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Kokoda Legend Captain Sam Templeton

Authors: Mr David Howell
Military History, Kokoda
135mm x 210mm

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One of the finest soldiers and most courageous leaders I have ever known.Lt Doug McClean, D Coy, 39th Battalion

If you have trekked Kokoda, then the campsite of Templeton’s Crossing will be familiar. Discover the story of the man behind the name.
Captain Sam Templeton was the first Australian Officer to be captured by the Japanese in the Kokoda Campaign. After being interrogated by his captors he was executed on the battlefield.

Templeton had predicted his fate, telling a platoon commander, if ‘he went into action, he wouldn’t come back’. Having resigned himself to his destiny, Templeton misled his captors on the numerical strength of the Australian forces waiting in Kokoda and Port Moresby.
Did Templeton’s misinformation slow the initial push by the Yokoyama Advance Force into the Owen Stanley Range, allowing the Australian Imperial Force to join the fight earlier? Did Templeton create doubt in the mind of the commander of the South Seas Force, influencing an operational change for the attack on Port Moresby?

A quiet and often aloof character, Templeton’s name and actions became synonymous with Kokoda. Originally from Belfast, Templeton is reputed to have helped quash the Irish rebellion, served in submarines with the Royal Navy during the First World War and to have fought with the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War.

Kokoda Legend goes beyond the myth to discover the real contribution Captain Sam Templeton made to stopping the Japanese advance over the Owen Stanley Range in 1942.

Mr David Howell

Mr David Howell

Mr David Howell is a Melbourne based author, Kokoda tour guide and historian specialising in the history of wartime New Guinea. David started his Kokoda career at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway in Concord, NSW. Here he took thousands of visitors around the memorial educating them on the significance Kokoda. David continued as a guide […]

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