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Peter: I recently came across this website (www.godstick.com) which contained the below catalogue entry.

Who is Keith Buxton? I think I've heard the name before but memory fails me. Secondly, who legally owns these two reports? Thank you Keith Buxton for having the wit to rescue the material if that was the situation but I would have thought that despite this act of salvage that ownership of the material may not have passed from the State.

I enquired as to price and received the following reply: Hi Peter, Thanks for your enquiry. These are important documents - I want AU$5500 for them. Regards Scott ----- Original Message ----- From: Peter Salmon To: sales@godstick.com Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2002 6:06 PM Subject: ITEM G122 Re ITEM G122 - Description: Important Patrol Officer Reports Is this item still available for sale and if so, what is the price?

Description: Important Patrol Officer Reports

 

Item: G122

(click on images to enlarge)

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 produced.

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:

1) Papuan 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.


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