Tainori Kiroki - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG


Mr Tainori Kiroki tells the story of his father Kiroki Kirohi who was a member of the Papuan Infantry Battalion during the War.



Warning: This site contains stories of war. Some of these interviews may include detailed and graphic descriptions of events and experiences that may be disturbing for some individuals.

This is interview number 15 at Sogeri valley, recorded on 7 July 2014. We have with us Tainori Kiroki of Mesime village, which is near 14 Mile in Central Province. He is going to give an account of his father, Kiroki Kirohi, who joined the PIB. Thank you for coming Tainori you may begin now.
My father was PIB and then when the war was over, and I was born, my father told me that the war was coming and the war was over. And all the buildings are in my, where I live, they build some houses for firearms or what, the big mess, the build a kalabus, and hospitals, and that's my father told me. I saw them on my eye, so I believe that the war is coming and pass away.
So now where I live is, where my villages is, near my village, some other concrete are there for us, and swimming pool are there, I saw them, now it was there. Sometimes we clean them. I will not go further, or go more, but I will stop there. My father was a soldier.
I got some paper in there.. later when you come then I will bring it.

When you say you won't go any further, why is that? You have no more stories to tell us or do you have a special reason for telling us we won't go further with your father's story?
My father's stories, only that he told me.
That's all he told you? He didn't tell you how he was recruited to be a member of the PIB?
When he was a member of the PIB, he went up to Kokoda, not Kokoda but Ower's Corner, and from there they sent him back to training depot here. This depot here.
What was the name of this place, what was the name of this training depot?
This training depot was 'Depot'.
It was known as Depot?
Yeah, Depot – real name is Karakadabu, but the Australian soldiers, they call this place training depot.
Did your father tell you why he was sent back to the field to the training depot.
Because he was trying to get more training .. he walked to Kokoda.
Did he actually go back to Kokoda?
He didn't go.
What happened there?
He came back and then trained here, and they hold him here, he did some sort of things here.
Ok. Alright. Is that all the war story you father told you or is there something else that he might, you said you were holding some documents. Are they in the document, his stories?
I had got some documents with me. I think that document down to Kone, they sign them there they seal it... It's in English.
So you are able to speak English so obviously you can read too, is that correct? You can read English too?
I can't read but I can speak English, not much but a bit.
You're not able to say what is in the document? You're not able to say it?
I forgot. It was a long time ago, we put it in the suitcase and leave it there. The child would take it and tear it and throw it away.
May I ask how old you are?
65 years old. I was born on 9th of 12th, 1948.
Before this oral history team came to do these recordings, have you been telling any of your father's stories to your children?
So what's' your feeling about this team coming to your area to record your war stories?
I'm very happy, yes I was happy, but only thing they didn't tell me know. They told me know I would take that document to come here, so people can see it but they didn't tell me, they told me to come to anther meeting. But I just came in, they say no you come inside and they will interview you.
Obviously this exercise is important to you. So you left your other meeting to come here. Is that correct?
Yes. Very happy.
Why is this exercise important to you?
Because of my father's record survive. I'm very happy to come in.
OK thank you. Do you have other brothers?
Any one in the army or police?
And what is the best memory you have of your father during the war? Any particular story you want to remember him by?
Sorry. He told me some other stories but only these stories I told these people.
You said where you live there are concrete blocks, you settler there, you clean these concrete slabs.
They build their house and the swimming pools.
The final question I would like to ask you why are you keeping these cement slabs clean?
The memory of war.
The memory of war and because of your father's time in war?
I told my daughters and sons about the concrete floors, swimming pools.
Do you realise that your voice recording now is gong to live for a long long time, and your great great grandchildren will be able to listen to your voice. What do you think about that?
They will listen to me? .. I happy about that. Thank you very much.

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“Tainori Kiroki - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG,” Voices from the War, accessed July 17, 2024, https://pngvoices.deakin.edu.au/items/show/256.