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  • Writer's pictureLen Beadell Publications

8th Australian Field Survey Section

'A good bloke to have at your side'....

Len served in World War II with the Royal Australian Survey Corps from December 1941 and continued until he was discharged in December 1948. He held the rank of Warrant Officer 2.

Len was called to service in 1941 when he was 18. The letter he received said to 'bring two cut lunches, report to the army recruiting office, be prepared to enlist in the army for the duration of the war and 12 months thereafter'. He served actively for a total of 2,552 days between the years of 1941 and 1948, including 653 days outside of Australia, with the Army Survey Corps. The majority of overseas service was in New Guinea with the New Guinea Survey Section, later called the 8th Australian Field Survey Section. Their work surveying and mapping the island was important work in the war efforts and often through the most difficult terrain machetteing through dense jungle, wading knee-deep through mud and mosquito-infested swamps and with the enemy close by.

Like many other soldiers, during his time in the New Guinea jungle, he suffered from dengue fever, scabies, paralysing spider bites and recurrent bouts of malaria. Under such difficult circumstances Len always remained cheerful, of strong character, was very resourceful and totally reliable in helping his fellow soldiers. He was 'a good bloke to have at your side; one on whom you could always rely.'


Len always spoke well of the Papua New Guinea Indigenous people who acted as guides, and helped them carry heavy equipment with courage and great endurance. It was during one of Len's trips to the edge of the Kokoda Trail that he first saw a four wheel-drive jeep. He was impressed by its capacity to go anywhere, little realising that this would become so much a part of his working life.

Camaraderie has always underpinned Survey Corps operations in both war and peace. The work of the Royal Australian Survey Corps has been recognised with this bronze commemorative plaque dedicated in 2007 at the Australian War Memorial.


As we commemorate Anzac Day, the Beadell family respectfully recognises the contribution of all those who serve/have served or have provided support or assistance in the war efforts. We will remember and give our gratitude and prayers for all who have fallen.

Lest we forget.

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