Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers

Clicking on a photo will display a full sized image of the photo in a new window.

For other activities, see also the following articles:

The first group of photos were supplied by Sgt. Denis O’Rourke who was among the first intake at Taurama Barracks in 1966-67

A Coy 1PIR patrol crossing the Nomad R (Feb 1967)
A Coy 1PIR patrol crossing the Nomad R (Feb 1967)

A friendly soccer game at taurama. John Harris is on the right Who are the others
A friendly soccer game at Taurama. John Harris is on the right Who are the others

Denis O'Rourke on patrol at Kiunga, Fly R (1967)
Sgt. Denis O’Rourke on patrol at Kiunga, Fly R (1967)

Norm Hunter and  Bob (Carmen) Foster on a boat off Port Moresby (1967)
Sgt. Norm Hunter and Sgt. Bob (Carmen) Foster on a boat off Port Moresby (1967)

Unloading cargo at Tapini. John Harris back to camera.
Unloading cargo at Tapini. Sgt. John Harris back to camera.

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
Section of 11 Platoon (D Coy, 1 PIR) on Civic Action Patrol, Ningerum on Ok Tedi River 1967
Sgt Guri (No 82077) is holding the blue towel

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
Nasho 2Lt. John Stringfellow with 11 Platoon (D Coy, 1 PIR) at Ningerum on Ok Tedi River 1967

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
Cpl Tutuman (No. 83128) & section of 11 Platoon (D Coy, 1 PIR) and Caribou at Jackson Field 1967

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
Chopper used by Indonesian Border Survey Crew at Ningerum on Ok Tedi River 1967
Activities around Port Moresby

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
1968 Rugby Union Premiers
Back Row: Sgt John Gibson, Lei Sa’afi (Tongan), Sgt Norm Hunter, Lt R.(Dick) McEvoy, Lt John —-, Lt Keith Hopkins, Eka Eope, Sgt Hedley Ellis
Front Row: RAP Medic Sgt Major Wilson, Eka Pisae, Awea, Ronald Rolly, Tirang, Mistai, Lala
Missing from Photo: Sgt Peter (George) Healy and Cpl Ive (Courses in Aust),John Aieva (Leave in Lae) and Geno

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
Rugby Union 4th May 1968
Back Row: Eka, Genno, Norm Hunter, Peter (George) Healy, Dick McEvoy, John Gibson, Bruce Thompson, Peter ——, Keith Hopkins, John Iaeva
Front Row: Eka Pisae, Luvu, Ronald Rolly, Botu, Hedly Ellis, Lahho
Missing: Aiwon

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
Battalion Orderly Sergeant Bob Foster and swimmer Sgt. Bob Green – 1968

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
Sgt Ian Hodder (left) and Capt John Finn (Murray Bks) 2nd from right at Bomana War Cemetery – Nov 1967

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
Rugby match with Sgts. Alan Day and Norm Hunter 1966-67

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
Rugby team showing Sgts. Alan Day and Norm Hunter among others 1966-67

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
L-R —–, Norm Hunter, Phil Parker, Bruce Boxall, John Gibson, ———-,(reclining) Bob Green, Roger Howard at Crystal Rapids 1967-68

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
The trusty Holden PNG 1968
Goroka is the capital of Eastern Highlands Province

Activities by Taurama Barracks soldiers -
Sgts Robert (Bob) Foster and Denis O’Rourke of Taurama Bks at a village near Goroka – 1967
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  1. Thankyou for the 1968 Rugby Union Premier photo. I see my dad in the back row standing (Eka Eope). I’ve heard so many stories about my dad, from those who knew him and so him play rugby in the 60’s that he was one of those players that was feared the most by his opponents. I was a proud boy growing up hearing these stories. Sadly, my dearest dad just passed away on 07/08/2022. He was 71 yrs old.

    Thankyou Nashos for the memories..

    Major Sarufa Eka
    Operations Officer
    PNGDF Engineering Battalion
    Igam Barracks-Lae

  2. Hi there are you able to share a bit of history about when did the Army Rugby Union team was formed in Port Moresby during the colonial era, reason being one of our players is trying to do his research in order to map out the history of the forerunner to the current Defence Rugby Union team in Port Moresby. Your input will go along way in preserving and celebrating the history of the club.

    The other clubs like the then ADUNiI now University Rugby Union Club celebrated its silver jubilee couple of years back.

    Therefore, we humbly seek your assistance with regards to our query.


    Major David Tiki
    Bn 2IC PNGDF Engineer Battalion.
    (Former PNG Puk Puks Rugby 7’s and 15’s Captain and Defence Rugby Union Great) 1987-2006)

  3. I remember Samuga well. He helped me to make my pidgin approach reasonable. A lovely man & true gentleman.
    A true gentleman, RIP
    Terry 1PIR

    • HI Terry,

      Your reply brought me tears. He truly was a loving dad and a gentleman. Hearing someones else decribe him as such is truly heart warming.

      Thank you for remebering my dad.

  4. Hi my dad passed on but his memories of his days as a solider lives on in my memory…..He was a Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Peter Samuga.

    I love the photos above. Please post any you may have of him in those golden days.

  5. I grew up in Taurama Barracks .. started my schooling in 1968 at Taurama Primary School kindegarten then on to Prep and up to Grade 4 in 1974 when my dad, Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Peter Samuga retired after 22 years of service .. he was CSM Admin Coy when he retired ..
    I can remember one or two teachers .. Miss White (she was said to be sister of the lady lead singer of the Seekers) .. Mr Naihouse or something ..

    very good memories ..

