Sam Templeton

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Samuel Victor Templeton
Born 1900–1901
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Died 26 July 1942 (aged c41–42) 
near Kokoda, New Guinea
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch Australian Army Emblem.JPG Australian Army
Rank Captain
Commands held 'B' Company, 39th Battalion

Second World War

Captain Samuel Victor Templeton (1900–1942) was an officer in the Australian Army during the Second World War. He is well known for his actions with the 39th Battalion as the commander of 'B' Company during the First Battle of Kokoda and went missing in action on the 26 July 1942 near the village of Oivi.

Templeton's Crossing was named in honour of Captain Sam Templeton. It is the first point where the Kokoda Track, from Port Moresby, crossed Eora Creek.[1][2]

Search for his remains[edit]

Wayne Wetherall, a PNG campaign historian and the founder of the Kokoda Spirit trekking company, travelled to Japan in 2009 to meet Kokichi Nishimura, one of the last survivors of the Japanese 144th Regiment to ask him about Templeton. Templeton's son Reg wanted to know what happened to his father, as there had been various conflicting stories, none confirmed. Nishimura believed that he had buried Templeton. Nishimura said he had not been present at Templeton's death, but that he had been captured and when interrogated before Lieutenant Colonel Hatsuo Tsukamoto, commander of the 144th regiment, lied and said "There are 80,000 Australian soldiers waiting for you in Moresby" and laughed at Tsukamoto, who became enraged and killed him with his sword. Nishimura later found the body with a sword or bayonet blade protruding from its side, and buried it because of the smell. Nishimura returned to PNG in 2010 at 90 years of age, and showed Wetherall the place he believed Templeton was buried, but no body was found.[3]


  1. ^ "Battle of Templeton's Crossing". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 5 September 2011. 
  2. ^ When a drop zone was established at Myola, the main route used was diverted through there. The route from Myola, north, first crosses Eora Creek higher up, where Dump 1 was established.
  3. ^ The Australian Kokoda mystery solved April 24, 2010 Retrieved on September 25, 2012