BATTLE FOR TEMPLETONS CROSSING-16 October 1942


The Stanley Detachment’s delaying tactics proved good, by the time they had retreated to Templeton’s Crossing their defensive position at Templeton’s held approximately eight hundred men and 4 mountain guns.

The advancing Australians were also strengthening with the fresh 16th Brigade now also in action alongside Brigadier Ether’s 25th Brigade. Over three thousand troops were at Major General Tubby Allen’s disposal and the attacks commenced against the Japanese positions at Templeton’s Crossing on the 17th of October.

The attacks in the Templeton’s area were an extraordinary success, using the same flanking and out flanking tactics the Japanese had used successfully in their advance, the Australians pushed the Japanese back.

Australian attacks continued through to the 20 October, it was on this day a full frontal attack by the 2/2nd and 2/1st Battalions swept the opposition aside and the Australians stormed through the Japanese defences.

The Japanese whom at this stage were severely exhausted, suffering from lack of food, ammunition and medical supplies retreated once again with the intent of resisting at the next crossing of Eora Creek. It was at this point of the campaign evidence suggests that the Japanese were so short on food they began to cannibalise the dead.