OWNER/MANAGER, TOUR GUIDE and Tour Director | KOKODA TREKS & TOURS
40 + years of practical experience with off shore operations, including remote localities and developing countries, visiting Australian Military Heritage sites, leading tour groups, educational training, film documentary operations logistics, historical researchers and authors. Experiential depth of management listed below.
Additionally a proven ability to organise and operate group tours and activities to locations as above for special interest groups such as family members of those who served, associations, significant event commemorative tours, researchers and film makers
Registered Australian travel company ( Kokoda Treks and Tours Pty Ltd & Frank Taylor’s Australian Military History Tours )
Frank Taylor, owner/manager, served 31 years in the Western Australia Police (Traffic, General Duties, Tactical Response, Emergency Operations) Deputy Principal Police Academy ) retiring as an Inspector, and 38 years in the Australian Army Reserve (Armour, Infantry and Military Police) through all ranks retiring as a Captain and acting as Provost Marshall Western Region Australia. Experience gained in those services is applied to effective planning and safe operations of tour activities.
Frank Taylor has acted as a consultant for the following:
- Consultant and PNG facilitator for the Australian Army documentary film “The Bloody Track” (1992)
- Facilitated – including PNG Location Management - Chris Masters’ Kokoda Trail filming operations for his highly acclaimed 4 Corners production of "The Men Who Saved Australia" (1995)
- Initiated the concept and facilitated ( PNG Location Management and logistics ) the Electric Pictures award winning documentary film “Requiem for a Generation of Lost Souls” (1996)
- Facilitated ( PNG Location Management and military advisor) the Kokoda Trail and PNG beach head filming of the 2 part documentary "Kokoda" ABC (2010)
- Planned and facilitated author Peter Brune's fact finding trek of Kokoda, Milne Bay and Gona/Buna/Sanananda for his best selling "A Bastard of a Place". (Acknowledged)
- Planned and facilitated author Peter Brune's Singapore/Malaysia/Thailand/Burma exploratory journey fact finding his latest book of The Fall of Singapore/Changi / and the Thai-Burma Railway – “Descent into Hell”. (Acknowledged )
- Facilitated and lead research treks of the Kokoda Trail for Paul Ham and his best selling book "Kokoda" and for Dr. Peter Williams’ for his book “The Kokoda campaign 1942 – Myth and Reality”. ( Both acknowledged )
- Consultative assistance given and acknowledged by author Phillip Bradley for his authoritative reference book “On Shaggy Ridge” and to Bill James’ ( as trek leader & provide research information ) for his “Field Guide to the Kokoda Trail”. ( Both acknowledged )
- Facilitated and lead research exploration and tour to Kokoda areas (North and South ), Oro Province beach battle areas and Oro Bay for US author James J Bradley for his forthcoming work.
- Facilitated and lead research exploration and tour to the Milne Bay battle areas in PNG for Australian military history author Timothy Gellel, fact gathering for his Australian Army Military History Unit funded forthcoming book on the 1942 battle in that area
- Tour Director and historical consultant to the Australian Army in battlefield study tours since 2019 in PNG – Kokoda Campaign and the Beach Head Battles
- Location Manager for National Geographic film “Buried Secrets of World War Two” in Papua New Guinea in 2019
Consultant advice to groups and organisations including PNG’s Tourist Promotion Authority, National Cultural Committee and Oro Provincial Government of PNG; RSL ( Australia ) National Headquarters, Kochi-New Guinea Association ( Japan ); “Australia Remembers” Task Force Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs; Alamein Military Museum Egypt; Tobruk Tourism Authority Libya; Municipality of Gelibolu Turkey; International Heritage Section Department of the Environment Australia etc
Member of the Kokoda Trail Maintenance Advisory Committee and of the Kokoda Ethics & Advisory Committee which reported to the Australian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Kokoda. Founder committee member of the Papua New Guinea Travel Industry Association. He has travelled over the Kokoda Track some 140 plus times.
Committee member of the 16 Battalions’ Foundation and President of the 28th Battalion ( The Swan Regiment ) Association - and life member of that Association.
