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War History World War II in Papua New Guinea. Australian and Japanese soldier who fought the battle, died and buried in Bomana (Port Moresby), Lae cemetary, Wewak, Relics and Wreckages.

 
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Old 11-05-2005, 01:37 PM
***aCe*** ***aCe*** is offline
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A WALK TO REMEMBER - Anzac Pilgrimage

…..81 year-old WWII veteran on an emotional Anzac pilgrimage in Kokoda

A TOTAL of 429 including two high profile Australians visited Papua New Guinea and walked the Kokoda Trail to mark the Anzac Day which fell on Monday, 25th April.

Among them was an 81 year-old WWII veteran from Western Victoria who was based in Sogeri during the war, Walter Henry Kelly.

He didn’t get any World War II honors and gallantry nor was he accorded for bravery but Walter is a true hero in every sense of the word.

Walter Kelly with his porter on the Kokoda Trail....
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Last edited by ***aCe***; 11-05-2005 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 11-05-2005, 01:51 PM
***aCe*** ***aCe*** is offline
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Walking the 96km infamous Kokoda Trail was a dream come true for Walter, aka, Wally.

60 years after the war and he is back in Papua New Guinea where he spent time serving during the WWII. He arrived in PNG for Anzac Day which fell on April 25.

No. He was not here to lay wreathes but to walk the 96km WWII Kokoda Trail in honor of the young mates gone.

A WWII veteran of Long Island, Walter had lived long to tell his story to his grandchildren. But what is amazingly true is that he has lived till the ripe age of 81 to attempt the renowned Kokoda Trail.

And if you think he didn’t make it, you’d be surprise to learn that this WWII veteran had walked the full length of the track in 9 days. The previous oldest trekker was 72 years old.

This would perhaps make him out to be the oldest Australian trekker ever and WWII veteran to have completed the hazardous track.

Walter was born in Camperdown Hospital, in Australia on May 7th, 1924 and grew up in Pomborneit North, a very small bush town in the Western District of Victoria.

He was the 5th child of twelve children and had an illustrious academic career.
Walter was among young Australians who were recruited to fight during WWII. He served at long Island and also spent time working at a hospital in Sogeri during the War.

His dream to come back to PNG one day to visit Sogeri and walk Kokoda Trail came true this year when he booked to walk with the group of Australian trekkers during an Anzac trek on April 16th.

The amazingly energetic 81-year old walked from Ower,s Corner on the date mentioned and arrived to a hero’s welcome at Kokoda where he successfully completed his trek. He flew back into Port Moresby with the rest of his group on Arpil 24th and in time for the moving dawn service on Anzac Day at the Bomana War Cemetery.

Walter holding one of the ukuleles the porters used to entertain the trekkers while on trek. He is seen here at Ower's Corner with the porters before heading for Kokoda on the Anzac Trek.
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Last edited by ***aCe***; 11-05-2005 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 11-05-2005, 02:02 PM
***aCe*** ***aCe*** is offline
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So what is this 81 year-old made from?

Walter was trained through the ex-serviceman scheme after WW2 and worked as a fully qualified roof tiler. (He is still very proud to have been involved in the building industry.)

The western district where grew up is renowned for producing riders and Walter spent time as a professional bike rider. He is still seen on his bike today and currently rides and walks approximately 60km a week.

A grandfather of three, Wally has bagged two awards and a couple of other prizes for his bike achievements. His recent awards included Leader weekly sports star, in July 29th 2002 and also became the Best Grandfather in whole of Victoria.

He became four times prize winner of the Northern Veterans Cycling Association (NVCA) championships from the age of 65 to 70 and the two-time winner of the World Masters game for elder people in Brisbane in 1994 and 2002 in Melbourne.

His other bike achievements included riding between Melbourne and Sydney for 88 times with a 24 hour ride around port fairy non-stop, the great nullabor bike ride in 1996, the great Tasmanian bike ride approximately 5 times and the great Victorian bike ride to 20 times.

He has done biking in some other countries including New Zealand, New Caledonia and Thailand.

”As you can see, my father is an amazing individual who characterizes the Aussie spirit with his ability to live life to the full, and enjoy every minute of it, into his eighties…and beyond,” his daughter said proudly.

With the war having ended more than 60 years ago, the veterans and their stories may soon be forgotten. This is a tribute to the incredible Walter Kelly – you go tough guy!

Ends//

Walter Kelly gets a hero' welcome at Kokoda where he completed his nine-day trek.
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Last edited by ***aCe***; 11-05-2005 at 02:06 PM.
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