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The Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels of Papua New Guinea

1942 was a terrible time when an invasion of Australia by the Japanese Imperial Forces looked almost inevitable. 

Diggers were fighting and dying on lonely jungle tracks in almost impenetrable jungle in mountain ranges so high that it was very cold at night time. 

It was then that we found a new set of friends. 

The men of the tribes of Papua and later of New Guinea flocked to help the Aussies.

This is the medal that Australia struck as as token of thanks for the local civilian porters, the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.

Some fought independently because the Japanese mistreated them, something that the civilian Australian Patrol Officers had never done. Many were murdered by the Japanese. Naturally this built up a huge degree of loathing for the invaders. Some fought in organised Units and their story is told elsewhere on this website. However, they acted a bearers, mostly. They carried food and ammo forward and the wounded back. By so doing they created a legend. They were often praised as being as "gentle as a bush nurse".

Australia owes them a Debt of Gratitude that is immense.

Many Aussies would not have eaten or had ammo at the front without their help. These blokes are Chimbu. Many wounded Diggers and Doughboys would not have made it back with out their help.
This is a paper brochure or flyer distributed in PNG to attract Police Boys (native police men) back to work after the Japs had been pushed back. It is written in "pidgin", a simplified version of English that started in China and has since spread around the world.

LUKIM NUMBA (look at the number)

TAIM JAPAN I KUMAP (at the time Japan came) PLENTY POLISBOI I KOAIT LONG KANAKA (many police boys went into the bush (long kanaka)). GUT PELA PASIN. (Good fella, person to do this). NAU GUVMAN SIGAUT IM OL KAM PUTIM NUMBA GEN (Now the Government wants them all to come and put his number (badge) on again (go back to work)). YU KAM PAINIM MIPELA I NOGAT TROUBLE. (You can find me, I won't make trouble for you). GUVMAN 1 TOK (The Government is part of your family)



Many a mother in Australia
When the busy day is done
Sends a Prayer to the Almighty
For the keeping of her Son.

Asking that an Angel guide him
And bring him safely back
Now we see those prayers are
Answered on the Owen Stanley track.

Tho' they haven't any halos
Only holes slashed through the ear
Their faces marked with tattoo's
And scratch pins in their hair.

Bringing back the badly wounded
Just as steady as a hearse
Using leaves to keep the rain off
And as gentle as a Nurse.

Slow and careful in bad places
On that awful mountain track
And the look upon their faces
Made us think that Christ was black.

Not a move to hurt the carried
As they treat him like a Saint
It's a picture worth recording
That an Artist's yet to paint.

Many a lad will see his mother
and the husbands, weans and wives
Just because the Fuzzy Wuzzies
Carried them to save their lives.

From Mortar or Machine gun fire
Or a chance surprise attack
To safety and the care of Doctors
At the bottom of the track.

May the Mothers of Australia
When they offer up a prayer
Mention these impromptu Angels
With the "Fuzzy Wuzzy " hair.

by NX6925 Sapper H "Bert" Beros of the 7th
Division, 2nd AIF; it was actually written on the Kokoda Track/Trail in 1942


We, the Mother's of Australia
As we kneel each night in prayer
Will be sure to ask God's blessings
On the men with fuzzy hair.

And may the Great Creator
Who made us both black and white
Help us to remember how they
Helped us to win the fight .

For surely He, has used these
Men with fuzzy wuzzy hair
To guard and watch our wounded
With tender and loving care.

And perhaps when they are tired
With blistered and aching back
He'll take the Yoke On himself
And help them down the track.

And God will be the Artist
And this picture He will paint
Of a Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel
With the Halo of a Saint.

And His presence shall go with them
In tropic heat and rain
And he'll help them to tend our wounded
In sickness and in pain.

So we thank you Fuzzy Wuzzies
For all that you have done
Not only for Australians
But for Every Mother's Son.

And we are glad to call you friends
Though your faces may be black
For we know that Christ walked
With you - on the Owen Stanley track.


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