Military History: The Battle for Guadalcanal – Talk

Friday 17th May 11am

[£4] Buy tickets online or [box office: 01428 642 161]

Talk at Haslemere Hall
In May 1942, Martin Clemens (Colonial Officer turned Coastwatcher) spotted the Japanese building an airfield on Guadalcanal and his radio message ended up with the US Admiral King in Washington. Enemy planes from Guadalcanal, at the East end of the Solomon Islands chain, would be able to control the air and sea routes between the US and Australia – which could not be allowed to happen. Accordingly a US Marine Division was diverted to Guadalcanal, where they captured the airfield and held it against fanatical Japanese counter attacks. Hamish Donaldson was a boy in Australia at the time, all too aware of the apparently unstoppable Japanese; he also met Martin Clemens after the war and is now something of an expert on Guadalcanal. In this illustrated talk, he describes the three major land battles, the seven major sea battles and the role played by the heroic Clemens (awarded the MC) and his Melanesian Scouts.

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