About this blog

Welcome to the blog for the 2/31st Battalion of the 25th Brigade of the 7th Division of the Australian Imperial Force of World War Two.

This blog is not officially connected with any organisation. It was started by me and my husband because we realised that the original members of the 2/31st are becoming fewer and fewer and we wanted to keep their memory and their feats alive. My father, John (or Jack) Edward Lewis (‘Strangler’ to his mates) was one of the soldiers in the 2/31st and that, of course, is my connection.

We have a large number of copies of a magazine called Teh Kallim which was published several times a year by the 2/31st Association and edited by ‘Hook’ Anderson for many years. However, due to increasing age and declining numbers Teh Kallim ceased publication many years ago. This magazine contained personal news about ex-members of the 2/31st and also memoirs about events, battles, accidents, losses, successes – all from the point of view of the ordinary soldier. Through this blog I would like to give these memoirs a ‘second life’.

It is our intention to do several things with this blog.

  • Publish extracts from Teh Kallim
  • Publish other interesting information about the 2/31st battalion as we find it
  • Publish photos that will be of general interest as we find them
  • Publish news of events that will be of interest to relatives and friends

Some of the articles have been edited. This is mainly to shorten articles, to expand abbreviations that are no longer commonly understood or to remove dated matters that are no longer relevant. But we are not censors! The articles use the language and expressions that the soldiers used 50 to 60 years ago. We have not felt that it is our right to make expresssions ‘politically correct’. For example, the word ‘gyppo’ comes from the word ‘Egyptian’ and was used by the soldiers to refer to any Arab they encountered in Palestine. We have left such words as they are.

It is not our intention to guard this blog as though it is our private property but, rather, if you also have news or comments that relate to the 2/31st then we will be most happy to include them on the blog and, of course, give you the credit for the information.

Elizabeth and Lindsey Timms

If you want to contact us about any matter just go below to Leave a Reply below and send us an email.

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plaque on memorial at Southbank Brisbane

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2/31 Memorial at Southbank Brisbane

231st_Battalion-10153-32174

2/31 memorial in Melbourne at the Shrine of Remembrance, St Kilda Road. It is a plaque with an inscription on it.

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122 comments on “About this blog

  1. Hello all; the book was written by John Laffin a well known WW1 historian and prolific author based for many years on the Western Front. I have a copy – as do all of my brothers. He passed away in Canberra in 2000. Laffin served in the 2nd/31st during WW2 and the Kokoda campaign. I believe he was somehow attached to one of the airdrop squadrons (‘biscuit bombers’) that used to resupply the troops during that campaign. I think the free falling supplies were nearly as much danger as incoming munitions!

  2. Hi, I’m reading up on my uncle Jack (Tex) Byord who was a private in 16 platoon D Company of the 2/31 st. There are 3 photos of him in Forever Forward, including the D platoon picture from Syria, andhe’s one of 4 somewhat emaciated soldiers shown as guarding prisoners after Balikpapan. Jack is long gone of course, but I’m writing a book contrasting the 1930’s, the war and the 1950’s, with the stories of Jack (who survived the war) and my other uncle Charlie (caprured at Singapore, and did not come home as the link. I’ve read Forever Forward and looked at the relevant material in Crossed Boomerangs, but seeing any other material on the 2/31 st would be most welcome. We live in Melbourne. Peter Doherty

  3. Kevin Cheetham Murwillumbah NSW 2484 says:

    Good Morning, I have been doing some further research for our son Paul Cheetham and his wife Helen that leave Sunshine Coast and walk portion of the Kokoda Track in mid April.
    Paul had found a QX10262 Pte F T Cheetham 2/31 Inf Bn buried in Bomana War Cemetery and I thought it would be of interest to your association with the Bn

  4. Beverley Kussrow says:

    Hello,
    I hope we can help each other here. A private in the 2/31 Aust Inf Bn my uncle Stanley George Kussrow was killed in action at New Guinea on 15.09.1943. He is buried at the Lae war cemetery there. I have been trying to find out exactly how and where he died. When dad (his brother) was alive he didn’t want to talk about it and I didn’t want to press him because it obviously upset him. I have read that this battalion was at Loribaiwa on the same day he died. I could assume that was the place but I can’t find any actual record of him there or how he died.
    Hoping you can shed some light on this,
    Bev

    • Beverley Kussrow says:

      Ah, Sorry, I made a mistake! It was a year later than Loribaiwa when he he was killed!
      Just found this:
      “The 2/31st Infantry Battalion arrived back in Port Moresby on 26 July 1943 and were flown to Nadzab on 12 September 1943 to participate with the rest of the 25th Brigade in the successful attack on the Japanese at Lae which was completed by 16 September 1943.”
      So maybe it was at Nadzab.
      Bev

    • Dear Beverley, This is what we have been able to find out so far. Stanley George Kussrow, QX51649, born 29th January 1922 in Toowoomba, date of enlistment 21st April 1943 in Warwick although locality of home is given as Kingaroy, next of kin Harry Kussrow, date of death 15th September, 1943. He also had the number Q144444 which probably means that he was a member of the militia before the war. The 2/31st cleared Heath’s Plantation of Japanese and then moved on to Edward’s Plantation on the road to Lae. In this action there were 38 casualties of which 13 were killed. Since they arrived at Edward’s Plantation on 16th September it seems likely that your uncle was killed during that action.There is reference to this on page 121 of Forever Forward. According to the Australian War Memorial website he is buried at Lae War Cemetery. His name is also located at Panel 59 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
      This exhausts the information that we have been able to find. You could apply to the AWM for a full service record which might give you some more information. Hope this helps. Elizabeth and Lindsey

  5. Darryl Somerville says:

    Hello—my father, Roy Somerville, was in the 2/31st in WW2 and was wounded on 11 Nov 1942 at Gorari, just north of Kokoda, in the Battle of Oivi Gorari. A number of members of the 2/31 st and 2/25 th were killed in this battle. I travelled there on 11 Nov last year with some decendents of the 2/25 th survivors.
    This year in November we are travelling to Gorari again to unveil a monument in memory of the battle and those who died there.
    If any other decendents or interested persons are interested in joining us they could contact me on the following:-
    Mobile. 0416069555
    E mail. darrylsomerville@hotmail.com
    Do you know if there are any publications about the 2/31st ?
    Darryl Somerville

    • Dear Darryl, The only publication we know of is a history of the 2/31st called Forever Forward written by John Laffin. It was published firstly by 2/31st Australian Infantry Battalion Association (New South Wales Branch) in 1994 and republished in 2002 by Australian Military History Publications, http://www.warbooks.com.au.

      Hope this helps. Elizabeth and Lindsey

  6. There’s also “Crossed Boomerangs” A history of all the 31 st Battalions by Bob Burla, but most of the (carefully acknowledged) information in there is also in John Laffin’s book

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