John Dunstan Lines 1920 - 2001 :

A Biographical Sketch of a Nat Map Stalwart

By Laurie McLean, December 2013, updated November 2017

JD Lines wearing his namesake tie


JD Lines played a leading role in the post World War II mapping of Australia and its external territories.  For nearly three decades from the late 1940s he was a dominant and driving force in the Melbourne office of the Commonwealth Government’s National Mapping organisation.  This article arose from separate communications in the latter part of 2013 between the writer and Syd Kirkby, John Manning and Paul Wise.  All of these former Nat Mappers lamented the paucity of information about JD Lines on the XNATMAP website.  The article seeks to provide a biographical sketch of JDL so that he may be better remembered by the many former Nat Mappers who knew and worked with him and also that his outstanding service and contribution to the mapping of Australia will be recorded for those who did not know him.  In researching background information on JDL some gaps in his life story, his National Mapping career and his achievements remained.  Hopefully, however, what is provided here is sufficient to achieve the article’s objective.

JD Lines was known to his family by the nickname Tiger.  He was a loving and devoted husband and dedicated father of five children and adoring grandfather and great grandfather of seventeen young people.  However, the focus of this article is mainly on the working and professional aspects of JDL’s life rather than on JD Lines the family man.  Many people including his Nat Map colleagues and staff knew JDL as Joe.  Some Nat Mappers from the early 1960s believed that Joe was a truncation of Joe Palooka, a 1930s United States comic strip character who was created as a good natured prize fighter.  Joe was usually good natured and at times certainly a tough man.

Joe Lines devoted much of his adult life to the mapping and surveying of Australia and its external territories and pursued his calling on war service outside Australia.  From 1948 onwards, some 28 years of Joe’s post-service working life were given to the Australian government’s National Mapping organisation; all of his Nat Map service was based from the organisation’s Melbourne office.  From the early days in Melbourne Joe was second in charge to then Chief Topographic Surveyor Lindsay Rim Rimington.  For Joe’s last 10 years with Nat Map he held the position of Assistant Director with overall responsibility for the running of the Melbourne office and for directing that office’s mapping activities throughout Australia and beyond.  After retirement from Nat Map, Joe continued and in some cases increased his active participation in the work of a number of surveying and mapping related organisations.  He also wrote two books on Australia’s wartime and peacetime mapping.  His final book, on the history of his own family, was completed in 2001, the year of his death.

Some Nat Map reflections

Joe was greatly respected by his senior Nat Map colleagues for his leadership, the depth of his technical and professional knowledge and experience, his drive and finger on the pulse management approach.  Indeed this article may not have been written if some of Joe’s more senior former colleagues had not lamented the absence of any formal recognition of Joe and his achievements on the XNATMAP web site.  Joe usually had a jovial hail-fellow-well-met approach to people and often displayed a well developed sense of humour.  He was also respected for being a straight talker who said it how it was.  But he was a complex person who could be intensely private as well.  While Joe was greatly respected, he was not always well liked by some colleagues and staff.  As is the case with most people, Joe the senior mapping administrator was by no means perfect.  A few reflections tended to dwell on some of the less liked aspects of Joe’s behaviour.  As Assistant Director he was inclined to be the consummate autocrat and at times seemed to run the Melbourne office as his personal fiefdom; some staff remarked perhaps unkindly that sometimes Joe seemed to behave as the Director in exile.  In the work situation in particular, if something had gone wrong or someone had committed some perceived transgression, the jovial countenance vanished, Joe’s face would often grow crimson and a stinging rebuke could ensue, not infrequently laden with expletives.  Thus at times Joe’s working relationships with even his more senior subordinate colleagues could be quite acrimonious.

Joe could be pretty ruthless with staff and with other people.  In the late 1960s, a recently appointed surveyor had submitted a report on the loss of a minor item of camping equipment during a field trip.  Later back in the Melbourne office the reported loss brought about Joe’s ire and the dressing-down of the surveyor who submitted the report in front of several junior staff members.  Earlier in the 1960s, another surveyor was undertaking Antarctic mapping work in the office prior to the next summer’s Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition.  But Joe was looking for a surveyor to lead a field party on work in Australia.  His approach was less than polite and along the lines: If you’re not prepared to shoulder some of the work load here in Australia, you may as well pack-up and head off home!  In the 1970s a visiting recently appointed Canberra-based surveyor with over 25 years topographic and geodetic survey experience was apparently introduced to Joe at a bad moment.  Joe’s greeting was curt: And what are you famous for?

Assistant Director Joe Lines at the Rialto office in December 1968

Joe was also ruthless when it came to staff appointments.  Even though permanent positions were available, Joe had a practice of only making temporary appointments to most non-professional positions.  Over and above any reasonable period of appointment on probation, many staff members were denied permanent appointments for up to several years from commencement, for example commenced early 1969 with permanent appointment in 1973.  All such delayed appointment staff members suffered an attendant loss in superannuation entitlements which were also wrongly denied to all temporary staff.  (This superannuation situation was not unique to National Mapping as a later High Court decision was to show; see Commonwealth of Australia v Cornwell 2007 HCA 16.) 

Joe was just as ruthless with the payment of field allowances.  Many staff members would spend long periods of continuous service in the field; periods between six and nine months away from the Melbourne office were not uncommon during the 1950s, 1960s and up to the mid-1970s.  In such cases the relevant Public Service guidelines provided for staff to be paid an advance on travelling and camping allowances of up to 80 per cent of anticipated expenditure with the advance to be acquitted at the end of the field duty period.  Apparently concerned that a staff member may abscond with a large sum of advance monies, under Joe’s local rules direction advances were limited to little more than a week or two of anticipated expenditure.  The rule applied to all comers regardless of the level of position held or length of service with the organisation.  Joe remained unmoved when field staff complained they had to carry the cost of field expenses for some time due to inevitable delays in processing timesheets mailed infrequently from post offices in remote areas.  In those pre-credit card days some field family members back home were embarrassed by dishonoured cheques owing to such delays.  Even in those circumstances Joe still viewed further complaint frostily.  The situation only improved about the time Joe retired but by then field trips were of shorter duration.

