Images of Old Samarai
This book of 80 pages paints a pictorial and written history of the island of Samarai, in the Milne Bay District of Papua New Guinea. It records the time of that country's annexation as British New Guinea in 1888, through its era as an Australian Mandated Territory, until the Battle of Milne Bay in 1942/3. Samarai was British New Guinea's second most important administrative and commercial centre in its early days, based primarily on its location in the China Straits and direct shipping route from Australia. In the face of the Japanese advance south towards Australia, it was evacuated in 1941 and destroyed by the Allies in 1942, to prevent it falling into the hands of the Japanese forces. It follows that, prior to 1942 all that remains of its physical features are pre war photographs and the fading recollections of a few residents.This book contains more than 140 photographs of Samarai and its environs taken prior to 1940. Nearly all of the photographs are from family collections and have not previously been published. Many Australian families have connections with colonial Papua New Guinea and may find this book of interest, as may others with an interest in Pacific history.
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