[Duplicate of page 258]
At Sea - Jany. 10th 15.
To Colonel W. Holmes, D.S.O., V.D.
Commanding 1st Aust. N.& M. Exped. Force.
On Jan. 5th I was detailed by Lieut. Comm. L.S. Bracegirdle, R.A.N. Commanding Naval Garrison, Herbertshohe, New Britain, to proceed with Lieut. Bond, R.A.N.R. to restore that part of Kabakaul-Bitapaka road damaged by German mine, exploded by Lieut. Goadby, R.A.E. on previous day.
I have to report that, while lunching, Lieut. Bond accidentally unearthed an electric lead.
On investigation we found that it led to a hitherto unknown German mine, 30 yards on Kabakaul side of the mine exploded by Lieut Goadby.
The mine consisted of a cast iron pipe, 21ft x 3in. diam., packed with "noble's" gelignite. Mine was buried longitudinally in middle of road, at a depth of approx. 2 ft. 6in., being covered by stones, coral, bolts and nails.
Lieut. Bond had mine removed into bush on left hand side of the road leading towards Bitapaka - distance from road being about 50 to 60 yards.
When mine was exploded, it caused a column of earth, etc. to be hurled about 150ft. high. Surrounding trees were lacerated up to a height of 60ft. Dirt and debris fell at a distance of 200 yards from scene of explosion. The explosion caused an excavation 30 ft. x 12ft. x 6ft. in depth approx. Explosion was heard at Herbertshohe, a distance of about 5 or 6 miles.
(Sgd) R.S. Veale, M'man R.A.N.R.