At times Joe engaged in what some people might have seen as fairly devious bureaucratic game playing.  In 1970, Joe wanted to arrange delivery to another Melbourne-based organisation of some mapping material that was then overdue.  The Assistant Director personally instructed the Nat Map delivery driver along the lines: It must be there before lunch-time but not before 11 am, make sure you don’t say it is urgent.  It transpired that Joe was meeting the head of the receiving organisation in a committee setting that evening.  Here when challenged about the overdue material he was able to say it had been delivered some time ago!  Later in the early 1970s when a service contractor had formally complained about the sufficiency of ongoing work, Joe allocated the complainant some aerial work over map sheets in the most remote and logistically difficult region of Australia.

At times Joe could adopt an almost Nelsonian response to adverse situations.  In the early 1970s he made his presence known in a work area in the Rialto Building office that supported operations in the field.  Why is this officer in this interstate city? The Assistant Director had demanded to know.  Well, he’s been picked-up by the Commonwealth Police for unauthorised use of a Commonwealth vehicle over the weekend.  No, I don’t want to speak with him; I’ll just let him stew in this mess of his own making!  Later Joe added: If nothing else comes of this I’ll just pretend I don’t know about it.

Joe Lines with other Nat Map staff at the Gregory Hall office in 1953

The forgoing reflections were of course merely a few anecdotes that by no means covered Joe’s overall interactions with staff and others during his nearly three decades with National Mapping.  Although some staff relationships were undoubtedly somewhat strained at times, long-serving Nat Mappers usually recalled Joe fondly.  Senior Surveyor, Dave Hocking (1920-2000) joined Nat Map in April 1948 and retired in August 1985.  At a survey congress in Alice Springs a few months before he retired, Dave presented a paper: Star Tracking for Mapping: An Account of Astrofix Surveys by the Division of National Mapping during 1948-52.  In that paper, Dave wrote...Thanks are due to the people in the Melbourne office, especially to GRL Rimington or Rim as he was affectionately known, who provided the prompt support his field men will always remember and be grateful for, also to Joe Lines who, as 2IC in Melbourne managed amongst other things to keep the field parties happy by forwarding regularly, often on trust, the monthly ration of tobacco...

Senior Technical Officer Reg Ford commenced field survey work with National Mapping in 1950 and was formally appointed in May 1951.  On 1 January 1968, Reg was awarded the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for meritorious service (for his work on the national geodetic survey).  Shortly before he retired in 1979, Reg documented much of his field survey experience in: The Division of National Mapping’s Part in the Geodetic Survey of Australia.  In this work, Reg recorded his appreciation of Joe Lines as follows: One person who...gave me much help while I was in the office during the short break between field seasons was JD Lines, Senior Surveyor Topographic Survey Section (later Supervising Surveyor Topographic Survey Branch and Assistant Director, Melbourne).  When preparing the survey party for their next field period I often felt we would never have completed the purchase of equipment and supplies at the short notice available if Joe had not been there to guide me through the minefields of the bureaucratic jungle.

Some early family background-Joe Lines’ birth and details of his parents

John Dunstan Lines was born on 23 October 1920 at Nurse Jemima Fitch's private hospital at 139 Hampton Street Middle Brighton Victoria.  His parents, John Harold Melbourne Lines (1888-1962) and Florence May (Floss) Lines nee Watts (1888-1963), then resided at Holloway Road Brunswick.  John Dunstan was their only son.  A daughter (Joe’s only sister) Elizabeth Dunstan was born at Brighton in 1922.

Joe’s father John Harold Melbourne Lines was born in the residence of his grandparents (Mark and Jane Lines) at Eulolo, 10 Hornby Street Windsor Victoria on 25 January 1888.  John HM was the only son of John Lines (1858-1917) and his wife Emma Jane Lines (1864-1946).  (Joe’s paternal grandparents John and Emma were also first cousins.  In 1915, John and Emma Lines lived at 111 Bay Street Brighton.)  John HM finished his school years at the Melbourne Continuation School and during his time there the school was renamed the Melbourne High School.  It was then a co-educational school located at the corner of Spring and Victoria Streets East Melbourne.  Later John HM became a school teacher with the Victorian Government’s Education Department.  In 1914, he was posted to the Cobrico Primary School near Camperdown where he was the only teacher.

On 7 October 1915, John HM Lines married Florence May (Floss), the second daughter of John and Eliza Dunstan Watts of Brighton.  The marriage took place at St Andrew’s church on the corner of New and Church Streets Middle Brighton and the Reverend A Law BD officiated.  On 24 June 1915, a few months prior to his marriage, John HM Lines enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force.  He served with the 4th Light Horse Regiment in Egypt, Palestine and Syria between May 1916 and June 1919.  An overview of JHM Lines' service with the AIF is provided at Appendix 1.  Initially after her wedding, Joe’s mother Floss Lines resided at 2 Wright Street Brighton but in April 1917 changed her address to Glenhuntly Road Caulfield.

After his discharge from the AIF in September 1919, John HM Lines returned to his teaching profession with the Victorian Education Department.  John HM’s teaching career involved a number of transfers to various locations within Victoria.  In late 1919, John HM was posted to another one-teacher school at Bagshot north-east of Bendigo and his wife travelled there with him.  In early 1920 John HM secured a posting to Toorak Central School and he and Floss purchased a house in Brunswick.  In 1923 the Lines family moved to Raglan Street Daylesford as John HM had been posted to the Daylesford Higher Elementary School.

Postings followed to the Mordialloc-Carrum High School in 1927 and later to the Elwood Central School.  In 1935 John HM was posted to Bairnsdale High School and the family lived at 46 McMillan Street Bairnsdale.  In 1940, John HM was posted to Box Hill High School and the family lived at 15 Bishop Street Box Hill, about 1.5 kilometres south of Fortune Street where John Dunstan and Mary Lines were to later have their family home.  John HM was posted to Swan Hill High School in 1940 and the family lived at Campbell Street Swan Hill.  In 1948 John HM was posted back to Box Hill and remained there until retiring from the Education Department in 1953; he later took temporary teaching assignments at several private schools.

