Research Document #12, page 4.
The Bones Chronology, Cont.
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31. February 14, 1941: Telegram No. 83 from Sir Harry to Holland. WPHC07.



Your telegram No. 75, instruct acting Senior Medical Officer that ships must not be detained without good reason and then only in accordance with Regulations or higher instructions.

He should also be directed to report reasons for action taken referred to in your telegram and instructed that if human remains are those they are assumed to be he is not to detain shipping.

High Commissioner.

32. February 14, 1941: Telegram from Isaac to Gallagher. GBG14.

Your telegram 11th February.


Matter became somewhat tense and complex after guillotine conversation between us. As I had (and still have) no information save presence of remains and therefore......quarantine danger infaction [sic]. I am still wondering how wretched relics can be interesting.

Isaac. [sic]

33. February 17, 1941: Telegram No. 94 from Holland to Sir Harry. WPHC08.

My telegram No. 75, Acting Senior Medical Officer has now apparently examined the remains. He states that they are part of skeleton of elderly male of Polynesian race, bones having been probably in sheltered position for upwards of 20 years, possibly much longer. He notes some disintegration of the bones in the course of transportation and suggests if they are considered of archaeological interest Your Excellency might wish him to strengthen them by a method with which he states Your Excellency knows he is specially familiar.


34. February 17, 1941: Telegram No. 95, Holland to Sir Harry. WPHC09.

Your telegram No. 83, all shipping was released on completion of examination. I have instructed Acting Senior Medical Officer as in your telegram No. 83 and will forward report in due course.

Resident Commissioner.

35. February 18, 1941: Entry in file 4439-40. MIN15.

Telegram from R.Cr., G.&E. I. C., No. 94 of 17.2.41.

36. February 18, 1941: Entry in file 4439-40. MIN16.

Telegram from R.Cr., G.&E. I. C., No. 95 of 17.2.41.

37. March 24, 1941: Gallagher's letter of 27 Dec 1940 arrives at WPCH. WPHC10.

Nikumaroro (Gardner) Island,
Phoenix Islands District,
27th December, 1940.


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your confidential telegram No. 2 of the 26th. October, 1940, and to state that two packages are being handed to the Master, R.C.S. "Nimanoa", for eventual delivery to the High Commission Office in Suva. The larger of these packages is the coffin containing the remains of the unidentified individual found on the South Eastern shore of Gardner Island; the second package is the sextant box found in the immediate locality and contains all the other pieces of evidence which were found in the proximity of the body.

2. The fact that the skull has been buried in damp ground for nearly a year, whilst all the other bones have been lying above ground during the same period, was probably not apparent from previous correspondence, but may be helpful in determining the age of the bones. In spite of an intensive search, none of the smaller bones have been discovered and, in view of the presence of crabs and rats in this area, I consider that it is now unlikely that any further remains will be traced. A similar search for rings, coins, keys or other articles not so easily destroyed has also been unsuccessful, but it is possible that something may come to hand during the course of the next few months when the area in question will be again thoroughly examined during the course of planting operations, which will involve a certain amount of digging in the vicinity. If this should prove to be the case, I will inform you of the fact by telegraph.

3. Should any relatives be traced, it may prove of sentimental interest for them to know that the coffin in which the remains are contained is made from a local wood known as "kanawa" and the tree was, until a year ago, growing on the edge of the lagoon, not very far from the spot where the deceased was found.

I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,

(Sgd) Gerald B. Gallagher.

Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme

38. March 25, 1941. Log in of letter from Gallagher. MIN17.

B.U. 3.4.41. Letter from Officer in Charge, P.I.S.S., Gardner Island, Conf. of 27.12.40.

39. March 28, 1941: Note from Vaskess to Assistant Secretary. MIN18.

Ass't Secretary,
For necessary action.

40. March 31, 1941: Note in file 4439-40 from MacDonald to Mcpherson. MIN19.

The Central Medical Authority

We have spoken by telephone concerning this matter & I am sending you the file & the coffin to the Central Medical School to Dr. Hoodless.

2. H.E. will be glad if the bones may be examined & and a report submitted in due course.

P.D. Macdonald
Asst. Secy. W. P.H.C.

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