News

Lost wartime footage of Fraser found

SECRET footage of Fraser Island's World War II commando school has turned up 65 years later.

The historic colour film, shot between February and July 1944, includes never-before-seen footage of Australia's Z Special Unit in training. The commandos are seen handling foldboats, demolitions, weapons, signals, parachuting and exercising jungle craft.

“I've been working on restoring this rare footage over 18 months,” said Craig Brown, senior research analyst with the Australian Bunker and Military Museum, which until recently shared premises with Maryborough's McMillan Lighthorse and Military Museum under Mavis Bank house.

The museum at Mavis Bank has closed and the curator, Rob McMillan-Kay, has the displays in storage while he searches for new premises.

“The Z Special Unit film is now complete and we've put it on to a DVD that runs for more than an hour,” Mr Brown said yesterday.

“We will use the money we get from marketing the DVD to help fund new museum premises.”

During the war Fraser Island and Hervey Bay were used as training grounds for the famous Z Special Unit.

Embarking on an old Japanese fish carrier, Kofuku Naru, which was renamed Krait, Z Special Unit managed to get into Singapore Harbour where they attached limpet mines to Japanese vessels. In one night in September, 1943, they blew up more than 38,000 tons of Japanese ships and managed to return to Australia.

At Dayman Point a memorial dedicated to the Z Special Unit men draws hundreds of visitors.

The museum's director, Daniel Hultgren, said wartime maps of the Fraser Commando School and training manuals had also been turned up.

Not one of the Z Special Unit veterans knew the footage even existed. On Anzac Day Mr Brown took copies of the DVD to a Sydney Z Special Unit dinner and presented the handful of veterans there with a copy each.

“They were very very moved,” Mr Brown said. “It was the first time since a special screening on Fraser Island in 1945 that they had seen the footage.”

A former Z Special Unit trainer on the island, Frank Doyle, who now lives on the Sunshine Coast, said he had received a phone call from Mr Hultgren a month ago, telling him about the discovery.

“I couldn't believe my ears.”

Cost of the limited run special edition DVD/CD set is $50 plus $5 postage and handling. Call Daniel Hultgren on 0410 908 264.



POLL: Should QPWS remove brumbies from Fraser Island?

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is exploring options to remove the brumbies from Fraser Island.

QPWS is exploring options to remove brumbies from Fraser Island.

Maryborough teen takes on the world's scooter riders

THE MAN: Maryborough teenager Dylan Sinclair took on the world's best scooter riders, including JonMarco Gaydos and Dakota Schuetz.

Dylan Sinclair took on professional scooter's household names.

Season-opening grand final rematch ends in stalemate

Australs' Matt Adams. Fraser Coast Cricket A-grade: Australs v Past Grammars at Maryborough Cricket Ground.

Fraser Coast Cricket's first A-grade round ended on Saturday.

Local Partners

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

Property leader says Fraser Coast market is looking up

Positivity is the buzz word in the Fraser Coast housing market

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state