Joe’s education and qualifications

Joe Lines’ education was greatly influenced by his father’s various school postings.  Joe commenced his primary education at Daylesford and continued it at Mordialloc, at Brighton and at Elwood Central School.  His secondary education was undertaken at Bairnsdale High School and at the Geelong Church of England Grammar School (Geelong Grammar) under headmaster James Ralph Dowling (who was later knighted and became a chairman of the then Australian Broadcasting Commission). 

Joe finished at Geelong Grammar around the end of 1937 or early in 1938 and while there spent 16 months in the school’s cadets.  Joe commenced science studies at The University of Melbourne in early 1938 but later changed to a surveying course.  In March 1938, Joe resided at Ridley College that had opened in Parkville in 1910 to provide gospel-focussed training of future leaders for Christian ministry.

Prior to enlistment in the 2nd AIF in June 1940, Joe’s civilian employment was as a pupil surveyor.  However, his war service and early post-war employment with National Mapping intervened and completion of his formal surveying accreditation was put on hold for over a decade.  Nevertheless, in the interim Joe gained a wealth of valuable training and experience in surveying and mapping techniques under both war-time and peace-time conditions in vastly differing terrains and climatic conditions.  After completing his articles as a surveyor with Meudell, Gillespie and Company, Joe was registered by the Surveyors Board of Victoria on 12 June 1953 as a licensed surveyor under the provisions of the Land Surveyors Act 1942; his register number was 785 and he was issued with certificate number 431.

Joe’s military service

On 17 March 1938, while a student residing at Ridley College, Joe Lines signed on for a three-year period as a volunteer member of the Militia Forces with the Melbourne University Rifles.  (The unit was formed in 1884 as the University Company in the 4th Battalion of the Victoria Rifles and became the University Rifles in 1910.  The unit was disbanded during World War II and its members called up but afterwards it was reformed as the Melbourne University Regiment.  The unit achieved no battle honours but its past members had included Sir John Monash and Sir Robert Menzies and later members were to include Sir Ninian Stephen, Sir Henry Winneke, Barry Humphries and Andrew Peacock.)

When enlisting in the Militia, Joe stated he was born 23 October 1919 rather than the actual 23 October 1920.  Presumably, this was to satisfy a necessary age qualification.  Thus Joe Lines started his military career at the rather tender age of 17 years.  Joe was discharged from the Melbourne University Rifles on 10 June 1940 after 2 years and 84 days service.  He had satisfied all periodic efficiency assessments.  

Joe’s discharge from the Militia occurred prior to fulfilling his three-year enlistment term as the battalion was called up for full-time service.  Thus, in mid June 1940 at age 19 years Joe commenced his service with the 2nd Australian Imperial Force.  (Unlike the permanent army, AIF members signed-up only for the duration of hostilities.)  Joe initially served with the 2/1st Corps Field Survey Company in the Royal Australian Engineers and later with other Australian Army topographical survey units during World War II.  More details on the main World War II army survey units with which Joe served are provided in Appendix 2 below.

Joe Lines celebrating with staff at the 1971 Rialto office Christmas party.

(L-R) Terry Mulholland, Rod Maruff, Ken Brown (background), Laurie Edebohls, JDL and Andrew Christie (background)


The 2/1st Corps Field Survey Company Royal Australian Engineers

The 2/1st Corps Field Survey Company was raised under the command of Major Lawrence FitzGerald (1903-1989) on 22 April 1940 for overseas service with the 2nd Australian Imperial Force.  (Lawrence FitzGerald was awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1946 for distinguished service in the South West Pacific area and was later promoted Brigadier.)  Only one of the six officers in the 2/1st had not come from a permanent army background.  That officer was Lieutenant Bruce Philip Lambert (1912-1990) who had been a Captain in the Militia Artillery but reverted to the lower rank on joining the AIF.  Bruce Lambert finished his war service with the rank of Major and went on to become the Director of National Mapping; he was awarded an Order of the British Empire in June 1970.

The second in command of the 2/1st was Captain Howard Angas Bill Johnson (1907-1990).  (Bill Johnson was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1947 for his meritorious service in the North Solomons area of operations during the war and was later promoted Lieutenant-Colonel.  He became the initial head of Nat Map’s Geodetic Survey in 1954.)  Lieutenant Clifford Stanhope Tim Tyler was the first officer to join the 2/1st.  He had a significant task to identify and acquire all the equipment the unit needed and to recruit personnel with the required experience.  Tim Tyler joined National Mapping after his discharge from the Army with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel at the end of 1962.  Another future Nat Mapper, Byrne Ernest Goodrick (1921-2001), was in the ranks of the 2/1st from its early days.  Like Joe Lines, Byrne finished the war with the rank of Lieutenant and went on to become an Assistant Director with National Mapping.

Initially, about 70 per cent of the company assembled at the recruit depot at the Caulfield racecourse.  From 28 May 1940, the company moved to the Puckapunyal AIF training camp north of Melbourne to undertake basic military training and later technical training.  The unit had two separate topographical survey sections that based their technical training from the Bendigo showgrounds.  That training included all facets of 1:50,000 scale mapping in the Ravenswood area from reconnaissance to beaconing, second order triangulation, computations and plane tabling of map detail.

The Middle East Campaign 1941-1942

Prior to embarking for the Middle East on 5 February 1941, the 2/1st Corps Field Survey Company had a total strength of seven officers and 146 other ranks.  Joe Lines was a Sapper in No 2 Topographical Section.  The Company’s personnel departed Melbourne on RMS Mauretania (HMT MX3).  South of Tasmania, the Mauretania formed a convoy with the Queen Mary, the Aquitania and with New Zealanders on the Nieuw Amsterdam; their principal escort was HMAS Hobart.  After calling at Fremantle, the convoy went to Bombay where the larger passenger ships turned back.  The 2/1st completed its journey to Port Taufiq at the head of the Suez Canal in a former British Army horse transport the Khedive Ismail.

