KHS News‎ > ‎

War in the Kimberley-75 Years in 2017

posted 27 Feb 2017, 07:28 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 28 Feb 2017, 05:34 ]

Wirraway-Challenge Week - March 20-26 2017 - 75 Years

Some Kununurra Museum News of new research web pages and information on coming events to commemorate 75 years!

'Wirraway-Challenge' Display at the Kununurra Museum with photograph of RAAF 12 Squadron, Pilot Sergeant Lew Dwyer - "We had no 'Mae West' (Life Vest), No Dinghy, and we were going half way to Timor on anti-sub'[-marine] patrols!" with another photograph of RAAF Pilot Sergeant Warwick Carmody standing on the wing of force-landed RAAF CAC Wirraway A20-62 (notice the mud from the wet saltmarsh). On the right hand side of that photograph has been superimposed a colour photograph taken at the site showing the cockpit canopy on the dry saltmarsh as it was in 2014 before salvage. Montage AB for KHS.

 At this time 75 Years ago, war came to Australia, starting when the Japanese attacked Darwin on February 19th 1942. After this day many attacks were to be made on the Top End, the Kimberley and Queensland, especially devastating in the Kimberley during March 1942.

Kununurra Museum on Social Networking

[ f]
KHS has been active in the lead up, posting day by day snippets to our social media and sharing these posts. 
Have a look at the Kununurra Museum Facebook page from...
 As well in the past few weeks Kununurra Museum now has a Twitter presence now linked to the Facebook page, so that posts are shared between the two. Kununurra Museum on Twitter from...
 This has been useful, by following Archives and Museums from all over the world on Twitter, feeds come in about new collections, like the Bio-Diversity Heritage Library, who have digitised thousands of documents, all freely available to download in eBook formats, PDFs or as images. 

John Gould (1804-1881) - The Birds of Australia (1848) - FREE!

 Things like all of John Gould's original 1848 'The Birds of Australia' - All seven volumes have been digitised and are freely available [All DL'd for KHS digital archive to extract all Kimberley birds for the Museum Slideshows!] - See    

New KHS Website Pages

The main reason of this post is to draw attention to some new pages added to the website in recent weeks.

The Miles of Wyndham

 This is about an oral history made with Maggie Lilly in 1986 by Ursula Brimble, who inaugurated the meeting to form the Kununurra Historical Society in that year. This is one of our earliest archives that is shared with Battye Library, who digitised this in recent years. The page has an extract to listen to about 'the Miles of Wyndham - 3 Mile - 4 Mile - Six Mile - Seven Mile - Nine Mile - 12 Mile & 20 Mile - What a classic!  As well as a synopsis of what Maggie discusses, near the end are links to each of the digital audio files at the State Library of WA. Have a read and a listen to the wonderful tale from Maggie Lilly about 'the Miles from Wyndham'. [Goes to the new page on this site] or an extract and new photograph added today (Feb 28th 2017) of extending the Wyndham Aerodrome circa 1930, as follows.

1930-ca - Extending the Wyndham Aerodrome

8m 24s - Marriage and Children - Edwin James [Liljengvist] known as, 'Sam Lilly' was born at Derby [CHECK year?]
Sam Lilly - Went to Wyndham in 1924
        Sam helped build the airstrip in Wyndham.
[KHS Note]
A photograph found at the State Library of New South Wales (online).
1930-ca Extending aerodrome Wyndham - ex SLNSW bcp_05819h
1930-ca - Extending the aerodrome at Wyndham - DLd for KHS ex SLNSW bcp_05819h
1930-ca - Extending the aerodrome at Wyndham - DL'd for KHS from the State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) bcp_05819h
The State Library of NSW has some great digital archives, I found out talking to staff there a few years ago, that they had a very progressive and dynamic directive, thanks to an attitude of, no hesitatation just digitise it and ask questions later! This image for example is freely available as follows.
Title Extending aerodrome - Wyndham, WA
Call Number At Work and Play - 05819
Digital Order No. bcp_05819
This image may be used freely without requesting permission. Please acknowledge that the image is from the collections of the State Library of NSW. (OK - Thanks SLNSW! :^)

