Thursday, December 28, 2017

REST IN PEACE....HAVALA LAULA....THE LAST FUZZY WUZZY ANGEL....






Pictured above...the last Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel, who had sadly passedaway....Havala Laula...RIP Dear Man





One particular image from the conflict, shot by war photographer George Silk, is immortalised in history - it is the sight of a Guinean villager kindly leading a blinded Australian soldier to safety, both of them barefoot (pictured)




Following on from my Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea posts of a couple of months ago...this sad story shown here below  has just hit our news bulletins...

May we never forget the special Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels....



Thank you......

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5216955/Last-Kokoda-Fuzzy-Wuzzy-Angel-Havala-Laula-dies-aged-92.html



The last of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels: Final hero Papua New Guinean tribesman who came to Australian soldiers' aid during WWII dies aged 92

  • Havala Laula, the last Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel of Kokoda, died on Christmas Eve aged 92 in his remote village
  • He was one of hundreds of tribesman who ferried wounded Australian soldiers to safety on the Kokoda Track
  • Mr Laula was just 15 when Japanese troops invaded, destroying his village and killing his brother
  • In February he visited Australia for the first time to commemorate the campaign's 75th anniversary
  • There he met a war veteran whose life he likely saved when the young officer became sick in the jungle 
The last Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel has died in Papua New Guinea, 75 years after he ferried wounded Australian soldiers to safety in World War II.

Havala Laula died on Christmas Eve aged 92 in the remote village of Kagi on the Kokoda Track, where some of the war's bloodiest battles were fought.

The tribesman was just 15 when Japanese troops landed in Papua New Guinea in 1942 and tried to fight their way south along the track towards the capital Port Morseby to attack Australia.
Havala Laula, 92, the last Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel died in his remote village on the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, 75 years after he ferried wounded Australian soldiers to safety in WWII

Mr Laula (pictured meeting Governor General Peter Cosgrove while laying at wreath at an Anzac Day dawn service in Port Moresby) was just 15 when Japanese troops invaded PNG and tried to fight their way along the track

Later in life Mr Laula became a tour guide for Australians making the pilgrimage along the track

After his brother Sabana was killed and his village destroyed, he joined hundreds of others helping the Australians repel the rampaging invaders.

Mr Laula carried sick and wounded servicemen on his back or stretchers away from the battlefield, often under fire, to where they could be evacuated home.

He remembered wrapping leaves around their wounds along with other bush remedies, and shading them from the harsh sun with banana leaves.
T
hey also brought food, water, and ammunition along the track to the front lines.

Mr Laula visited Australia for the first time in February for the campaign's 75th anniversary and met Kokoda veteran Alan 'Kanga' Moore.

In an emotional reunion, Lieutenant Moore said he believed Mr Laula carried him out after he contracted malaria, dengue fever, hookworm, dysentery, and hepatitis. 

'I am old, you are old — we meet for the last time,' Mr Laula told the ABC after the then-21-year-old credited Papua New Guinea natives with his survival.

He also spoke of witnessing one of the last massacres of the war, as Japanese soldiers slaughtered many Papua New Guinea people who helped the enemy

Later in life Mr Laula became a tour guide for Australians making the pilgrimage along the track.

'Friendship between Australians and Papua New Guinea must live on in all generations to come,' he said in a PNG Tourism Board video earlier this year.

'When we die, our children and their children's children must keep that bond forever, until the end of time.'
Mr Laula (R) visited Australia for the first time in February for the campaign's 75th anniversary and met Kokoda veteran Alan 'Kanga' Moore (L) whose life he likely saved when the young officer became sick in the jungle

Tribesmen like Mr Laula transformed into the unexpected heroes of the Pacific War of 1942 after saving hundreds of wounded troops as the rampaging Japanese army fought their way through the jungle

Tributes from Australian veterans and tour operators poured into social media upon news of Mr Laula's death, saying Australia owed him a great debt.

