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24 February 2012


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Does anybody know if Philip Selth is still alive? My last contact with him was by email in 2016. He was researching my father's career (Lt Col Duncan LB Goslett, CO of the Australian War Crimes Unit in Japan after WWII).

Haven't heard from Philip since he stepped down from the NSW Bar Association last year, Peter. I suggest you contact the Association to get a contact email - KJ

Hi Kerry, I am wondering if the documentary was ever produced. Your Dad was a good friend of many of the older Parers & Philip Selth OAM was in contact with me in 2011 & I was not much help other than to say they all held him in the highest respect & considered him the bravest of men & certainly an unsung hero.

I have a copy of a four page handwritten letter to Eric Miller QC from James Austin McMurria of Georgia USA who was piloting a bomber & shot down out to sea from Aitape in 1943.

Our beautiful Island people of Aitape looked after him for some months until he was captured & taken to Rabaul in August. Tragic that James McMurria was not contacted before the court-martial in 1946 as his testimony would have ruled out it proceeding.

He wrote about your father's qualities of leadership, energy & efficency which truly afforded a buffer between the POWs & the Japanese.

He was regarded by all the POW with admiration, respect & with something close to worship. Many occassions he broke out of prison at the risk of death to steal Aterbrin & other medicines for the POWs.

I lived in Kerema during the time John Murphy was District Commissioner. As a school friend of his daughters I don't remember him being anything but very well respected.

There is plenty of information on him at the Fryer Library at University of Queensland (I presume donated by his family). It would be very interesting to see a documentary of his life - has this happened yet?

Not to our knowledge, R Rusch - KJ

Of course I have my father's diaries from PNG and his original manuscript and photos of his life . And yet no one has taken the time or seen the necessity to get in touch with me. My father and I spoke often about his experiences throughout his life and I have been present when he has been discussing his prisoner of war experiences with his friends.

Sounds like the book on John Murphy will be quite interesting. Does anybody here remember Mr. Murphy; or the circumstances surrounding his court martial?

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