Media Release – Wartime Tales To Bring History To Life

The Battle of Guadalcanal

For Immediate Release


Honiara, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands – 5 August 2017 – Family members of veterans who fought in battles in Solomon Islands during World War Two, will tell their stories at a public meeting in Honiara next month.

The conference, ‘Among Those Present’: Exploring New Perspectives of the World War Two Experience in Solomon Islands, is being organised as part of the 75th anniversary commemorations to mark the Battle of Guadalcanal.

In the year 1942, Allied and Japanese Imperial forces clashed in major fighting on Tulagi and Guadalcanal, resulting in the deaths of more than 30,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen. The battles raged on Guadalcanal from 7th August, when US Marines landed at Red Beach, until February, 1943 when the last surviving Japanese soldiers were evacuated. The outcome of fighting on Guadalcanal is recognised as a vital turning point in the Pacific war. Many more battles then followed throughout Solomon Islands, especially New Georgia and Vella Lavella, before the full Allied victory was achieved.

The 75th anniversary conference will be held in the Kukum Lecture Theatre at the Solomon Islands National University, Honiara from 09:00hrs on Saturday 5th August, 2017. It is open to the public and is free of charge.

Speakers from Solomon Islands and overseas will talk about a range of wartime events, including major battles at Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal and the first aerial dogfights fought between US and Japanese fighter pilots. Relatives of Solomon Islands Coastwatchers and Scouts will also be present to tell stories of the courageous service of their family members.

The conference is organised by the Solomons Scouts and Coastwatchers’ Trust as part of a range of activities planned for Honiara between the 5th and 9th August, 2017. Further information about the conference, including the names of speakers, will be released in the weeks ahead.

Dr. Martin Hadlow


Media Release [PDF]