text: Ross J. Bastiaan 2005.

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Cnr Clissold Road and Kokoda Avenue,
Kokoda Memorial Garden,
Wahroonga NSW 2076
Local Government Area
Ku-ring-gai Council
Memorial type
Recorded by
Peter Levarre-Waters
Year of construction
Dedication date
20 November 2005
Second World War, 1939–45