The Military History Society of New South Wales Incorporated presents

No Ground Given

By Adrian Clack


At the battles of Mission Ridge and Brigade Hill, 7-8 September 1942, in the legendary Kokoda Trail Campaign, three sister battalions of the AIF, 2/14th from Victoria, 2/16th from Western Australia and 2/27th from South Australia were together for the first time.

Attacked on the upper slope of Mission Ridge, the 2/27th resisted fiercely, leading to a Japanese flanking move which cut the 2/14th and 2/16th off from Brigade Headquarters. The Japanese couldn’t be dislodged from the track, so the order to withdraw was given.

But the 2/27th hadn’t yielded and launched several bayonet charges to give other units the opportunity to withdraw. Because of this delaying action, they themselves were forced to withdraw by cutting a parallel track and carry stretcher cases from the other units with them.

They succeeded in this backbreaking task under the sterling leadership of Captain Harry Katekar (pictured), who was awarded the Military Cross for his actions.

A historian and guide for On Track Expeditions, Adrian Clack has crossed the Kokoda Track 12 times. He will discuss these dramatic events with the aid of display items.


Biography – Adrian Clack


Adrian is currently working as a historian and guide for On Track Expeditions taking regular trekking groups on the Kokoda Trail. He has completed twelve crossings of the track.

His interest in Australian military history stems from his grandfather, Percy James Clack NX194756 who served with the 2/9th Battalion AIF and his great-uncle Donald McKenzie NX46603 who was a member of 2/30th Battalion taken prisoner of war after the fall of Singapore and surviving the Thai-Burma Railway.

Prior to working as a tour guide, he was a member of the New South Wales Police from 1999 to 2011. During his service, he helped lead the first group of Aboriginal young people across the Kokoda Trail. As a result, he was the joint winner of the Eurobodalla Shire NAIDOC Award for Crime Prevention in 2007 and joint winner of the National Crime Prevention Award in 2009.

Prior to joining the police, Adrian was a school counsellor and history teacher. He has a Bachelor of Arts (History and English Literature).

Saturday 1 June 2019, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Goulburn Room, Level 4, City of Sydney RSL, 565 George Street, Sydney

Although entry is free, a gold coin donation is appreciated.


Flyer – No Ground Given