The Company arrived at El Madjal then in Palestine on 18 March 1941 and on 30 April 1941 the two topographical survey sections moved to Mafraq a small settlement in what was then Trans-Jordan.  Here they carried out a triangulation survey along the Syrian border.  By 15 July 1941, the two survey sections moved to the vicinity of Naqoura on the coast of Lebanon about 5 kilometres north of the Palestine border.  Here the two sections carried out triangulation and mapping work. 

The survey sections then moved to a base camp near Zefta about 15 kilometres south of Sidon on the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon.  Their work later took them to a base near Merjayoun and then to Qatana about 25 kilometres south-west of Damascus.  The survey sections completed the work around Qatana on 24 November 1941.  From there, No 1 Section under Lieutenant Walter Bernard Relf moved to Aziz north of Aleppo.  No 2 Section under Bruce Lambert moved to Akhterin; both places were small towns adjacent to the Turkish border.  The task of both sections was to prepare 1:50,000 scale maps along the ill-defined border.  Snow fell at Christmas time as the survey sections continued working.

War Time Service in Australia 1942

By 6 February 1942, the Company had arrived at a Suez Canal transit camp for return to Australia.  Various elements of the Company departed from Port Taufiq on three separate vessels (SS Somerville, SS Maple Leaf and SS Andes) during early to mid-February 1942.  The vessels arrived at various Australian ports at differing times during the early part of March 1942.  After initially assembling in Melbourne, the Company moved to Toowoomba on 2 May 1942 and established its headquarters for the next 10 months at Gabbinbar, a property about 7 kilometres to the south of the city.

On 7 May 1942, the two survey sections under Lieutenant Relf moved from Toowoomba to Brisbane by road and from there moved by rail to Townsville.  Here the detachment established a camp at Alligator Creek about 15 kilometres to the south-east and quickly commenced mapping the Townsville area at 1 inch: 1 mile (1:63,360) scale.  At the time there were no topographic maps covering the Townsville area and the survey sections had to work on a seven days per week basis.  Soon after the detachment arrived at Townsville, Captain Johnson replaced Lieutenant Relf who returned to Toowoomba headquarters.  On 29 May 1942, Captain Johnson was promoted Major and appointed the officer commanding the Company.  Soon after Bruce Lambert was promoted Captain and made second in command of the Company.  Major Johnson returned to Toowoomba when the Townsville mapping work was completed and Captain Lambert took command of the field work and the move to Cairns.

On 3 July 1942, the two survey sections moved by rail from Townsville to Cairns and established their headquarters in Lake Street.  This detachment of the 2/1st Australian Corps Field Survey Company was the first AIF unit posted to Cairns during the war.  At Cairns the priority mapping task was the preparation of topographic map sheets at 1:63,360 scale over the Cairns, Gordonvale and Macalister Range map areas.

On 8 July 1942, the 2/1st Australian Corps Field Survey Company of the Royal Australian Engineers was formally disbanded and a new establishment created as the 2/1st Aust. Army Topographical Survey Company in the Australian Army Survey Corps.  The new unit had an establishment of 10 officers and 242 other ranks.  On 20 August 1942, Captain Lambert left to form a new unit, 2 Army Topographical Survey Company at Colac Victoria which was later renamed 6 Company to avoid name confusion with the 2/1st Company.

On 20 October 1942 a detachment of the 2/1st Company was warned for service in New Guinea.  The detachment included the two survey sections and the drawing section which were then withdrawn from the mapping work on the Atherton Tablelands and returned to Toowoomba to regroup and prepare for New Guinea deployment.  The detachment arrived at the Oonoonba staging camp near Townsville by rail on 30 November 1942.  The detachment sailed from Townsville on the TS Taroona on 8 December 1942 and arrived at Port Moresby on 12 December 1942.  (The Taroona had been requisitioned from its civilian work on the Bass Strait service to which it returned after the war until being replaced in 1959 by the Princess of Tasmania.)  At Port Moresby the headquarters and the drawing section were established in an abandoned house at Simpson’s Gap in the town area; while there the detachment experienced several Japanese bombing raids.

Joe Lines in May 1987 after retirement with senior Nat Map and RMIT staff.

(L-R) Geoff Thomson (RMIT and Alan Thomson’s older brother), John Manning (Assistant Director), Fred Adamec (RMIT and former Natmapper), JDL, Peter O’Donnell (Assistant Director), Alan Thomson (former Assistant Director), Con Veenstra (Director).


The New Guinea Campaign 1942-1945

On 29 January 1943, Sergeant Joe Lines was part of a section of 18 personnel under Lieutenant Eric Montgomery Beach that left Port Moresby on a small coastal trader to travel via Milne Bay to Oro Bay on the north coast about 25 kilometres south-east of Buna.  Here they relieved another survey section impacted by malaria, dysentery, dermatitis and tropical ulcers.  Their task was to carry out mapping of the general area and to map the Oro Bay base area at a scale of 1:15,840 (1 inch: 1/4 mile) for the development of roads and general infrastructure.  Frequent Japanese bombing raids were experienced.

From Oro Bay the detachment later moved to the coastal village of Pongani.  Here an astrofix was taken to determine an origin for a theodolite traverse.  Distant peaks such as Mt Trafalgar, Mt Victory, Goodenough Island, Mt Suckling and points along Hydrographers Range were intersected.  This practice was carried out by the surveying section at all astrofix stations it established.  The practice allowed further control points to be established by resection; although not a particularly accurate control method it was necessary in the circumstances as no other control was available.

On 25 March 1943, the detachment moved from Pongani to Tufi in tropical fiord country on Maclaren Harbour in the Cape Nelson area located further east along the north coast.  Here the task was to carry out astrofixes and theodolite traverses as well as standard 1:63,360 scale mapping.  (Lieutenant Beach was replaced by Lieutenant Gordon Roberts on 21 April 1943.)  The work included some base plots for aerial photography strips. 

