As this blog gets bigger, I find it harder and harder to find past posts. I suppose it's most frustrating when I know that I have said something on a topic but simply cannot find it using a combination of tags and the search facility.
The return to Australia of the bodies of two Australian SAS soldiers killed inside Indonesia during the Confrontation period is a case in point. I know I wrote something on this un-declared war between Indonesia and the newly formed Malaysia in which Australian forces were involved as part of Commonwealth forces supporting Malaysia, but could not find it.
I will write again about this at some point, for the history of Australian involvement in Asia in the period after the end of the Second World War has become something of a historical blank spot outside the Vietnam conflict. For the moment, the Wikipedia article on Confrontation provides a good overview,while the Australian War Memorial site deals with the conflict from an Australian perspective.
Lieutenant Hudson and Private Moncrieff were lost on March 21, 1966 after being swept away as they and two other soldiers attempted to cross a flood-swollen river while on a covert mission inside Indonesia. The bodies were recovered by a joint Indonesia-Australia team with the aid of local villagers.
It is actually quite hard to cast one's mind back to this period even though it is recent history. Certainly, few then could have envisaged the changes that have taken place in Indonesia and in Australia's relations with Indonesia.
The return of the bodies of the two SAS soldiers is especially important to the families and to the Australian Defence Forces. It is also another sign of the continuing cooperation between the two countries.