Ramale Valley 2002

Having read "This Crowd Beats Us All" I decided to find the Ramale Valley where the missionaries lived when allied bombing made it impossible for them to stay at Vunapope Mission. There are many pictures available of the day of liberation in 1945 at the Australian War Memorial web site. Just do an image search of the collection data base using Ramale as the search word. You will see there was a village in the valley 60 years ago.

Sister Beranice Twohill on right.

Sister Berancice Twohill top left. Bishop Scharmach in pith helmet.

Many tunnels were dug by the German brothers for protection from bombing. One of the first things you see as you near the base of the valley is some old 44 gallon drums which the brothers joined like a large pipe to carry the smoke from the cooking fires away from the camp site. Sister Beranice assures me it didn't work and the tunnel where the kitchen was located filled with smoke making life for the nuns doing the cooking very difficult. The valley is very steep to get into and it is a hike to the bottom. There is not much left 60 years on. The jungle is reclaiming the site.

Floor of the Ramale Valley 2002

Pieces of squared timber which formed parts of huts can be found on the valley floor.

Inspecting the entrance to one of the many tunnels.

Our guide Augustine and myself at the entrance to Bishop Scharmachs tunnel.
(Note the height of the tunnel. I am 6'4" tall and could walk through the Ramale tunnels
standing unlike the Japanese tunnels in Rabaul.)