In November 2015 elected at the inaugural President of the Kokoda Tour Operators Association. Retired from the position November 2017. Elected to the position as Advisor to KTOA Executive and voted life membership.
Member of the newly formed Military Heritage Expert Advisory Group to the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery ( October 2017) .
And directly contributed to the planning and execution of the following:
- Establishment of bronze plaque monuments at key locations along the Kokoda Trail, beach locations of Buna, Sanananda, Gona; memorials for RSL Australia, the American Legion, Australian services unit associations and private families; and ANZAC memorial plaque at Gelibolu Turkey.
- Supervisor and project manager for fund raising, organisation and logistics to construct a monument to Brigadier Arnold Potts at Alolo Village on the Kokoda Track PNG with secured donated funds in April 2017.
- Location, reporting and recovery of remains of Australian and United States servicemen from Papua New Guinea locations. Assisted in the search for Dutch serviceman’s remains on the Thai Burma Railway – exhumations pending
- The introduction of Australian relevant historical material and captioning for display in overseas public settings - including museums and schools- such as the Gaba Tepe Museum, Eceabat High Schools ( Gallipoli ), the Alamein Military Museum Egypt and in Tobruk, Libya, Grass Roots Museum ( Kochi Japan ), Gelibolu ANZAC Museum ( Turkey ), Ranau and Sandakan Sabah ( Borneo )
- Village community benefit works in the Owen Stanley Mountains, Finisterre Mountains, Buna-Gona-Sanananda and other remote localities in Papua New Guinea; “Weaving for Women” support group Sangklaburi, Thailand
- In February 2016 organised and operated a tour along the Thai Burma Railway in Myanmar from the war time rail junction at Thanbyuzayat to the Thailand border at Three Pagodas Pass. Advised that this was the first formal tour group permitted along that route for some 50 years due to the Myanmar Government imposing a “Forbidden Zone” restriction. Permission was granted after some 14 years work for approval.
- Planned and operated – with appropriate research and reconnaissance – Australian military heritage tours to Borneo ( Sandakan PW Death March, Labuan Landings etc ); Greece and Crete, Gallipoli, Thailand and Burma; Malaysia and Singapore; Western Front ( France and Belgium ); Kokoda Campaign ( Kokoda Track and Gona, Buna, Sanananda) and Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea; and Libya (Tobruk) and (el Alamein) Egypt.
- Invited guest speaker to the University of Liverpool United Kingdom June 2017 to speak on searching and finding PoW Camps on Borneo for the Far East POW Association.
- Numerous public speaking engagements including Legacy, Rotary, various clubs and associations.
TOUR GUIDE | KOKODA TREKS & TOURS
Recipient of the Order of Australia in the 2018 Australia Day Honours for ‘Services to the Preservation of Australian Military History.’
Twice nominated for Western Australian Of The Year.
A keen interest in the local community, running free services in displays and lectures on Western Australians on the Western Front in World War 1.
Regularly contributed articles to the West Australian newspaper during Rod Moran’s tenure as features editor.
Has proof-read and edited several military books published by local authors, a free service.
Writing and publishing Australian Army unit histories for twenty-five years.
My latest book is Bayonets and Barbed Wire, 16th Battalion AIF in World War 1.
My publications (all published locally in Western Australia) are:
- The Blue and White Diamond (28th Battalion)
- The Westralian Battalion (44th Battalion) – just reprinted
- The 52nd Battalion AIF (52nd Battalion)
- For King and Cobbers (51st Battalion)
- Leane’s Battalion (48th Battalion)
- Fromelles to Nauroy (31st Battalion)
- The Green and White Diamond (20th Battalion)
- Anzac Pioneers (2nd Pnr Battalion)
- Gallipoli to Tripoli. History of the 10th Light Horse Regiment.- co-authored with Ian Gill
Due to my expertise in the Australian participation on the Western Front, I work as a guide for Kokoda Treks and Tours – we do tours to the Western Front, which encompass the Australian Army experience from Fromelles, Pozieres, Bullecourt, Messines, Passchendaele, Dernancourt, Villers-Bretonneux, Amiens, Mont St Quentin and the Hindenburg Line, with detailed commentary.
