Remains discovered in East New Britain, 2009

In 2009 Unrecovered War Casualties – Army was notified of a discovery of remains by a construction company excavating pumice near Kokopo, East New Britain.

Artefact evidence led Unrecovered War Casualties – Army to initially believe the remains belonged to Australian soldiers and responded by sending a recovery team to Kokopo to conduct a thorough forensic examination and analysis. 

The investigation determined that the remains were five Indian Prisoners of War from World War Two. Approximately 10,000 Indian Prisoners of War were taken to the area by the Japanese in World War II, with just over 5000 surviving. 

Details of the find were provided to the Indian Defence Attaché in Canberra for retrieval and burial. The remains of the five unidentified Indian soldiers were buried in the Rabaul (Bita Paka) War Cemetery on 23 February 2012.