About the Kokoda Track: 1942 and Today
Just off the road from Port Moresby to the southern end of the Kokoda track is Bomana, the largest war cemetery in the Pacific...
Just off the road from Port Moresby at the southern end of the Kokoda track is Bomana, the largest war cemetery in the Pacific. It contains 3779 graves. There are 3069 known and 237 unknown Australians from the fighting in New Guinea together with 443 Allied soldiers sailors and airmen.
Bomana was established in 1942. Over the next several years those who had been temporarily buried elsewhere in New Guinea, or in other cemeteries around Port Moresby, were re-interred at Bomana. One of them was Joseph Croud from Victoria.
Croud, Flight Sergeant, Joseph Edward Henry, no. 401917. Royal Australian Air Force, 33 Squadron. Killed 21st October 1942. Age 22. Son of Walter and Eliza Croud and husband of Eileen Mary Croud, of North Williamstown, Victoria. Plot location C l. A. 6.
Joseph Croud was always known as ‘Ted’ by the family who remember him horse riding on his uncle's farm, and playing cricket for his Methodist Church team. When he enlisted in 1941 he was studying accountancy and planned a career in that field.
Joseph, a pilot, was killed in an aircraft accident at Port Moresby. An eyewitness said that soon after his Avro Anson, took off, one engine failed. The aircraft stalled, lost height and crashed three kilometres from Ward strip. Both Joseph and Sergeant John Clark were killed instantly.
Joseph was buried on the same day. His grave was ‘marked with a linen label on a stake. Cross to be erected later.’
Three days later his father received a telegram from the Air Board in Melbourne: ‘Deeply regret to inform you that your son Sergeant Joseph Edward Henry Croud is reported to have lost his life as result of aircraft accident on 21st October 1942. The Minister for Air joins with the Air Board in expressing profound sympathy in your sad bereavement.’
Joseph had been married for nine months but the Air Board had no record of this, consequently it was his father and not his wife who was officially notified. Once the Air Board learned of the error a letter of apology was sent to Eileen Croud.