  6. Wonderful to see all those photos.Well done!I arrived in 1PIR in May 1965, served in ACoy as a platoon commander ,later first commander of Mortar platoon and then Support Company Commander.My wife and I loved our time in PNG_ We had to find accomodation in Moresby for first 18 months before getting a married quarter
    I remember my soldiers as being wonderful people to work with.Soldiers such as Sgt Komeng,Cpl Kirung,and of course Sgt Tuvui.

  7. If anyone visiting here has any old photos of PNGVR activities, whether in any of the Unit platoons around PNG (originally TP&NG), I would be really happy…. mine were all destroyed by some “Raskol” who broke into my home in Waigani, stealing an old cash box that I preserved my photos and movies in, by throwing it in the river after wrecking it. I was in Mortar Platoon of Support Coy, PNGVR Murray Bks. 1969 to 1971. Calling all ex-PNGVR servicemen, come in and take a look, and SHARE!

  8. I’m honoured to have discovered this web site. My dad was a Soldier in 1 Platoon, A Coy, TBA, between 1969-1987 apart from his shorter postings to other Military Units, I would like to have some of his Photos. His name is, (83833,Ex.Pte. Peter.Herman. Baket). Anyone?

    • Jimbon,
      It is great that you have found this website which is endeavouring to trace the history of the PIR in its pre-Independence days. Photos are continually being found and placed on this site. It is possible that there is a photo of your father, Herman, but so far unless he is to be found on those photos already posted, then you will have to wait until one is unearthed. The Australian War Memorial in Canberra has some film footage of the PIR in the 1960s which may be of some help. Hope that this is of some help,

  9. Hi, thank you so much for posting the photographs. I was just surfing the net for PNGDF photos and somehow found this site. I am the son of Ex-PTE Stephen. EKA. He is the one in the Rugby Union Team Photo of 1966-67(standing, second person from the left) and 1968 photo (standing, first person from the left) His name has been spelt wrongly, it’s supposed to have been EKA not EAKA. My dad joined the army in 1965 and was with the Assault Pioneers of 1RPIR (Taurama) and used to play Rugby Union for the unit. I’ve seen a lot of his rugby photos. I am so proud of my father. My dad left the army in 1970 and then joined the Public Works Department. He worked with the Works Department till his retirement in 2001.
    I followed my fathers foot steps and also joined the army in 2004 after completing my Bachelors in Civil Engineering at the PNG University of Technology in Lae. Enlisted as an Officer Cadet at the PNG Defence Academy (former JSC) in Lae and later went for further officer training at the Royal Military College – Duntroon in Jan 2006 and graduated in Jun 2007 and was posted to the Engineering Battalion in Lae. I served at the Battalion for 7 years and am now taken up a posting as the Seconded Officer at the School of Military Engineering at Steele Barracks, Moorebank, NSW.

    • It is wonderful that you are able to reconnect with the past using this website. It is our aim to collect as much of the history of the PIR as possible as it is your history just as much as it is our history. The webmaster is happy to receive contributions of articles, photos and memorabilia from pre TPNG Independance. Archives are valuable sources of the past. Thank you for your contribution to this site!

  10. 4th photo from last: Sgt. ian HODDER, in what seems to be PNGVR dress uniform with Navy beret… Am I correct? – I am Ex-PNGVR (Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles) 860673 Cpl Jackway, Mortar Platoon, Murray Bks, POM. I was recruited at D Coy Madang August? 1969, passed basic training, and later transferred to POM Support Coy, Mortar Pl. in early 1970… I had to leave in late 1971 as I was heading back “South”… I still march in Brisbane with the NGVR / PNGVR unit as a separate unit under our own banner. We have a small MUSEUM at Wacol in Brisbane’s WEST (old Wacol Army Barracks).

    • Robert, thanks for your post on this Website. It seems we may have been at Murray Barracks at the same time.
      A number of Nashos march in Brisbane on ANZAC Day with the PIB/PIR Assn and we often march behind the PNGVR Unit. We have visited your worthwhile Museum.
      In the photo, Ian Hodder (Educational Corps) is wearing the standard day dress for Regular soldiers based at Murray Barracks. The PNGVR Reserve uniform at that time may have been similar or even identical to the day Regular Army uniform for Murray Barracks. Certainly, the Juniper Green colour and Navy Blue beret were the same.

      • Ah, that makes sense… never met your unit I think… although you could have given lectures/lessons at our training sessions. Once I was given Corporal’s stripes, I had to teach topography to the local troops… a bit of a bite for me, as in civvy life I had always been uncomfortable on the lectern, or at the blackboard! I went from recruit to corporal in 6 months, and to acting sergeant in another 6, while in Mortar Platoon…. and at the time of discharge was promulgated to all 3 stripes! – I was asked if I would like to accept a Jungle Warfare Training post in Canungra, Qld., but was told that position was so I could go as a UN Observer to Vietnam. – I had to ask my WO, who had been in the AATTV, about that: His reply was “WHAT?!! YOU go to Vietnam? – you are THE WORST SOLDIER I ever came across! (obviously despite my quick rise through the ranks) – YOU couldn’t see a giggle hat in the jungle! – responding, but sir, isn’t that WHY they are made GREEN? – further – Anyhow what made you come up with that observation sir? – He replied ” saw you failing to open fire with GPMG fast enough, and pointing to jungle, looking at feeder local troopie, as if you couldnt see any PIR “enemy” there!” — wow! that guy must have had me BUGGED! – he was absolutely right! Couldn’t even see a black local face in that jungle! hahaha!

      • About the similarity of PIR-PNGVR Uniforms: The shirt and shorts, belt, socks , shoes, were identical, we just used Dark NAVY berets, with a blue patch backing the Badge, and from memory, a Navy Blue tag in the dress socks’ collar, and black PUTTEES over the sock at the ankles, otherwise all similar.

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