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Army April 1, 2010
The joint TNI/ADF contingent flew
to Pontianak, the capital of West
Kalimantan and drove six hours
overland to Entikong. They met with
the local government officials of
Sangau district and local TNI team.
The contingent split into two teams
to investigate two possible sites. At
both sites, the entire area was fully
excavated and the spoil wet-sieved
revealing fragments of bone and
Lt Ken Hudson
The possible site where Lt Hudson
was buried was in the Sekunyit area.
Witnesses indicated a European
who had drowned had been dis-
covered and was buried at the TNI
military cemetery allocated for non-
Muslim soldiers at the end of March
or in the first days of April 1966.
An eye-witness led the team to the
Pte Robert Moncrieff
At the same time excavation of the
Entikong site where it was believed
Robert Moncrieff was buried, began
1.5km downstream from Entikong.
The site had changed significantly
over time because of river flooding.
After speaking to other witnesses,
the lead investigator identified a
second site, 5m away. The team
was advised that a big tree marked
the head of the grave but had been
PTE ROBERT CHARLES
Robert Moncrieff was born in
Hamilton, NSW on December
17, 1944. He enlisted in the
Army on April 21, 1964 and was
assigned to the RAInf. He under-
went SAS selection in 1965 and
was posted to SASR on April
21, 1965. In October 1965, he
deployed to Papua New Guinea
to complete preparation training
with 2 SAS Sqn before deploy-
ing to Borneo in January 1966.
He was presumed drowned
while attempting to cross the
flooding Sekayan River in
Sarawak, Borneo on March
21, 1966. His next of kin at the
time of his death was his father,
LT KENNETH AMBROSE
Ken Hudson was born in Qld
on January 7, 1936. He enlisted
in the Army on April 30, 1956
and was allocated to the RAInf.
He served in 1RAR and 2RAR
and the Airborne Pl and pro-
gressed to the rank of sergeant
before being commissioned.
He was appointed an officer
on September 9, 1964. He was
posted to SASR on February
24, 1965 and was assigned
to 2 SAS Sqn as troop com-
mander E Tp. He was presumed
drowned while trying to cross
the flooding Sekayan River in
Sarawak Borneo on March 21,
1966. He was survived by his
wife Dawn and son John.
By Cpl Corinne Boer
IT WAS the Sekayam River that
claimed the lives of Lt Ken Hudson
and Pte Bob Moncrieff in 1966 and
the same river that led to the discov-
ery of their remains 44 years later.
The two SASR soldiers were part
of a four-man patrol that established an
observation post at Entabang on March
19. They left the position and during
a river crossing in the early hours of
March 21, the patrol was separated. Lt
Hudson and Pte Moncrieff regrouped
and re-entered the river tethered
together and were swept off their feet
and disappeared under the surface.
The bodies of the two soldiers were
discovered by local citizens and buried
In January last year the search
began in the remote border region of
West Kalimantan to locate the remains
of the two soldiers. A joint Tentara
Nasional Indonesia (TNI) and ADF
team travelled down the river in canoes
to speak with the indigenous Dayak
Lead investigator Maj Jack Thurgar
said the river was the lifeblood for the
Dayak tribe as there were no roads in
the district that reached the village.
"The people live their whole lives
on the river, so my reasoning was the
information to the whereabouts of the
soldiers would still be on the river,"
Maj Thurgar said.
The TNI worked with the ADF
linguists to liaise with the tribesmen
for information. Maj Thurgar said the
Dayak tribe had an oral history and
the linguists spoke with the elders who
were the keepers of the historical and
"By talking with the elders all the
way along the river, we located all the
people who knew something about the
incident," he said.
Late last year the remains of the
two soldiers were recovered and the
WA state coroner confirmed the find-
ings of the Army expert identification
A simple service of remembrance
was conducted for both men at both
sites in accordance with Christian,
Dayak and Muslim rituals.
Maj Thurgar said the discoveries
would not have been possible without
the full cooperation of all parties.
"Special thanks must be given to
the Dayak people of Sangau District,
West Kalimantan, for without their
u nfettered willingness to provide
assistance, advice, and genuine friend-
ship to the Joint Team, success would
not have been possible," he said.
"These fantastic and highly interest-
ing people with a unique culture, were
driven to help as an act of compassion
for the grieving families."
Defence Personnel, Material and
Science Minister Greg Combet praised
River leads to discovery
the efforts of the Army investigation
team and ex-serving and serving SAS
"I would like to recognise the
efforts of the official Australian Army
investigation team, and express grati-
tude for the support of the TNI during
the investigation," Mr Combet said.
"The perseverance and determined
efforts of the ex-serving and serving
SAS community have contributed to
this success in locating and recover-
ing the remains of the two missing
Mr Combet said planning to repat-
riate the remains of Lt Hudson and Pte
Moncrieff to Australia was underway
and the date for repatriation would be
advised when known.
DISCOVERY OF REMAINS
Grim task: Excavation takes place at the site believed to be the grave of Pte Charles Moncrieff.
On the ground: Maj Jack Thurgar from the
Army's recovery team with Pak Osman, the
son of Haji Mistar, the keeper of the Dayak
burial site, during the investigation into the
whereabouts of the remains of Lt Kenneth
Hudson and Pte Robert Moncrieff (above).
The Sekayam River (below).
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