Dr Jim Mitchell is the son of Alan Mitchell, a Pioneer who saw action in Syria and Java and who was a POW on the Burma Railway.

Jim is an historian and author, formerly a Lecturer in the history department of the University of Melbourne and a Curator at the British Library in London.

Amongst several books, Jim has edited his father's letters home whilst in the Pioneers – The moon seems upside down: letters of love and war (Allen & Unwin, 1988).

You can email him HERE.


































I am writing a history of the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion in its first formation. This covers Puckapunyal, Syria, Java, POW, and the aftermath.

My aim is to capture the experiences of the men themselves so I would welcome copies of any

  • letters these Pioneers wrote home

  • diaries

  • reminiscences

  • interviews with them

  • newspaper articles about th em

  • photos or artefacts

  • wartime family scrapbooks, and

  • stories or anecdotes that people recall.

I would also welcome recollections of families back home, including the work of the battalion's Women's Auxiliary.

Finally, I would welcome thoughts on what it was like to be married to a Pioneer or to grow up as his child.

Fill out my online form.