The lost battlefield of Kokoda

Brian Freeman

Former Special Forces soldier Brian Freeman knows the Kokoda Trail better than most other living Australians. He has set records running the length of it and led dozens of treks along it for his adventure travel company. But in more than a decade of involvement, he never suspected the secret held by the villagers of Alola, a tiny community perched high in some of the trail's most difficult terrain.

Since 1942 the villagers had passed down a secret through their generations of the location of a lost battlefield, where advancing Australian forces and retreating Japanese soldiers had fought in the Second World War. It was one of the bloodiest engagements of the campaign, yet inaccurate references in battle maps drawn after the fighting meant that when the tide of war moved on, the battlefield was forgotten and quickly reclaimed by the jungle.

After years of friendship, in which Brian earned the villagers' trust, they decided to let him in on the secret. Brian has now authenticated the battlefield with renowned archaeologists and formed a trust to act as guardian for the special site.

Soft cover, photographs, 288 pages.

The lost battlefield of Kokoda