Crossed Boomerangs

A History of all the 31 Battalions

Written by Bob Burla

Australian Military History Publications


Crossed Boomerangs is a “History of all the 31st Battalions written by Captain Bob Burla RFD ED who was a long serving officer of the 31st Battalion. Bob was based in Ingham in North Quensland and joined the 31st Battalion in 1949. He became a commissioned officer in 1953 and continued to serve until his retirement in 1975. The majority of his service was in C Coy based in Ingham.

During his service Bob produced a number of articles and publications of interest to the Battalion. He wrote, “Following The Blazed Paths” and “Mountain Ramparts” which were accounts of tracks in the Ingham and Mt Fox areas.  He also wrote “The Foxhounds of Ingham” an account of C Coy 31 RQR and the C Coy magazine “Smoke Signals”. Bob was always the go to  man for all historical matters associated with the unit in peace and war and in all of its forms and designations. He was formally appointed as the Unit historian in 1987.

Bob was an early member and the inaugural President of the 31st Battalion association from its inception in 1976. He continued as President up until his death in  1995. He instituted the Association magazine “The Whispering Boomerang’ which he continued to write and publish right up until his death. Editorship of the magazine then passed to Major John Gardiner MBE (RL). More recently it has moved with the times to this current web/blog format.

In later years until his death in 1995 Bob researched and wrote the history of the 31st Battalion from its early beginnings in 1885 onward.  His journals written in a ten part series of “Historical Journals” were collated after his passing. The work was greatly enhanced by the many photographs provided by his wife, Elsie Burla, They contribute greatly to the completeness of the story.

Highly recommended reading for anyone who has an interest in Military history.