Kokoda Barracks commemorates 80th anniversary of Battle of Kokoda

Department of Defence

Army’s Land Warfare Centre has commemorated the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Kokoda by opening a memorial walkway at Kokoda Barracks, Canungra honouring those who fought during the campaign.

The Kokoda Track Walk is a pathway containing a series of plaques with information about the major battles and events in the campaign, a crucial turning point of the Second World War.

His Excellency Governor General the Honourable David Hurley, AC DSC (Retd) today attended the Barracks and officially opened the Walk.

Lieutenant Colonel Wendy Say, Senior ADF Officer Kokoda Barracks, said it was a fitting way to honour the significant series of battles.

“August 8th marks the 80th anniversary of the campaign – which turned the tide for Australian forces fighting in Papua New Guinea,” Lieutenant Colonel Say said.

“Australian forces fought alongside our Papuan allies and prevailed against tough terrain and a determined enemy.

“The bravery and commitment shown by our soldiers then is still an enduring feature of soldiers in our Army today.”

Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Gee, of Army’s Land Warfare Centre, which runs Army’s promotion courses for commissioned and non-commissioned officers, said the memorial walkway would act as an enduring reminder for their students.

“As our ADF members walk to class they will be able to learn about the Kokoda Campaign,” Lieutenant Colonel Gee said.

“It strengthens the link between Kokoda Barracks and the legacy of the Battle of Kokoda.

“When the ADF members are here, the course of the battle will be all around them – they can absorb this history and honour those who served in it.”

A soldier who gave his life defending his country during the Battle of Kokoda was also honoured today.

The Private Kingsbury, VC, Battle Simulation Site-Canungra was named after Bruce Kingsbury who was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross for his heroics at Isurava, a major battle of the Kokoda Campaign.

“He made the ultimate sacrifice during the battle,” Lieutenant Colonel Gee said.

“It’s fitting that the place where we train our leaders is named after a man who gave so much to his comrades and his country.”

The Private Kingsbury, VC, Battle Simulation Site-Canungra is a state-of-the-art facility designed to teach combat planning, preparedness and decision-making.

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