Cover art: Ray Hirst

Picture: South Australian 2/27th Battalion soldiers photographed beside the Kokoda Track at Itiki, 4km south of Owers’ Corner, a day after emerging from the jungle in the Owen Stanley Ranges of New Guinea on September 21, 1942. The 311 men lost an average of 13kg each on their two-week trek to safety. 

Pictured from left are infantrymen Albert Simpson (SX4237), Jack Smith (SX3772), Ron Earl (SX9767) and Raymond Kairl (SX12798). Smith and Earl survived the trek only to be killed a few months later at Gona.

The men had washed, shaved, eaten and had been issued with clean uniforms by the time this photograph was taken. The remnants of their old uniforms were burnt. (AWM027017)

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The Lost Battalion
Kokoda's forgotten foot soldiers