'This inspirational man will be missed by so many in Papua New Guinea and Australia. His legacy will be remembered by all that walked the Kokoda Track,' his former employer No Roads Expeditions said.

The service of Mr Laula and his fellow tribesmen was captured in extraordinary black-and-white photos from the war.
The indigenous saviours nursed and carried soldiers to safety, and in one iconic case a villager was even photographed leading a blinded Australian man away from danger

Their compassion and care of the casualties earned them admiration and respect from the Australian troops, who nicknamed these men their 'Fuzzy Wuzzy' angels.

The native islanders offered soldiers a brief, shining ray of humanity in an otherwise cruel and barbaric war zone.
One Australian soldier described what the sympathetic locals did for his country's troops.

'They carried stretchers over seemingly impassable barriers, with the patient reasonably comfortable.

The care they give to the patient is magnificent,' he said.

'If night finds the stretcher still on the track, they will find a level spot and build a shelter over the patient. They will make him as comfortable as possible fetch him water and feed him if food is available, regardless of their own needs.'

Moving black-and-white pictures show the kind Guineans heaving severely wounded men through rough terrain, using their local knowledge to get the allied soldiers to safety
Their compassion and care of the casualties earned them admiration and respect from the Australian troops, who nicknamed these men their 'Fuzzy Wuzzy' angels
The native islanders offered soldiers a brief, shining ray of humanity in an otherwise cruel and barbaric war zone

One Australian soldier described what the sympathetic locals did for his country's troops. He said: 'They carried stretchers over seemingly impassable barriers, with the patient reasonably comfortable.

The care they give to the patient is magnificent'

'They sleep four each side of the stretcher and if the patient moves or requires any attention during the night, this is given instantly. These were the deeds of the "Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels" - for us!'

Raphael Oimbari was a local labourer, not part of the medical team. He found 23-year-old Private George Whittington lying blinded in the terrain during fighting around Buna in December of 1942.

A Japanese sniper had shot Whittington just above his left eye, leaving him temporarily blind.

The native islanders offered kindness and help to the troops who worked to defend Port Moresby from the Japanese army


Oimbari led the soldier back to safety, in a selfless act. Touchingly, the two families stayed in contact, even after Whittington died of disease several months later.

The fighting in Papua New Guinea in the latter half of 1942 was an attempt by the Japanese to capture Port Moresby, the Guinan capital. It was part of a campaign to cut Australia off from its allies in World War.

The Japanese made massive gains on the Pacific Island but ran out of supplies before capturing Port Moresby.

However, the Australians were still unable to defeat the Japanese who were far better equipped for the ensuing fight in them thick jungles of New Guinea.During the war in Papua New Guinea, the local population who were sympathetic to the Australian troops would assist where they could.

Papuans living in the villages along the Kokoda Track prior to the Second World War (1939 - 45) lived a wholly traditional existence. Their only previous contact with the modern world had come with the occasional visits of Australian Government patrol officers. They knew nothing of the war or the nature of modern warfare, until it came crashing into their villages in July 1942. 

Notably they would help in transporting stores and equipment over the rough terrain. A close relationship and bonds of friendship developed between these local men and the Australians, particularly when the sick and wounded required transporting back to field aid stations.

It is a well accepted fact that many men would have died where they fell in Papua New Guinea had it not been for these men who became affectionately known as the 'Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.'

Whilst recovering from his wounds, George later died as a result of contracting scrub typhus on 12 Feb 1943.

Australia had been presenting commemorative medals to family members of the villagers in recognition of their service to Australian Servicemen during World War Two.
The fighting in Papua New Guinea in the latter half of 1942 was an attempt by the Japanese to capture Port Moresby, the Guinan capital

However, the Australians were still unable to defeat the Japanese who were far better equipped for the ensuing fight in them thick jungles of New Guinea

Major General Vasey of the Australian Army presents medals at a ceremony to thank New Guineans for the invaluable service they provided for Aussie troops, March 1943

31 comments:

  1. It is rather an impressive piece in the Daily Mail but where is it in Australian media? I haven't seen anything, have you?

