80th Anniversary of Battle for Sanananda: Wreath-laying Sunday 22 January 2023
PUBLISHED January 2023
Wreath-laying service commemorated 80th anniversary for Battle of Sanananda
Marking 80 years since Sanananda village was occupied by Australian troops, on Sunday (22 January) we held a brief wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial Centrepiece.
Among more than 30 people attending were 100 year-old Col Muir, who had fought at Sanananda with the 36th Battalion, and 99 year-old Reg Chard OAM, who had taken part in the battle of the Sanananda Track with the 55th/53rd Battalion.
More than 650 Australians lost their lives through December 1942 and January 1943 as Allied forces tackled the final Japanese outposts, in dreadful swamp conditions riddled with enemy machine gun positions.
On this 80th anniversary it was gratifying to welcome so many members of unit associations and family members of those young Australians who gave their lives in the Second World War.
In 2023, the Walkway will begin to list the names of Australians killed at each of the 22 Stations along the KTMW. They will be listed alphabetically, with their service number, rank, unit, and date of death. In some cases the individual may have succumbed to wounds or illness weeks after the initial battle.
The list of those 220 Australians killed in the battle for Sanananda village plus those in the following campaign on the Sanananda Track, available online here, are the first in the series corresponding to the memorial stations at the Walkway.
Buna casualties are also now available for viewing.