The work at Tufi also included extensive chain and compass surveys for track mapping.  Instead of a chain, a 100 yard length of signal wire was used.  When the lead chainman (a local native) reached the end of his length he would usually be out of sight so he would give a predetermined bird call to which the compass bearing would be taken.  (The bird call was an operational necessity due to enemy still being active in the survey area.  The method was modified from a British Army practice where the compass bearings were taken to the sounds of whistle blows; an unsafe practice in the circumstances.)  Before taking the next length, an adjustment would be made to the present length measurement to allow for track bends and other factors.

The longest traverse of this type was done by Sergeant Lines and Corporal George Buchanan Gibson together with Australia New Guinea Administration Unit Warrant Officer Class 2 William Fredrick John Moses.  They were supported by local native chainmen and carriers.  This small group covered a distance of over 170 kilometres of which over 110 kilometres were signal wire and compass traversed. 

The overall track traversing work of the surveying section involved many hundreds of kilometres over swamp and jungle terrain with saddles above 2,000 feet.  Leeches abounded and once latched on in a bite they had to be burnt off the skin with a cigarette; a necessary practice that greatly increased the risk of tropical ulcers.  The track traversing by this method yielded intersection closures within 5-10 per cent accuracy which was considered satisfactory in the circumstances. 

At Tufi and in the Cape Nelson area generally there was little direct interference to the survey work from enemy activity.  Occasional small parties of Japanese that landed in area were soon rounded up by the native police stationed at Tufi.  On one occasion while carrying out survey work on the northern slopes of Mount Trafalgar, Sergeant Joe Lines commanded a detachment of native police to search the area for a suspected Japanese spotting station.  The survey detachment was withdrawn from the Tufi area on 22 June 1943.  They were embarked on a small ship AS24 to travel to Morobe where the section transferred to a small barge for landing.  After further work there the section returned to Port Moresby.

On 1 July 1943, Joe Lines was a Warrant Officer Class II in an 18 man section under Lieutenant Roberts that flew from Port Moresby over the Owen Stanley Range to Dododura about 25 kilometres south of Buna on the north coast.  Here the section was engaged in the preparation of 1:25,000 scale maps of the area that was being developed as a large multi-runway United States airfield complex.  On 13 August 1943, Lieutenant Roberts, Captain Ronald Eric Playford and four others left to proceed to Australia on leave; the first such leave for some time.  Joe Lines then took over command of the mapping work in the Buna-Dobodura-Popondetta area until this work was completed in September 1943.

In March 1944, Joe returned to Australia for leave.  Other elements of the 2/1st Company returned to Australia in April and May 1944.  By June 1944, the Company’s headquarters was established at Mareeba and 150 of its personnel proceeded on leave.  Soon after, 114 Company personnel were admitted to hospital; most were in hospital for the treatment of malaria but there various cases of other aliments as well.  The Company did not return to New Guinea before the end of World War II. 

Between 5 June 1944 and 23 September 1944, Joe attended course number 13 at the Officer Cadet Training Unit at Seymour Victoria.  The course was for Australian Survey Corps personnel.  Joe qualified for a commission at the completion of his course and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 24 September 1944 at age 23 years.  After his promotion, Joe was posted to the Army Survey Corps’ No 6 Australian Army Topographical Survey Company (AIF).

By late March 1945, Joe and other personnel from No 6 Topographical Survey Company were part of the 2nd Echelon of the Army’s Land Headquarters.  This group moved back to New Guinea as fighting in the Aitape-Wewak campaign continued towards the taking of Maprik on 23 April and Wewak on 10 May 1945.  On 29 March 1945, Joe embarked at Townsville on the minesweeper (corvette) HMAS Katoomba for Lae.  From Lae, Joe’s survey unit moved north with the 17th Brigade of the Australian Army’s 6th Division as operations continued against Japanese forces along the coast and in the Torricelli Mountains until the end of August. 

By late July 1945, Joe was in Aitape and on 30 July he flew from Aitape to Wewak.  Joe returned to Australia two months later.  On 28 September 1945, Joe disembarked at Brisbane after a voyage from Wewak onboard the converted Dutch East Indies Koninklyke Paketvaart Maatschappy (Royal Packet Navigation Company, commonly called the KPM Line) vessel Bontekoe.

Army Discharge and Mention in Despatches

Joe was discharged from the Army on 18 October 1945 with the rank of Lieutenant in the Australian Army Survey Corps.  (This entity became the Royal Australian Army Survey Corps in 1948 and was disbanded in 1996.)

Shortly after concluding his war service, Joe was awarded a Mention in Despatches for exceptional service in the field in the South West Pacific area.  This end of theatre award for exceptional service was recommended by the Governor-General (HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester) on 26 June 1946 and was promulgated in both the London Gazette and the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette on 6 March 1947.

Marriage to Dorothea Mary Morrison

On 26 April 1947, the engagement was announced of Dorothea Mary the younger daughter of the Reverend RN and Mrs Morrison of 12 Sydney Street Armadale to John Dunstan the only son of Mr and Mrs JH Lines of Campbell Street Swan Hill.  (Reverend Roland Morrison was then one of the vicars at St Albans Church of England located at the corner of Orrong and Wynnstay Roads Armadale.)  Joe and Mary were married by her father at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Thomas Street Hampton on 12 June 1948.  They were to have five children.  Their first child, daughter Jane Mary, was born at the Women’s Hospital in September 1950.  Their next child, son John Roland, was born at St Andrew’s Hospital in May 1953.  Their three other children followed: twin daughters Sally Elizabeth and Susan Louise were born in June 1955 and son Nicholas Dunstan was born in June 1957.  Joe and Mary established their family home in a substantial weatherboard California bungalow style house that still stands at 9 Fortune Street Box Hill.  Sadly after nearly 50 years of marriage Mary became a nursing home resident in 1997 and passed away prior to Joe’s death in 2001.