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    Replies
    1. If you want to split hairs, Andrew....this was the "Daily Mail" Australia
      Edition...and it was in the UK edition. And it was on the Australian news....I saw it via the Channel 7 6 pm news...Thursday, 28th Dec...hence my posting this post.

      I guess it it worthy enough news to be covered by many outlets, not only here in Australia.

      Delete
    2. PS....If you had clicked on the link at the end of the post, you would have seen it was from the Daily News...Australia.

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    3. I am just curious as to why I did not hear about it. Yes, forgot about the quite successful online Aussie edition of the Daily Mail.

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  2. Your post is a fine tribute to the deceased and the Papua Guinea natives.
    Haval Laula (RIP) was an inspirational figure; let's hope the new generations in both Australia and Papua Guinea will follow his legacy, and not only in war times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so, too, DUTA.

      When I heard and saw on the television news earlier this evening about this wonderful man's passing I shed tears.

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  3. I had no idea about this piece of history, lovely to call them all angels.

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    Replies
    1. Back in November, Linda I made mention of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels in my posts re my visit to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea back in the mid-Eighties.

      They certainly were angels...and, hopefully they will be forever held in high esteem, and never forgotten for what they did.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for sharing. I never would have known this story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Annie...the story of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels from WW2 is one that should be told and they should forever be revered.

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  5. You know I learn something new every single day I live. I did not know they even existed. Extremely interested. I am so sorry the last man died. Love, sandie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I heard about it on the news and read about it in the newspaper, I felt very sad, Sandie.

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  6. "Fuzzy Wuzzy"? It would be interesting to talk with a soldier who interacted with these helpful fellows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Goatman...our soldier held the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels highly...and rightly so. They memory will linger long.

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  7. This story really deserved more coverage than it received. Sadly kindness seems to be undervalued in our media. And certainly by our politicians. Of all flavours.

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    Replies
    1. Hi EC....We all need to be made aware of this sadness, that is for certain.

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  8. Well done that man!
    Fuzzy wuzzy angel indeed.

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    Replies
    1. Yes...they certainly were Angels, Adullamite...and should never be forgotten for what they did.

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  9. He did a marvellous job. Interesting article.
    Happy New Year Lee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Angels certainly were angels.

      I hope 2018 treats you and yours kindly, Margaret...and I look forward to going along with you on your travels. :)

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  10. Angels of the highest order I'd say. Giving so much help without any thought of the dangers they put themselves in. Sad to see the last of them gone now. As he said, may the peace and friendship last till the end of time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, River....they certainly were special. And their selflessness and bravery must never be forgotten.

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  11. SO many unsung heros leaving us...Bless him.
    hughugs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Donna...and their praises should linger long...loudly to be heard...

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  12. Thank you for sharing this story of bravery and friendship in the face of brutality. I salute Havala Laula. He was not a "fuzzy wuzzy", he was a man like Alan Moore. May their stories endure in the name of peace and goodwill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Havala Laula was a Fuzzy Wuzzy, Yorkie....a name he and all the other brave, caring Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels carried with pride.

      He didn't write books, but books certainly could be, and should be written about him and the rest of the Angels for their honourable, brave deeds.

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    2. In Britain the term "fuzzy wuzzy" is generally seen as a racist slur - on a par with the "n" word.

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    3. No such association in this case, Yorkie. The Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels are held in high esteem; they're honoured...and rightly so. They were proud to be called so...and deservedly held their heads high.

      Delete
  13. Lee ... thank you so much for sharing this story.
    So special.

    My good wishes

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. G'day, Jan....it is a very special story, and the moment I heard of Havala Laula's passing, I knew I had to post it on my blog. I was deeply saddened...and tears were shed.

      The story of the wonderful Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels one that hopefully will be passed down through the generations.

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    ReplyDelete