Moving book a labour of love for Warwick-born author.
Moving book a labour of love for Warwick-born author. Contributed

Book review: Toowoomba to Torokina

BOOK: Toowoomba to Torokina
AUTHOR: Bob Doneley
PUBLISHER: Big Sky Publishing
RRP: $34.99 hardback

WARWICK-BORN author Bob Doneley worked as a veterinarian for almost 30 years.

He enlisted in the Army Reserve and served as an infantry officer with the Queensland University Regiment, the 9th Battalion Royal Queensland and the 25th Regiments, retiring in 1996 as a major.

Now living just outside Toowoomba, Bob has devoted 12 years to the writing of his book, following an earlier one on the 25th Battalion: 1915-1918.

His second book follows the battalion's history through to 1945 and encompasses the most important events in its illustrious history, including the Battle of Milne Bay, equal in significance to Kokoda.

It feels a privilege and a cause for great pride to be introduced to these historic events and to meet face to face the men whose motto was, "Never a Backwards Step".

Structured around official records and newspaper reports, Bob also draws on interviews with and letters from the men.

With the bulk of the AIF fighting in North Africa and Singapore, it was left to a few of the militia units to halt the onslaught of the Japanese in New Guinea and Bougainville in atrocious conditions.

It was these hardy determined few who virtually saved the mainland from falling into Japanese hands.

A clear labour of love, Bob's very moving book gives us an engrossing insight into the courage and endurance of the men of the Toowoomba and Darling Downs region.

An appendix lists the complete 25th Battalion's role of honour. Milne Bay Day is observed to this day.

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