Historical information

Soon after the outbreak of World War Two, the British Government requested experienced forestry soldiers from Australia, New Zealand and Canada to be deployed in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force.
The first Forestry Company (2/1) was based in Sydney with men from NSW, Queensland and South Australia, led by Captain Cyril Richard Cole, a professional forester from the Australian Capital Territory.
The second Forestry Company (2/2) included many Forests Commission staff, local sawmillers and experienced bushmen from Victoria, WA and Tasmania including veterans of the First World War. They were led by Captain Andrew Leonard (Ben) Benallack, a graduate from the Victorian School of Forestry in 1922.
Both Forestry Companies sailed from Fremantle on the Stratheden in late May 1940 and landed in England not long after the evacuation of Dunkirk.
The foresters were recalled to Australia at the insistence of Prime Minister John Curtin in late 1943 because of the War in the Pacific.
After reequipping and some refresher training in jungle warfare at Kapooka the 2/2 Forestry Company was deployed to Lae in Papua New Guinea in May 1944.
This photograph was probably taken in Australia before deployment to PNG.

Physical description

Photo in wooden frame of Royal Australian Engineers Forestry Company