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Photographs and news clippings courtesy of Sgt. Jim (Bill) Semple
This page, dedicated to the memory of Sgt. Donnan, highlights in photos the journey of three of his mates to place a plaque on Mt. Wilhelm at the place where Sgt. Donnan was last seen. It includes news clippings of the day, mud maps prepared by Sgt. Greg Powell (who was on the hiking trip when Sgt. Donnan died), followed by both black and white and coloured photographs.
Mud maps of the journey from the Kegl Sugl airfield to the Saddle Camp on Mt. Wilhelm where Sgt. Donnan was last seen. The mud maps were drawn by Sgt. Greg Powell who was on the hiking trip when Sgt. Christopher Donnan disappeared.
Chris’s brothers Mark and Frank did the climb a few years ago not quite making it to the summit.
Sadly Mark passed on 15 December of this year, 2017.
See the article Chris Donnan’s brothers’ tribute trip to Mt. Wilhelm
They are amazing memories of adventure for the three of us chosen to commemorate the disappearance and untimely death of a mate, Sgt Chris Donnan.
I was with Greg Powell at Goldie River from Oct ’71 until I was transferred to Murray Bks in mid 1972. It is sad that Greg Powell was not with us, although he helped us with the mud map. I think he took the reduced 18 months Nasho and was therefore due back in Oz by June ’72.
Over the years I have met many people connected to Chris but strangely I have not heard from Greg (whom I’m sure was traumatised by the events of Dec-Jan 1971).
Mark and Frank’s trip to New Guinea, and some of Mark’s writing, captures some classic descriptions. Kerry writes above about Mark’s death in December 2017 but it was a memorable trip that he recounted with verve and warm memories. As Chris’s older brother, I too, took an early six-week early exit from National Service but I still have a copy of the wonderful letter that Greg wrote to our family in 1972 and he did everything possible in the circumstances.