Joe Lines at Tarlton Downs NT in 1962 with Cessna 180 VH-CLE and pilot Eric Adams

A 28-year career in National Mapping

Joe Lines’ National Mapping career commenced on 6 September 1948 when he took up duty with the then National Mapping Section of the Department of Interior’s Property and Survey Branch at their Melbourne office. Joe's appointment on probation as Draftsman Grade 2 in the Photogrammetric Survey Sub-section of the National Mapping Section, Canberra was promulgated in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No 122 on 12 August 1948. While this position was nominally based in Canberra, Joe was required to perform duty in Melbourne for an indefinite period. (It transpired that Joe remained based in Melbourne until his retirement some 28 years later.)

When Joe started with Nat Map he was 27 years of age and had been married to Mary for about 3 months. The Nat Map office was then located in Burke House at 340 Collins Street in the central business district. (The National Mapping Section later became the Division of National Mapping within the Department of National Development. The Melbourne office was located at the All Saints Anglican church hall-Gregory Hall-in Chapel St East St Kilda from late 1949. In 1959 the office moved to the Rialto Building at 497 Collins St Melbourne where it was to remain until 1977.)  Joe started his National Mapping career after he had earlier approached Bruce Lambert (1912-1990 - who was then Deputy Director of National Mapping in Canberra) seeking to join the fledgling national mapping effort.  Joe had served under Bruce Lambert during World War II and when reflecting on National Mapping’s formation shortly before he died Bruce Lambert said he was pleased to have Joe come on onboard the new organisation.

Joe was soon second in charge of the Melbourne office under Chief Topographic Surveyor George Robert Lindsay Rim Rimington (1908-1992). On 1 March 1951 Joe was promoted to Senior Draftsman (Photogrammetric) in the Photogrammetric Survey Sub-section. Here Joe's general responsibilities were to organise, direct, supervise and edit the work of the photogrammetric draftsmen employed in his sub-section. As mentioned above, Joe was registered as a licensed surveyor by the Surveyors Board of Victoria on 12 June 1953. Subsequently, on 16 September 1954, Joe was promoted to Senior Topographic Surveyor within the Photogrammetric Survey Sub-section. Here Joe was responsible to Rim Rimington (Chief Topographic Surveyor) for organising, directing, and supervising the work of a group of survey parties which included at least three professional officers engaged in topographic and geodetic surveys.

By the early 1960s, Joe was the Supervising Surveyor of the Topographic Survey Branch. However, his occupation of that position appears to have been through an informal arrangement. Joe had no promotions gazetted from 16 September 1954 until 11 August 1966 when he was promoted from Surveyor Class 2 to Assistant Director.

In August 1966 Joe assumed overall responsibility for National Mapping's Melbourne office when he was promoted to the newly created position of Assistant Director, Third Division, in the Topographic Survey Branch, Melbourne. Here Joe was responsible to Bruce Lambert, then the Director of National Mapping (in Canberra), for the direction, supervision, and co-ordination of activities within the Division in respect of : Topographic surveys; Antarctic mapping; and the general conduct of the Melbourne office. Joe ran the Melbourne office until retirement in the latter part of 1976.

Around late 1976, with the pending retirement of Bruce Lambert Nat Map’s long-serving Director, Joe became the Director Designate.  Fulfilling the duties of the higher position required Joe to operate from Canberra as the role involved close interaction with the department’s executive and with senior managers in other departments as well as with ministerial staff.  Joe preferred to keep his family home in Melbourne and intended to operate from Canberra with periodic commutes back to his home.  However, after only a few weeks in the higher Canberra-based role he revised his plans due to the stress of the high office and the attendant domestic disruption.  Joe had suffered his first heart attack in mid-1975 but soon recovered and made necessary adjustments to life style and diet.  No doubt wisely, he felt obliged to make his health and his family his first priorities and in 1976 (at around age 56 years) Joe decided to retire after some 28 years of outstanding service to National Mapping; both to the organisation itself and to the mapping of Australia and its external territories.

Some Nat Map Achievements

During the late 1940s and early 1950s, Joe was the Senior Draughtsman and second in charge of Nat Map’s Melbourne office.  Joe’s first decade or so with National Mapping involved periods of field duty in outback areas of South Australia, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Queensland.  Joe carried out triangulation surveys, astronomical determinations and reconnaissance for airborne geophysical surveys as well as spot photography from light aircraft. In 1955 Joe undertook astronomical determinations in the East Alligator Rivers area of the Northern Territory.

Joe undertook summer trips to Macquarie Island in 1957 and again in 1958.  The 1957 trip was to check earlier survey work and carry out field reconnaissance.  The 1958 trip was to carry out field survey work.  In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Joe was engaged in map revision projects for the 1:250,000 scale map series.  Here he used light aircraft to inspect map detail and take spot photography to record detail changes.  By 1962 Joe was advocating the use of Aboriginal names for any unnamed features in outback Australia.

Some highlights of Joe’s known field activities are provided in Appendix 3 below.

Commitment to Antarctica

From the late 1950s and particularly as Assistant Director from the mid-1960s, Joe directed Nat Map’s field surveying and mapping activities in Antarctica.  Nat Map’s role in such activities arose from a 1958 agreement with the Antarctic Division that was then part of the Department of the Department of External Affairs for Nat Map to undertake all survey and mapping related work as part of Australia’s commitments in Antarctica. 

1958 Hiller12C helicopter VH-UTC used to support Macquarie Island survey (ANARE image)

Joe was an active supporter of Nat Map’s Antarctica related activities.  His contribution to the mapping of the frozen continent was formally recognized.  Lines Ridge was named in November 1973 after John D Lines, Assistant Director of the Division of National Mapping then within the Department of Minerals and Energy.  Lines Ridge is a narrow broken rock ridge about 17 kilometres long on the northern edge of the Mawson Escarpment.  Lines Ridge is located at 72 degrees 33 minutes 47 seconds South latitude and 68 minutes 18 degrees 44 minutes East longitude.

