Kokoda and Milne Bay 75th Anniversary

This year marks the 75th anniversaries of the battle of Milne Bay and the Kokoda campaign.

The Kokoda Trail is as ingrained in Australia’s story as Gallipoli. From July 1942 to early 1943, Australian troops in the Owen Stanley Range and on the beaches of northern Papua saw some of the most desperate and vicious fighting encountered in the Second World War.

Milne Bay was one of the most significant actions of the campaign, with Australian troops defeating Japanese invaders over a 12-day battle. The battle of Milne Bay is remembered as the first decisive defeat of the Japanese on land, and as having turned the tide of the Pacific War.

Join us at the Memorial as we commemorate these significant events, and the lives of those lost.

1942-10-01. New Guinea. Milne Bay. An Australian infantry section pass - Japanese type 95 ha-go light tanks knocked out at Milne Bay.

1942-10-01. New Guinea. Milne Bay. An Australian infantry section pass - Japanese type 95 ha-go light tanks knocked out at Milne Bay. 013320

Milne Bay Exhibition

Opens 25 August, Anzac Hall
In this new exhibition you will see a Japanese Ha Go light tank as well as artworks, photographs and weaponry from the Memorial’s collection. Many items in the exhibition, which has been in production for over twelve months, have never before been on public display.  This exhibition is in addition to the permanent Milne Bay display in Aircraft Hall which features a RAAF P-40 Kittyhawk “Polly” flown during the battle.

Last Post Ceremony

75th Anniversary of the battle of Milne Bay

4.55 pm, 25 August, Commemorative Area
On this day we remember Squadron Leader Peter St George Bruce Turnbull DFC, who was killed during the battle of Milne Bay. Join us to hear his story, as told by a member of the Australian Defence Force. Australia’s Federation Guard will participate in this special Last Post Ceremony.

Kokoda Vale

7 am, 30 August, Commemorative Area
Listen to the names of the 641 Australians who lost their lives in the events of Kokoda, read by Royal Military College cadets.

Kokoda: Beyond the Legend

Free public talk

12 pm, 30 August, BAE Systems Theatre
Kokoda has become one of Australia’s best-known wartime campaigns. Join Memorial historian Dr Karl James as he talks about his recently released book Kokoda: beyond the legend.

Remembering the 75th anniversary of the battle of Milne Bay

Free public seminar

6 pm, 31 August, BAE Systems Theatre
Registration for this event is essential. Please register here.
One of Australia’s leading historians Emeritus Professor David Horner of the Australian National University will be delivering a special War Studies Seminar titled Remembering the 75th anniversary of the battle of Milne Bay. This special seminar coincides with the death of Private Clark Davis Ivins, who died of wounds received at the Battle of Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea in 1942.

Last Post Ceremony

75th Anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign and Beachhead battles

4.55 pm, 2 November, Commemorative Area

Join us at this special Last Post Ceremony to commemorate the life of Private Bruce Steel Kingsbury who was killed in action during the Kokoda Campaign. His story will be told by a member of the Australian Defence Force. Australia’s Federation Guard will participate in this Last Post Ceremony.

A feature article on the battle of Milne Bay appears in the current July 2017 issue of the Memorial’s official magazine, Wartime. To purchase your copy of Wartime, visit our online shop.

Native carriers and troops of the 2/9th Australian Infantry Battalion moving along the Kokoda trail in the Owen Stanley ranges during the filming of sequences for the production, "Rats of Tobruk" by Mr George Heath.

Native carriers and troops of the 2/9th Australian Infantry Battalion moving along the Kokoda trail in the Owen Stanley ranges during the filming of sequences for the production, "Rats of Tobruk" by Mr George Heath (1), Chief Cameraman of Chauvel's Productions (foreground). In front of him and slightly to the right is vx117252 Captain G. H.Nicholson (2) officer commanding, military history section, attached headquarters New Guinea Force. 061835