These are the original
reports of two of the most important and controversial patrols ever
done in New Guinea.
1) The Strickland-Purari
Patrol 1934-1935. Officers in charge were Jack G.Hides and James
O'Malley. This report consists of 108 pages and 1 blueprint-type
topological map. Jack Hides was the most famous of the New Guinea
Patrol Officers. He wrote several books about his daring patrols into
the unexplored interior of New Guinea including: Papuan Wonderland,
Through Wildest Papua, Savages in Serge and Beyond the Kubea. Hides
died in 1938 aged only 31. The Strickland-Purari Patrol is considered
to be the most controversial of all the New Guinea patrols. It is
estimated that at least 32 recalcitrant natives were shot dead by
Hides and his party. An enquiry was held at Kikori - Resident
Magistrate Humphries found that the killings were justified. The
report makes excellent reading and includes the names of most of the
party and details about costs and provisions. Hides has signed the
report twice and made numerous handwritten corrections, including
censoring some revealing passages about the unsuitability of the
carriers. This is the original uncorrected report. It is estimated
that less than 5 copies of this version were produced. Prior to Hides'
lecture at Parliament House in October 1935, fifty copies of the
corrected report were bound and stapled and sent to the Ministers of
the Commonwealth Parliament.
2) The Bamu-Purari
Patrol 1936. Officers in charge were Ivan Champion and C.T.J. Adamson.
This report consists of 123 pages by Champion and an 8 page
"Prospecting Report" by Adamson. Champion has been called
"the last great explorer of Papua" and wrote an acknowledged
classic in the literature of exploration: Across New Guinea from the
Fly to the Sepik. Sir Hubert Murray the Chief Justice of New Guinea
acknowledged that the Bamu-Purari Patrol would "always rank high
in the history of exploration and peaceful penetration". There
was much criticism of Hides when Champion's report appeared. Hides had
reported heavy populations, valuable agricultural country and possible
mineral wealth. He had claimed that he had been forced by the
hostility of the native tribes to kill many of them, in self-defence.
Champion's findings and experiences contradicted those of Hides, in
every important respect. Ivan Champion has signed the report and made
several handwritten corrections. This is the original uncorrected
report. It is estimated that less than 5 copies of this version were
These reports were
rescued from a pile of burning documents at Mendi Southern Highlands
Provincial H.Q in 1975 by Keith Buxton. According to Keith, the
villagers were celebrating independence by having a "colonial
burn-up". Indeed scorch marks can be seen on the front edge of
the Bamu-Purari Patrol report (does not affect the text). Keith has
written about the circumstances of acquisition on the front of the
reports. Considering their cheap construction and hard life, the
reports are in remarkably good condition. Both reports have been
fitted with thin cardboard covers and have tape on their spines. Some
of the thin paper pages have small tears and dog-eared corners.
Also included are two
books about these famous patrols:
Wonderland, Blackies Travel Library edition, first published 1936,
with dust wrapper in good condition. This scarce book is Hides'
sanitised account of the Strickland-Purari Patrol.
2) Last Frontiers,
The Explorations of Ivan Champion of Papua by James Sinclair.
Published 1988 in a special limited edition of 1000 (this being
No.565). Signed by both Ivan Champion and James Sinclair. This
excellent book discusses the Bamu-Purari Patrol in detail.