The unpublished chapters* were written for David Scott’s book Last Flight Out of Dili – Memoirs of an Accidental Activist in the Triumph of East Timor
‘All They Got Was Misery’ is David’s original final draft of the chapter. ‘Japan – The Reluctant Invaders’ is a summary of this chapter written by me, with some excerpts from Archie Campbell’s memoir ‘The Double Reds’** , vetted and approved by David.
‘Last flight Out of Dili’ was launched by Nobel Laureate Jose Ramos Horta in November 2005.
Many Australians do not know that Australia invaded East Timor in World War II without the agreement of Britain or the Portuguese Government of East Timor. Our leadership did this because they believed they needed to secure it against the Japanese moving in there and using it as a launching place for invading Australia.
David Scott followed a hunch and with the help of the work of historian, Henry Frei who researched the ‘Secret Japanese War Cabinet Diaries’ , David discovered that indeed, there was clear evidence why Japan might want to respect Portugal’s neutrality. Japan – The Reluctant Invaders.
In ‘All They Got Was Misery‘ David says he was concerned to show the impact of the war on the East Timorese. As he says “much has been written about the Australian soldiers in East Timor …. but the accounts of the soldiers’ exploits provide only a superficial impression of the impact of the terrible four years of war on the lives of people totally innocent of the war”.
Since that time with the help of Patsy Thatcher, Palmira and Fernandes Pires and Elizabeth Exposto, in 2006, I managed to get an interview with one of the surviving ‘criados’. It is currently being translated and sub-titled so video of that interview will be posted on sms later this year.
* Unpublished due to lack of space.
**The Double Reds is out of print.