Colonel Basil Holmes (Rtd) as the son of Major General William Holmes CMG DSO VD, colonel Commander Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force, German New Guinea 1914, interviewed by Mrs Basil Holmes

Accession Number S00036
Collection type Sound
Measurement 36 min 33 sec
Object type Oral history
Physical description 1/4 inch sound tape reel; BASF LP 35; 3 3/4 ips/9.5 cm.s; stereo; 5 inch
Maker Holmes, Basil
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Burradoo
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright unknown

Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use

Colonel Basil Holmes relates the story of his father, Major General William Holmes CMG DSO VD, as Colonel William Holmes, raising in August 1914 a military and naval expeditionary force for the occupation of German administered territories to the north of Australia. Basil Holmes was his father's aid and part of the force which occupied New Britain. He gives details of how the occupation of New Britain was carried out and relates the story of the caning of German plantation owners as punishment for their assault on a Christian missionary whom they accused of assisting the Australians.

Colonel Holmes describes how his father was remonstrated with both for the action that he had taken in punishing the German settlers but also for not being severe enough when he brought Germans back to Australia. Although being denied any medals for his work in German New Guinea, on his return to Australia, Colonel William Holmes was put in charge of No. 5 AIF Brigade, which was sent to Gallipoli. Most of the men whom he had commanded in New Guinea were posted to No. 5 AIF Brigade and remained under his command.

Places mentioned include: Sydney Showgrounds; Victoria Barracks; Cockatoo Island; Sydney, several locations around the docks; Palm Island; Whitsunday Passage; Great Barrier Reef; Cooktown;Port Moresby;Rabaul;German New Guinea;Rossel Island;Herbertshöhe;Kabakaul;Namanula; Blanche Bay; Nauru; Pleasant Island; Friedrich Wilhelm Harbour (now Madang) Manus Island; Käwieng.
People mentioned include: Mr Milne (Minister of Defence 1914); Admiral George Patey; Captain Brian Pockley AAMC; Lieutenant Commander C.B. Elwell RN; Leutnant Kempf (German Army); Captain Jack Travers; General Howse; Captain Rawlston; Colonel Pethebridge.