Developing and implementing new technologies

During 1960s and the 1970s, Joe Lines oversaw and directed the acquisition and implementation of a range of new technologies that revolutionised the map production and survey control acquisition processes:

·       Joe managed and directed the acquisition and operational implementation of the Aerodist microwave based airborne distance measuring system that provided horizontal control for 1:100 000 scale mapping.  The system was first obtained in January 1962 and finally accepted in June 1963.  Aerodist was operationally deployed between 1963 and 1974.  It was used to measure over 3,000 lines that coordinated the positions of 480 survey control stations.  Through this work, the system provided horizontal mapping control for just over half of Australia and extended the control survey network to various reefs and islands.


·       Joe had overall carriage of the operational implementation of the United States sourced Johnson Ground Elevation Meter; a vehicle based terrain height acquisition system that was deployed by Nat Map from 1964 to 1970 to obtain vertical control for map production (and later for map revision) in more settled areas of eastern Australia.  This system provided about 5 per cent of the vertical mapping control used by Nat Map.


·       In the late 1960s Joe oversaw Nat Map’s sponsorship of the development and the later operational deployment of an airborne laser terrain profile recording system to provide vertical control for photogrammetric mapping for the 1:100,000 scale and updated 1:250,000 scale National Topographic Map Series.  The laser system, WREMAPS1, was developed by the Australian Defence Scientific Service of the Weapons Research Establishment within the Department of Supply.  WREMAPS1 was deployed in the field by Nat Map from 1970 to 1980 and profiled some 250,000 line kilometres (equivalent to flying about six times around the earth).  It provided vertical survey control for the photogrammetric plotting of topographic mapping over an area of about 2.7 million square kilometres (over 35 per cent of the Australian mainland).


·       Joe directed the acquisition, acceptance testing and operational deployment in the Melbourne office of automated systems to rectify 1:80,000 scale aerial photography to produce 1:100,000 scale orthophotomaps.  These systems were also used to produce the contour sheets for the orthophotomaps.  The first of the systems, a Wild B8 Stereomat was acquired in January 1968 and a second Stereomat was delivered in October 1969.  In 1970, two Zeiss Jena Topocarts were acquired and a Zeiss Oberkochen SEGV photo rectifier was acquired in 1971.  During the mid-1970s when orthophotomap production was in full swing, these machines were worked around the clock by staff on shift work.  However, owing to constraints from the original mapping photography image quality remained an ongoing issue with a number of the orthophotomaps.  (About a decade or so after the systems were first deployed, some were used to start Nat Map’s then fledgling digital mapping system but by then Joe Lines had retired.)


·       In 1976, Joe personally drove the purchase of a Nomad N22B-25 aircraft (VH-DNM) from the manufacturer, the Government Aircraft Factory at Fishermans Bend.  The aircraft was powered by twin Allison 250-B17 series turbo-prop engines.  It was the first aircraft acquired by Nat Map and was deployed from July 1976 to September 1982 as a platform for aerial survey cameras and until early 1980 carried the WREMAPS1 laser terrain profile recording system.


·       In the mid-1970s, Joe drove Nat Map’s consideration of obtaining a more versatile and efficient platform for high altitude aerial photography operations.  Joe’s foresight and drive led to the chartering of a Gates Learjet 25C aircraft (VH-TNN) from the Melbourne based Stillwell Aviation.  This aircraft was fitted with a door pod mounting for a Wild RC10 aerial survey camera and was used extensively for high altitude aerial photography capture projects for mapping purposes from 1976 to 1981.


Involvement with Australian and International Surveying and Mapping organisations

Joe supported and actively contributed to the activities of a number of Australian and international surveying and mapping professional organisations.  Joe’s involvement in such professional activities started during his early years with National Mapping and continued for many years after his retirement from that organisation.  Some of his professional organisation involvements are outlined below:

·       The Institution of Surveyors, Australia’s Victorian Division: Joe was an active member of the Institution and on several occasions contributed articles for its journal The Australian Surveyor.  In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the profession, Joe was made a Fellow of Institution of Surveyors, Australia.


·       Australian Institute of Cartographers: Joe was an active member of the Institute from its early days.  He contributed several articles to its journal Cartography and between 1958 and 1960 was the journal’s editor.  Joe was later made an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Institute of Cartographers.  Later through changes and amalgamations the AIC became the Institution of Mapping Sciences and Joe became an Honorary Fellow of that institution.  (The organisation is now called the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute.)


·       Australian Photogrammetric Society: Joe was an active member of the Australian Photogrammetric Society and was its Chairman for at least one term.  As the Society’s Chairman, Joe was the Australian delegate at International Congresses on Photogrammetry held by the then International Society of Photogrammetry at Lausanne, Switzerland during July 1968 and at Ottawa, Canada in 1972.  (The international organisation is now called the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.)


·       Australian Map Circle: Joe was active in the Circle from its early days and was Business Manager from 1979 to 1987.  The organisation’s executive has acknowledged that its financial stability owed much to Joe’s methodical organisational approach that was implemented early in his term of office.  Joe was engaged in various other activities for the Circle including preparing its newsletter, publishing its journal, preparing a facsimile of James Wlyd’s 1820 map of early land settlement and various other tasks.  In recognition of his service, Joe was made an Honorary Life Member of the Australian Map Circle in 1991.  During Joe’s term as Business Manager, Dorothy Prescott was President of the Australian Map Circle, she fondly recalled Joe as being a font of wisdom and a very canny operator.  (In June 1993, Mrs Prescott was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to map librarianship and cartobibliography.)


·       The Surveyors Board of Victoria: For some 14 years from the early 1980s, Joe undertook a number of consultancies for the Surveyors Board of Victoria.  As a result of these consultancies, Joe edited the Board’s Survey Practice Handbook, a three volume best practice guide and reference work covering the broad areas of Drawing Procedures (Part1), Survey Procedures (Part 2) and Land Surveying Law and Administration (Part 3).  The Handbook was first published in 1984 and Part 3 was first published in 1989.  As well as contributing to the compilation of the material for some sections, Joe edited updates to the Handbook until 1994.


