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Forden G.C.
Courage Personified
Geoff Forden

Name: Forden G.C.
Service No: NX97491
Rank: Cpl.

Brief History

 Signal instrument mechanic who featured in the operation on Tpr. Smith by Captain Oakley, Made the clips from threepenny pieces used as sutures. After the gun battle on the upper Danmap at Wallum(see Bulletin item below)

(Details required)

View Detailed War Service Record

Vale: 28/11/2012. THIS SERVICE RECORD COPIED FROM A.W.M. Nominal rolls WW2
Service Australian Army 
Service Number NX97491 
Date of Birth 15 Jun 1922
Place of Birth INVERELL, NSW 
Date of Enlistment 25 Jul 1942 
Locality on Enlistment INVERELL, NSW 
Place of Enlistment PADDINGTON, NSW 
Next of Kin FORDEN, JOHN 
Date of Discharge 10 Jan 1946
Rank Corporal 


Excerpt from The Bulletin,  1944


From "The Age" Special Correspondent

The  twenty four year old Manly doctor who saved the life of a cavalry
commando by an intricate brain operation when the injured man's comrades
despaired for his life is now hailed as a hero by all the men.

The full facts of the doctor's outstanding fight to save the man, whose
skull had been penetrated by a Japanese bullet, leaving portion of the brain
exposed, can now be revealed after a visit to the cavalry's isolated outpost
in the Torricelli Mountains of New Guinea.

The operation was a real community task.  Some of the men made a rough
operating table from jungle timber.  The signallers sent out an SOS for
blood plasma and penicillin to the RAAF, receiving it at daylight next
morning.  Blood from three volunteers was put into a makeshift cradle above
the operating table.  Cooks started up the fires, keeping gallons of water
boiling for sterilising the implements and for buckets of tea.

By a flickering hurricane lamp men fashioned a hot wire cauter from signal
wire, which the doctor later used to cauterise delicate blood vessels as he
replaced the brain.

From threepenny pieces saved from Christmas puddings sent by friends at home
the two boys made tiny silver fasteners so that the doctor could secure the
scalp.  Signalmen provided additional lighting by erecting small bulbs over
the table.

The operation commenced at 11.30 p.m. and continued for six hours throughout
the night.  The unconscious man's head was held steadily all the time by one
soldier.  When the delicate operation was finished the doctor continued
preparing the blood plasma and penicillin dropped by the plane before he
handed the patient over to an orderly.  All then dropped exhausted on their

2/7 Squadron


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