AUSTRALIAN WITHDRAWAL TO TEMPLETONS CROSSING- 02 September 1942


Brigadier Potts’s Brigade’s was severely depleted. They had been in constant fighting for nearly a week and the fighting so severe that they were unable to even brew a mug of tea or have a meal. Without shelter and sleeping in their dugouts their feet pulpy and shrivelled from the constant wet, and with their bodies soaked by constant rain. 

They were exhausted and fighting in a country and a jungle that unforgiving at best. Their equipment hampered them along with their own wounded and constant supply problems, due to the heavy rain.

Brigadier Potts could not hold his position any longer unless he was greatly reinforced and until the Japanese lines of communication and supply were as similarly exhausted as the Australian lines were.

Brigadier Potts informed Major General Tubby Allen (Commander of 7th Australian Division) of this situation and informed him of his intention to withdraw to Templeton's Crossing. He felt that he must establish a firm base from which he could defend and hold, and considered that a position between Myola and Efogi was the most appropriate.

On dawn of the 2nd September the move to Templeton's Crossing began. At 8 am the 2/16th was settling an hour's march north of Templeton's Crossing and the 2/14th was one hour further forward, in close proximity to Templeton’s Crossing. The Japanese were still in constant contact with the Australian rearguard, with skirmishes and probing attacks constant.