title

map
photo
painting
Men of Timor

Fall of Timor
'Men of Timor'
view
document
Bill Marien, official war correspondent,
wrote this article about the Timor
commandos. It was published in
the Argus on 31 December 1942.
[NAA A5954 Item 2232/2]

In late 1942, Army Public Relations arranged to send the famed cameraman Damien Parer and a war correspondent, Bill Marien to Timor, to record the efforts of the Australian commandos. Parer's earlier films included the famous Kokoda Front Line as well as others shot during the desert campaigns. His film Men of Timor would also be greeted just as enthusiastically.

Damien Parer and Bill Marien undertook the hazardous voyage to Timor in November 1942. They sailed from Darwin in a Royal Australian Navy vessel, which made good speed.

Parer and Marien headed inland to the commando base. Together, on film and on paper, they recorded the efforts and achievements of the 2/2nd and 2/4th Independent Companies and other troops fighting the guerrilla war. Parer described the terrain over which he lugged his equipment, with the assistance of commandos and porters:

video
painting
From Men of Timor.
[AWM FO1615]

It is mountainous and extremely steep except for a narrow coastal belt, but it is not thickly covered with vegetation as, for instance, are the rain forests of New Guinea. Gum trees grow in profusion but the main growth is of bamboo ...

The commandos relished news of their exploits reaching the outside world. When Parer expressed a wish to film them in action, they readily obliged. Their headquarters signalled to a patrol:

Newsreel cameraman leaving ... in search of action pictures. If possible hold off burning of Z [Japanese base], and any offensive moves towards Moabisse until his arrival.

The patrol replied:

... in action positions. No detail of contact yet. Will delay burning of Z if possible. Now bring on your cameraman.

[Quotes from Bill Marien, article submitted to censors, NAA SP112/1 Item M42]

 

 

 

Australia at war 3 September 1939
Libya and the Siege of Tobruk 1941
Greece and Crete April-May 1941
Syria and Lebanon June 1941
Malaya December 1941 to Moresby May 1942
Australia under attack 1940-1945
Coral Sea, Kokoda, Milne Bay May-September 1942
El Alamein October-November 1942
The Home Front 1939-1945
The Coastwatchers 1941-1945
Australian prisoners of war 1940-1945
Little-known operations 1939-1945
Papua 1942-1943
The Japanese retreat March 1943-January 1944
War at sea 1939-1945
Air war Europe 1939-1945
Bougainville, Borneo, New Britain, New Guinea 1944-1945
8 May 1945/15 August 1945
Australia at war 3 September 1939
Libya and the Siege of Tobruk 1941
Greece and Crete April-May 1941
Syria and Lebanon June 1941
Malaya December 1941 to Moresby May 1942
Australia under attack 1940-1945
Coral Sea, Kokoda, Milne Bay May-September 1942
El Alamein October-November 1942
The Home Front 1939-1945
The Coastwatchers 1941-1945
Australian prisoners of war 1940-1945
Little-known operations 1939-1945
Papua 1942-1943
The Japanese retreat March 1943-January 1944
War at sea 1939-1945
Air war Europe 1939-1945
Bougainville, Borneo, New Britain, New Guinea 1944-1945
8 May 1945/15 August 1945