The fourth episode of In Their Footsteps, aired on Sunday 29 May 2011, edged ahead in the ratings, up 3% on the previous week, equalling 60 Minutes on 987,000 viewers in an extremely competitive timeslot and evening.
The story of 21-year-old Nathan Folkes’ search for his great-great uncle, Salvation Army officer Major Albert Moore who served on the Kokoda Track, was a wonderful exploration of the wartime journey of a man of compassion and courage.
Albert Moore was one of the best loved of all the characters in the Kokoda campaign. He was the subject of one of the great cinematographer Damien Parer’s finest images. Parer captured Albert lighting a cigarette for wounded Digger Lt Val Gardner.
In that image, Parer immortalised Albert Moore’s character and work. Many experts have likened the photograph to Michelangelo’s Pieta, where Mary cradles Christ’s body after the Crucifixion.
Albert Moore won the Diggers’ acclaim for his courage in setting up his tea and coffee stand just behind the frontlines. At Gona, when the Australians confronted a deeply-entrenched Japanese force intent on fighting to the death, Albert silently handed out coffee and chocolate to Diggers literally metres away from the enemy.
Nathan Folkes proudly walked in Albert’s footsteps and gained a powerful insight into the man and his unshakeable belief in peace and God in the midst of war and carnage.
Next week, Footsteps features the story of Billy Brandis, one of our remarkable Z Specials commandos, who fought in the Pacific War in WWII.