Item 10: General William Holmes diary, 23 August 1914-22 February 1915 - Page 62

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[Page 62]

SATURDAY - 12th September 1914.

The wireless station was occupied by our troops at 7-30 last night - 19 Germans and 56 Natives being taken prisoners.   This station is at Bita-Paka or Bebra, and is 8 miles inland  from Kaba Kaul.   The masts were destroyed before our arrival, but the entire plant  otherwise is intact.   It was decided to withdraw all troops from the wireless station and Kaba Kaul, and to transfer them to Herbertshohe and garrison that place as was originally intended. Colonel Watson was ordered to withdraw his troops from Herbertshohe with the    exception of two Companies and re-embark on "Berrima"; and Commander Beresford was ordered to move to Herbertshohe and relieve troops there.   The "Berrima" which was off Herbertshohe, proceeded to Rabaul, and 4 Companies Infantry, M.G. Section and 1 Naval Reserves under Lt.Col. Paton garrisoned the town at 6-0 p.m.

No report has yet been received of yesterday's operations from Commander Beresford.   The Intelligence Officer returned to the ship at 7-0   p.m.; he remained the  previous night at the wireless station and reported verbally on the situation there to the Brigadier.

Brigadier wrote letter to the Acting Governor, German New Guinea, demanding surrender and asking him to come in. This letter was sent by Motor Cyclist Orderly under white flag from Herbertshohe to Toma. Orderly was met on the way and was given a letter from another Official saying letter would be delivered to Governor and reply would be ready at Gire Gire at 4-30 p.m. following day.

Received letter from Admiral enclosing copy of communication sent him previous day by Acting Governor German New Guinea in reply to his demand for surrender of the  Colony, and also rejoinder from Admiral to Governor for delivery to latter.

Lt.-Col. Paton reported occupation of town, seizure of post office and Government Administrative Buildings - posting of outposts and town guards and placing of sentries on residences of German Officials.   One armed Native Policeman was  shot dead while attempting to escape after being challenged by a sentry.   In other respects town quiet.


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