28 August 1942

CO 2/14th Lt Col Arthur Key takes command at Isurava as fierce fighting continues. Although 39th should be relieved, its CO Ralph Honner realises his men are needed to hold the position against the overwhelming enemy numbers and both COs persuade Brig Arnold Potts to keep them there.

At Abuari 53rd Battalion has great difficulty holding its ground and is backed up by 2/16th Battalion. 2/16 Regimental Medical Officer, Capt ‘Blue’ Steward, reflects on problems of 53rd Battalion, many of whom are just 18. “They had been dragooned into service, given a hurried medical examination and pushed through their embarkation procedure in 24 hours. They had no chance to arrange their affairs nor even farewell their families … Many of them resented the harsh manner of their conscription, their patent lack of training, their inferior weapons and the uncertain quality of some of their officers.”