Australian Commonwealth Forces

4th Bridge


Battalion Colours

16 th Bridge

Campaigns – The Middle East, New Guinea

The Kokoda Trail


Robert Kimberly (Bob) joined the AIF at the age of seventeen. He enlisted on the 16 Aug 1941 at Paddington Sydney NSW. He was discharge on the 21 st March 1946. Bob started and finished his service with 2/3 Battalion 16 th Bridge.

After he had finished his basic training Bob was sent to the Middle East. He spent his eighteen birthday in the Middle East. Bob saw the Japanese bomb the area around where he was posted. He said there were no troop movements in the area.

Bob left Ceylon on the troop ship carrying the 2/3 st battalion and other units for Australia on 13 th July and arrived in Fremantle on the 28 th July and Melbourne on the 7 th August. There were less than 100 of the original members. Saturday 5 th September saw the men of the battalion march through the streets of Sydney.

After leave Bob’s battalion moved to Greta for training. Then travelled by train to Brisbane and embarked for New Guinea. The ship “Anhui” was being loaded but was behind time as the wharf labourers were refusing to load the stores unless they were paid at the rate of “time and a half”. The CO took charge and the men of 14 platoon loaded the ship when the wharfies walked off. 

Bob arrived in Port Moresby on the 21 st September. The battalion immediately dyed their uniforms green. While they were waiting for their uniforms to dry they walked around in their underwear and hat. The battalion strength was 38 officers and 656 men. On Tuesday 6 th October they marched through Ower’s Corner, the beginning of the Kokoda Trail. Battles included Templeton’s Crossing, Eora Creek Area, Gorari, Soputa and many other engagements with a fanatical enemy. 

Their first contacted with the Japanese on the track. There were no shots exchanged the Japanese were only a few yards for Bob’s section. The Par dray gave each man half a cigarette and chocolate on the line. There was no contact with the Japanese during the night. At dawn the Battalion moved forward the Japanese had move back up the track.

Bob’s duties during the battle of Sanananda , was relaying messages to the frontline as he was the company runner. He had to do this under fire, crawling up the ridge and back and through enemy lines. On Christmas day 1943 it was his jobs to get the Christmas dinner. This consisted of bully beef dry biscuits in old kero cans. On the way back to their lines they were attacked by the Japanese. When Bob and the others got back the lines, the others asked where the, Christmas dinner was, Bob said if want lunch it’s just down the track, he said no one went back to get it.

After the campaign on the Kokoda trail Bob was hospitalised in Port Moresby with fever and diarrhoea. His weight was 6 stone 8 pound he spent around a month in Port Moresby Hospital. Then he was transferred to Cains Hospital where he recovered fully.

Sidney Green

Royal Army Service Corp

Campaigns – Lebanon, Syria, Tobruk, India ,Burma and Berlin Germany

Sidney Green, born 13/6/1920 the oldest of ten children in the village of Mottram Cheshire, England. His father was an electrical engineer. In WW1 1914 -1918 he served in the Navy past away at the age of 44.

Sid was called up on the third of October 1940 at the age of twenty. He served six years two weeks



Sid completed his training at Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, England After two months training he was sent to Liverpool where he had to guard warehouse from Hitler’s fire bombs. He then was sent from Liverpool to Scotland where he board a ship (Strathavon)bound for the Middle East in at Capetown and Durban and the finished up at Alexandria, Egypt where he was taken to El Tahag camp.Then after training he went to Lebanon Syria where frighting was going on between the York & Lanc Reg and Vichy French and the Italians.After two days the Vichy French and the Italians surrendered.

Then he was put onto building roads before sent back to El Tahag camp for more training. Where 70 division was formed with the York & Lanc, the Black Watch and Beds & Hearts regiment. This time he was bound for the siege of Tobruk going by destroyer under darkness. The division was reliving the Australians who were holding the siege of Tobruk.

The regiment went into action and succeeded in pushing the Germans up to Bengazi and beyond. There were heavy casualties. There was another army advancing from Egypt consisting of NZ troops etc. His unit meet the advancing units from Tobruk which had cleared a passage for his unit to get through. His unit was then loaded up with 25 pounders and sent forward. When his unit were sent back they had prisoners of war to be processed.

 After Tobruk was freed he was called back to Egypt where he got on a boat for India which was at rat infested and treacle. He then landed at Bombay where he pick up new vehicles loaded with 25 pounders. He travelled across India to the south of Calcutta to a place called Ranchi where he met up with the rest of the division. He then started to be trained for jungle warfare as his division were expecting the Japanese to land.

All the Regiments formed a company called the Chindits. They were to go to Burma with donkeys. The RASC had to fly into Burma supplying them with food and ammunition dropped by parachute. The Japanese were very active in the trees firing from them. The Chindits lost the Major who was leading them and a lot of men, which sent the Japanese retreating back to Rangoon.On the return to India his Division were sent to different parts of India where Gandhi was causing trouble, he wanted home rule.

> Sid’s company had completed four years abroad when he was allowed to return to the UK. He travelled back to Bombay via Poona where he got the Rat Plague and had to have injections. He finally got to Gibraltar where he picked up an escort of Destroyer destined for the UK. He had to go back to Berlin, Germany. He had six months to go before he was due to be demob. He was returned to the U K where he was sent to York for Demob. He picked up a new suit and 75 pound and sent back to civilian life. Two months later he was back training because of the cold war. Finally demob in 1946.