Hurrell's Way |
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. – James Sinclair
Lloyd Hurrell writes vividly of his experiences in war and in peace. This is an account of his early adventures, firstly when he went to New Guinea in 1939 as a cadet patrol officer in the Rabaul, Salamaua and Morobe areas, followed by his service in World War II, then his subsequent return to New Guinea in 1945 and his years of ‘big bush’ patrolling.
Lloyd Hurrell and his elder brother, Les, were members of the AIF’s first contingent to enlist in New Guinea. They served with the elite 2/31st Infantry Battalion in the Middle East (including Syria), and later in New Guinea in the vital Kokoda Track campaign, during which Lloyd was decorated with the Military Cross: Lloyd’s brother, Les, was killed in this campaign. The Lae and Markham-Ramu campaigns followed. Later, Lloyd was accidentally wounded in the leg by a burst from a sub-machine gun on Bougainville. He spent a year down south recovering in hospital. Later, he married his nurse, Margaret Crowther.
Lloyd, together with Margaret, returned to New Guinea, and for six years conducted a series of notable patrols, in such places as Bogia, Mumeng, Siassi and Finschhafen. His main feat was the opening up of Menyamya station in 1950, in the then uncontrolled Kukukuku country. Hurrell recounts many absorbing and interesting observations of the Kukukuku and their customs. Joined by a group of intrepid Lutheran missionaries, Lloyd, Margaret and PO Gary Keenan forged new trusts and friendships in this hitherto hostile area.
Lloyd subsequently became a farmer and planter near Wau, entered national politics, and served for many years as Chairman of the PNG Coffee Marketing Board, receiving a CMG and an OBE for his work.
Profusely illustrated with photographs and maps, illustrating both theatres of war described, scenes from the earliest days of Australia’s administration of New Guinea, and an extensive index, this is a book that will be important to a wide range of readers.
A. Lloyd Hurrell, Edited by James Sinclair
Numerous B&W photos; Maps