9 November 1942

While the 16th and 25th Brigades are locked in the deadly battle for Oivi-Gorari, outside Moresby General Thomas Blamey addresses the remnants of the 25th Brigade at Koitaki sports ground.

Speaking to the men who had held up the initial Jap advance over the Track at devastating cost, Blamey delivers his controversial ‘rabbits that run’ speech in which the Diggers believe he insinuates they ‘ran like rabbits’ on the Track.

Blamey will later claim he intended no offence and was referring to the Japs. The Diggers present had little doubt he was criticising them and took it very badly. The 2/16th Medical Officer Henry ‘Blue’ Steward will later write: “The entire parade, officers and men, were almost molten with rage.”

Meanwhile, at Oivi, 23 Diggers are killed in action on the day as the stalemate continues.