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Next Lecture2021-10-07T23:06:54+00:00

The Elements of Military Hygiene: Australian Pacific Forces, 1945

An online presentation by Barry Leithhead

Military hygiene is an essential component of any war effort. In the severe tropical climate of the Second World War’s Pacific theatre, disease disabled and killed more Australian troops than the enemy did.

Dr Cecil Evelyn Aufrere Cook (1897-1985) CBE, MD, DTMH, DPH, RACGP, ACMA joined the Commonwealth’s Military Reserve as an honorary captain in 1932. He was Medical Officer for the Darwin Garrison until 1938, when he was appointed Garrison Commander. In 1939 he joined the School of Military Hygiene as a lecturer and until 1941 was a Medical Officer in 4 Armoured Regiment. Cook enlisted for war service in 1941 and was demobilised in February 1946, with the rank of Lt-Col AD-H (HQ).

Military Hygiene applies at three levels – personal, camp and region. Dr Cook addressed all three levels and made special studies of regional hygiene profiles before occupation (Morotai Island), before battle (OBOE 1 Tarakan and OBOE 2 Borneo) and after victory (Japan). This talk examines Cook’s studies of Japan to prepare the Commonwealth Occupation Force for their engagement in that country.

With assistance of some images the talk will describe the scope and content of his hygiene training regime and reports on hygiene risks in Japan, as well as background information. A brief written paper for participants provides details of Cook’s military and civilian roles and awards in his career of over 50 years. A more detailed written paper will be available after the talk.

Lecture Time

The presentation is scheduled live for 11:00AM AEST on Saturday, 16th October 2021. It will be accessible online via Google Meet. Details for how to join are located at the end of this page. For further information call 0419 698 783 or email:


About the Presenter

BARRY LEITHHEAD is a retired management consultant specialising in corporate governance, an author, presenter and historian. He is the author of A Vision for Australia’s Health: Dr Cecil Cook At Work (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2019). His partner Robin McIntyre is Cecil Cook’s daughter.

Google Meet Set up Instructions

NOTE: You must have a Google account to use Google Meet. If you don’t have one, don’t worry you can create an account. It’s free and easy:
Create A Google Account (if you don’t have one)

Tip: You don’t need a Gmail account to create a Google Account. You can use your non-Gmail email address to create one instead.

  1. Go to the Google account Sign In page:
  2. Click Create account.
  3. Enter your name
  4. In the “Username” field, enter a username.
  5. Enter and confirm your password.
  6. Click Next
    • Optional: Add and verify a phone number for your account.
  7. Click Next

Using an existing email address:

  1. Go to the Google Account Sign In page:
  2. Click Create Account.
  3. Enter your name.
  4. Click Use my current email address instead.
  5. Enter your current email address.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Verify your email address with the code sent to your existing email.
  8. Click Verify.

How to join a Google Meet meeting/lecture on desktop via meeting invite link

  1. Send an email to the President or RSVP as early as possible confirming your intention to join the event.
  2. The President will send you an email invitation with a URL button.
  3. Click “yes” right down the bottom of the email to confirm you are “going”.
  4. Before the scheduled time of the event, remember to log in to your Google account.
  5. Click on the meeting invite URL button that the President shared via email.
  6. This will load the Google Meet website ( and allow you to join the event.
  7. Depending on the meeting’s set-up, you may enter the meeting right away, or you may need to wait for the host to arrive first.
  8. Approve the request for permission to use your computer’s audio and camera.
  9. Please make sure you turn off your microphone to have respect for the person speaking.
  10. There are options on Google Meet like the chatbox at the bottom. If you have any questions, feel free to type your questions in the chat function on the right.

If you have any problems regarding any of the steps listed above, please don’t hesitate to call or email the President and he will help sort out the problem.

Mobile: 0419 698 783


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