School Resources

Read, Learn, Reflect …

The younger generation of Australians and East Timorese alike stand to benefit from knowing more about the history of the 2nd World War and how it impacted on our region and our two nations, including the lives of our grandparents.

Many books have been written about this period in history, mainly from the perspective of the Australian soldiers who served in Timor-Leste during the campaign to defend Australia from Japan’s advance southward.


Here is an attempt at a short bibliography. If you are aware of any additional items to add to this list, please provide them in a comment below.

“The Men Who Came Out of the Ground” – Paul Cleary, Hachette Australia, 2010

Paul Cleary (2010)

This is the gripping story of a small force of Australian Special Forces commandos that launched relentless hit and run raids on far superior Japanese forces in East Timor for most of 1942. Listen to an interview with the author here (ABC Radio National):

“Timor na 2a Guerra Mundial: O Diário do Tenente Pires”, António Monteiro Cardoso (Centro de Estudos da História Contemporânea Portuguesa) – ISCTE 2007 – Portuguese Language

Review by Valentim Alexandre

“Independent Company : the Australian Army in Portuguese Timor 1941-43″, Bernard Callinan, Heinemann 1953

“The Double Reds of Timor”, Archie Campbell, John Burridge Military Antiques, 1995

“Criado: A Story of East Timor”, Ken White, Indra Publishing, 2002


This book brings to life for many Australians, the close connection between Australia and East Timor. In 1941-42, Archie Campbell was a lieutenant in the ‘Sparrow Force’ the 300 men of the 2/2nd Independent Company in a 14-month campaign of ambushes and hit-and-run tactics which effectively pinned down more than 15,000 Japanese troops in East Timor.


Museum Chronology Panel

View it here! (Zoom in to read the text in English, Portuguese and Tetum):

Here is a children’s book in the Tetum language which tells the story of Buibere, one of the friends and assistants of the 2/2nd Commando Association soldiers.

Paddy’s Story

Paddy Kenneally’s Story

John (Paddy) Kenneally was a young private with the 2/2nd Independent Company of the Australian Army, which was stranded in Timor by the Japanese invasion of 1942.  He speaks of his anger at the subsequent betrayal of the East Timorese people.

(from the Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies)

“The Sydney Morning Herald”, Sábado 21 de Fevereiro de 1942 (National Library of Australia)

Sydney Morning Herald report of 21 February 1942 on the Japanese invasion of Timor-Leste

“The Sydney Morning Herald”, Sábado 21 de Fevereiro de 1942 – National Library of Australia


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