The Wyulda - Scaly Tailed Possum & Violet Valley

 Here some old information in the form of a 1922 news article about the 'Wyulda' found circa 1919 by Mr Rademy (pictured below), who at that time was at Violet Valley, as well as some more recent information as the Wyulda was recently discovered in other Kimberley locations for the first time. Read more about The Wyulda with photographs of Violet Valley thanks to SLWA

[Image links to the Wyulda Page]

1920 ca Ambrose and Nance Durack Young Ambrosine Rademy and his Wife at Argyle Downs -Crop - KHS-2011-11-PD-20 1920 ca Ambrose and Nance Durack Young Ambrosine Durack, with Mr Rademy and his wife, Elizabeth (nee Webster) at Argyle Downs - Elizabeth Durack personal photographic collection courtesy of the Clancy and Durack families. KHS Archive Number KHS-2011-11-PD-20.

History of Thompson's Spring

A History of Thompson's Spring - Named in 1886 by Tom Kilfoyle is presented on this page - September 1886 - Charly found a spring I called it Tomsons spring." Also has some history about the masonry dam added at a much later date!

Wirraway-Challenge Week (March 20th to 26th) - Kununurra Museum

 It is 75 Years on March 20th 2017, since RAAF 12 Squadron Pilot Sergeants, Lew Dwyer and Warwick Carmody, had engine failure over the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, while on a mission to Drysdale River Mission, fling their first leg between Batchelor and Wyndham. They had to turn south and 'head for Australia' in Lew's words. They only just made it to the widest part of the Ningbing saltmarsh, with a textbook wheels-up landing, as it was too wet to land on the coastal saltmarsh, just 5 km inside Western Australia, adjacent to the WA-NT border (Longitude 129 degrees East of Greenwich). Read more and see 8 x Parts from a DVD about the forced landing of CAC Wirraway A20-62, for a story of Survival & Rescue by Aboriginal stockmen from Carlton Hill station, organised by pedal radio from Wyndham. Go to the Kununurra Museum's - Wirraway-Challenge Display - Page (Wirraway means Challenge! :^) All of the YouTube digital videos (DVs) are embedded lower down on that page or go straight to the...
Kununurra Museum's YouTube Channel  [Opens in a new tab]

1971-72 - KHS - Bert Lee Operation Ord Noah Collection

[Image below opens the collection in a new tab or window]
  1971-72 - Operation Ord Noah - L-R Graeme Bell - Chopper Pilot - Henry Hall - KHS-2013-31-b-P-BD-14
1971-72 - Operation Ord Noah - L-R Graeme Bell - Chopper Pilot - Henry Hall - KHS-2013-31-b-P-BD-14

 This great collection was placed online in the past month and shows some interesting wildlife rescue scenes when the Main Ord River ("Top") Dam first started holding water and Lake Argyle filled for the first time. Bert visited the Kununurra Museum some years ago and his visit led to this collection and thanks to meeting Bert and his late wife Belle, this led to KHS contacting the leader of Operation Ord Noah, Neville Hall, a wonderfully alert Nonogenarian (94 IIRC) in 2014 when I contacted him. Neville also sent his collection which was digitised and documented, then had the pleasure of visiting and meeting Neville and his family in 2015 at his home in Perth, where, in ensuing years after Ord Noah, he had a great deal to do pioneering the Sea Rescue group at Hillarys. The Neville Hall Ord Noah Collection is much more extensive than the Bert Lee collection and will be going online soon. I contacted Bert Lee, who has moved to Townsville (from Safety Bay) to be near his daughter. As Neville Hall has since passed away, his son Ian and Bert may be the last left of the Ord Noah crew - Others now passed away - Harry Butler, Malcolm Douglas, Neville Beeck were part of Ord Noah in 1971-72. 
See the KHS - Bert Lee - Operation Ord Noah Collection (on Flickr) [Opens in a new tab]
Comments