The Australian Veterans' Accounts
Kokoda Veterans' Video Interviews
...of 39 Infantry Battalion, reflects on the fate of his friends during and after the Papuan campaign.
“I had a couple of good leaders. There's a couple of them still alive. But their memories are gone. One of them was decorated. But at Kokoda in my original section three were given Military Medals. And there was only five of the originals there. So someone did some good.
They're all, bar one, gone. Ron Dryden died in Ballarat. Vic Smythe died - he had a block up at Robinvale. He got it after he'd been battling around Melbourne skinning rabbits and that. He put in for a block and he got a block up there. He's dead. Alec - he's still alive but he's had a stroke. He don't go anywhere. The rest of them are gone. Those that didn't get killed there [at Kokoda] got killed up at Gona. They just kept pushing them back in.”