TUMBY BAY – Between 1961 and 1975, more than 450 Papua New Guinean kiaps were in government service during the significant period in PNG history leading to independence.
Now a group of expatriate former kiaps is seeking to find details of these men.
Several years ago, Australian kiaps who had served in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea sought to have their service recognised in a meaningful way by the Australian government and, importantly, the Australian public.
After a long campaign this recognition came in the form of the Police Overseas Service Medal.
During the campaign an attempt was made to compile a list of all the Australian kiaps who had served in Papua New Guinea.
This proved a difficult task because of the inadequate records available and it was abandoned in favour of former kiaps identifying themselves.
This list was produced but required a lot more work which has been undertaken by ex-kiap Ross Wilkinson through the Ex-Kiap website. His work was greatly assisted by the contribution from a number of other former kiaps, notably District Commissioner Bill Brown.
Another list of kiaps who lost their lives during the course of their service was also produced by former District Commissioner and author, Jim Sinclair. This was expanded by ex-kiap Paul Oates to include all who had lost their lives whilst in service regardless of the cause.
This list is known as the Kiap’s Honour Roll. Ross Wilkinson has incorporated the honour roll into a master list, otherwise known as a nominal roll, which is divided into several categories and time periods.
Kiaps who served with the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU) during World War II have their own list, as do kiaps who served prior to the war.
These lists, although extensive, are still incomplete and further information is still coming to light.
One of the categories incorporated into the master list is that containing the names and details of Papua New Guinean kiaps who served from 1961-75 and beyond.
Information about these kiaps, of which there are believed to have been more than 450 is also difficult to find.
The list represents a significant period in Papua New Guinea’s history and the part played in it by Papua New Guinean officers.
PNG Attitude readers might be interested in the list, which can be downloaded on a PDF file here, and may be able to provide further details.
One aspect that has been impossible to determine is whether any Papua New Guinean kiaps lost their lives during their service.
This and any other information would be useful in the ongoing quest to have the kiaps of both Australia and Papua New Guinea recognised for their work on a number of proposed memorials.
If you can supply any additional information it will be gratefully received and you can email Ross Wilkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.