TOUR GUIDE | KOKODA TREKS & TOURS
Gympie, Queensland, Australia. 17 July 1948.
- Primary education at Wolvi State School.
- Secondary education at Gympie State High School.
- Graduated from Queensland Institute of Technology, 1976 (Civil Engineering Design). Part time.
- Graduated from Darling Downs Institute of Technology, 1976 (Civil
- Engineering Construction). By correspondence
- Graduated from Gemmological Association of Australia, 1978.
- 6 years in Australian Army Reserve (1968 – 74). Three years in infantry and three years in engineers. Rank – Corporal.
- 10 years working for Queensland Main Roads Department on road design and construction (1969 - 1979).
- 10 years operating own gem cutting and holesale business (1979 - 1989).
- 3 years working as a consultant on gem projects in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos (1990 – 1994)
- 18 years as Manager of the Commonwealth War Cemeteries in Thailand (1995 – 2013) - and 2½ years as Project Manager of Hellfire Pass Project (1996 - 1998) working part time.
- Since 2003 Founder and Research Director of Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. (T.B.R.C. Co. Ltd.)
In 1994, I was approached by an Australian former prisoner of war to clear the pathway into Hellfire Pass (HFP) prior to a visit to HFP by the then Australian Prime Minister Mr. Paul Keating. Soon after I offered my services to the Australian Thai Chamber of Commerce to voluntarily maintain the short (400 metres) pathway into Hellfire Pass. I supervised the construction of a second concrete pathway leading to the northern end of HFP.
Having become involved with HFP I set out to learn more about the history of the railway. To better understand the railway I then started to explore and map the abandoned railway and locate former PoW campsites. Locating and mapping the railway alone took four and a half years. Locating the sites of the many war time camps and other important areas took many more years.
To give visitors a better understanding of the work done in building the railway I set out to clear a long section of the railway northwards from HFP. These first four and a half kilometers, which took more than a year to clear, were cleared only with the help of my wife, Thuy.
In 1995 I was appointed manager of the Commonwealth War Cemeteries in Thailand, working part time. In this position I met many people searching for information about relatives who worked or died on the railway. To help these people I began a worldwide search for original PoW records of deaths on the railway. TBRC still continues to search archives around the world for records of former prisoners of the Japanese.
In 1996 I was appointed Project Manager to oversee the construction of the HFP Memorial Interpretative Centre and permanent improvements to the walking trail. During this time we cleared another four kilometers of railway northwards from Compressor Cutting. This has since been abandoned and has reverted to jungle. The Australian Prime Minister, Mr. John Howard, opened the memorial on 24 April 1998. Subsequently more of the cleared railway has been abandoned so that as of 2022 only two and a half kilometres are still accessible.
In 1999 I began planning and designing a new museum in Kanchanaburi to cater for the very large number of visitors who do not have the opportunity to visit HFP. Construction of this privately funded museum began in 2001 and it opened in January 2003 as the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre (TBRC).
An increasingly important part of the service offered to former prisoners of war and/or their families by TBRC is the ability to take people on private pilgrimages back to visit specific areas of the abandoned railway and recount many of the events that took place in those locations.
Because exploration and research into the railway is ongoing the further development of the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre remains an active and ongoing project. This includes detailed GPS mapping of the railway route so as to leave a permanent record of where the railway was since much of it has been, and continues to be, destroyed by modern development.
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Authentic Military Heritage Tours by fully qualified and field-experienced Guides
Over 40 years experience in tour operations and planning in remote areas, including Papua New Guinea, Borneo, Thailand, Burma, Egypt, Libya.
Management and staff who have in depth historical and geographic knowledge of areas toured and military historical sites and events, in PNG and other countries
Supervisors experienced in remote area and urban tour operations in PNG, Borneo, Singapore, Malaysia, France, Belgium, Greece, Crete, Thailand, Burma, Turkey, Egypt and Libya.
Full operational travel experience and campaign history with accurate information content and wide geographical knowledge in our programming.