Bogged and abandoned on the bank of a river near Buin.
This tank remained 'in situ' where it was abandoned at a river bank in a nearly intact condition. Discovered by Patrol Officer Graham Dent during the early 1970s. Later, during 1974-1975 this tank was salvage by Ray 'Kiwi' Blanchfield and setup as a memorial at Tank Corner Memorial near Tonu and Konga.
Roger Porteous, formally of Bougainville
"One of two Matilda tanks that were abandoned on the banks of the
nearby river and were found there by Graham Dent, a Patrol Officer posted to
Buin. Graham's father had been the commander of one of the tanks during the Bougainville
campaign, and when he heard that his son had been posted to Buin, he asked Graham
to see if the tanks were still where he had left them. They were. Both were virtually
complete, with engines, guns etc, but no breach blocks. The better
of the two was moved out onto the road by Ray 'Kiwi' Blanchfield (around 1974/75).
He set it up as a memorial on a clearing at the T junction of
the old Army road (Buin - Torokina) and the Konga / Tonu road
which went on through Baku to Panguna (final sections built by
Buin Earth moving). When set up, the tank was almost complete,
with twin flat head Chrysler petrol engines and most of the original
Josh McDade visited in 1999:
brass plaque seems to have been removed from
the tank which could have been attached
by welding. The inside of the tank has been
burnt out. There is no engine or mechanics
inside the tank. The inside of the tank
is now home to numerous broken coconut shells
and rubbish. The tank appears to have been
damaged during WWII. There is shrapnel
marks across the front and a large turret dent.
No other distinguishing markings."
Thanks to Jim Watts an Josh McDade for additional information
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August 12, 2018