Honouring Wartime Help: 2/2nd Association 1945-1975

In the immediate post-war period, members of the 2/2nd re-adjusted to civilian life, establishing careers and raising families. To remain in contact with each other they formed the 2/2nd Commando Association of Australia in 1946.

Their desire to repay the East Timorese for their wartime assistance and suffering grew steadily with time.

Despite Portuguese restrictions, individual members such as Keith Hayes contacted East Timorese wartime helpers such as Berta Sandanah Martines. When restrictions were relaxed in 1966, some went to Timor to search for their criados, providing assistance where needed.

Sadly many criados had died or disappeared.

Twenty one members of the 2/2nd Commando Association and criados

Twenty one members of the 2/2nd Commando Association, their wives and some surviving criados attended the opening of the Timor Memorial at Dare, in April 1969. The memorial was designed by Portuguese architects following ideas provided by former commanding officer, Bernard Callinan.
Original source unknown. Featured in Cyril Ayris, All the Bull’s Men, 2006