Some of Joe’s conference attendances

Joe Lines represented Australia as well his organisation at a number of significant domestic and international forums.  For example, Joe attended:

·       The United Nations Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Far East that was held in Manila, Philippines from 21 November to 5 December 1964.  Here Joe was the Australian delegate and was elected First Vice-President and presided at most of the plenary sessions; these covered an extensive agenda and honed Joe’s leadership skills as the national delegates were not always in agreement as to final outcomes.


·       The Institution of Surveyors, Australia’s 8th Survey Congress that was held in Canberra during April 1965.  Here Joe presented a paper on the use of the airborne Aerodist distance measuring system in Australia.


·       Fifth United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Far East that was held in Canberra during 8-22 March 1967. Here Joe was an Alternate for the Australian Government Representatives (Messrs RW Boswell and BP Lambert).


·       Colloquium on Control for Mapping by Geodetic and Photogrammetric Means held at the University of New South Wales from 22 to 24 May 1967. Here Joe presented a paper on control surveys for 1:100,000 scale mapping that was later published in the journal Cartography.


·       The 11th International Congress on Photogrammetry that was held by the then International Society of Photogrammetry at Lausanne, Switzerland during July 1968.  Here Joe, as Chairman of the Australian Photogrammetric Society was the Australian delegate.


·       The Institution of Surveyors, Australia’s 13th Australian Survey Congress that was held in Adelaide during 4-10 April 1970.  Here Joe presented a paper on orthophotomaps as the maps of the future.


·       The 43rd Congress of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science that was held in Brisbane during 24-28 May 1971.  Here Joe presented a paper on Nat Map’s use of orthophotography to support the 1:100,000 scale national mapping programme.


·       The four-yearly Conference of Commonwealth Survey Officers that was held at its usual venue in Cambridge, United Kingdom during 16-25 August 1971.  Here Joe represented Australia and presented a paper on the application of Nat Map’s airborne laser profile recorder to the 1:100,000 scale national mapping programme.


·       The 12th International Congress on Photogrammetry that was held by then International Society for Photogrammetry at Ottawa, Canada in 1972.  Here Joe, as Chairman of the Australian Photogrammetric Society was the Australian delegate.


·       The Australian Institute of Cartographers’ inaugural Australian Cartographic Conference that was held in Sydney during 10-12 October 1974.  Here Joe presented a paper on map products and the future trends in mapping.


Papers and publications

Joe Lines prepared a number of reports and technical papers over the years for departmental use, for conference presentation and for professional journals.  After he retired, Joe continued writing and edited a reference work on survey practice and books on Australia’s mapping in peace and in war and a book on the history of his family.  A list of Joe’s known reports, conference papers, journal articles and books is provided at Appendix 4 below.

Overseas consultancy work

When travelling to attend an international congress on photogrammetry in Canada in 1972, Joe made stopovers in Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa to undertake consultations and prepare a report on training needs for the Department of Foreign Affairs.


In 1998, Joe suffered from severe pancreatitis which saw him in and out of hospital and rehabilitation for some 10 months and left him an insulin dependent diabetic.  Sadly, John Dunstan Lines died suddenly on Friday 14 September 2001 at age 80 years.  He was survived by his five children, sixteen grandchildren and a great grandchild.  His funeral service was held on Thursday 20 September 2001 at St Peter’s Anglican Church Whitehorse Road Box Hill; afterwards his remains were cremated privately.  The executive and members of the Australian Map Circle remembered Joe with affection as a stalwart of the Circle since its early days.  The Institution of Surveyors, Victoria expressed regret at the passing of their esteemed member and colleague.  With Joe’s passing his family mourned a beloved father and grandfather.  The broader surveying and mapping community lost a valued and esteemed colleague.  Members of the closer National Mapping community said a sad goodbye to a greatly respected member and one of the last of the organisation’s founding leadership team.

Joe Lines in February 1989 after retirement enjoying a social catch up with Nat Map colleagues.

(L-R) Adrian Wright, Oz Ertok, JDL, Terry Larkin

Appendix 1

John Harold Melbourne Lines

Service with the Australian Imperial Force 1915-1919

Joe Line’s father, John Harold Melbourne Lines joined the Australian Imperial Force on 24 June 1915 as a Trooper (Private) at the age of 27 years.  He served with the 4th Light Horse Regiment and other units in Egypt, Palestine and Syria (as part of the British Army’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force) between May 1916 and June 1919.  He returned to Melbourne on 25 July 1919 and was discharged from the Army in September 1919 at 31 years of age with the rank of Lieutenant. 

Some highlights from JHM Lines’ Australian Imperial Force Service Record

JHM Lines embarked (as a temporary Corporal) on His Majesty’s Australian Transport A53 Itria at Melbourne on 18 April 1916 as a member of the 16th Reinforcements for the 4th Light Horse Regiment.  Initially, JHM Lines joined the 1st Light Horse Regiment at Tel El Kabir north-east of Cairo on 29 May 1916.  On 1 July he took up duty with the 1st Double Squadron of the Australian Camel Corps at Serapeum south of Ismailia on the Egyptian side of the Suez Canal.  On 23 October 1916, he was promoted temporary Corporal but reverted to the ranks on 2 November 1916 when posted briefly to the Australian Camel Training Unit. 

JHM Lines joined the 4th Light Horse Regiment on 25 February 1917 at Ferry Post at Ismailia.  On 3 March 1917, he was promoted temporary Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant with the regiment.  He was permanently promoted to that rank later that month; by then the 4th Light Horse was at Tel El Fara on Wadi Shallal west of Beersheba (then in Palestine.)  Between July 1917 and early January 1918 JHM Lines was attached to the 4th Light Horse Training Regiment at Moascar near Ismailia in Egypt.  On 21 January 1918, he rejoined the 4th Light Horse at Deir el Belah near the coast about 15 kilometres south-west of Gaza.  In May 1918 he was in Gaza and by late October 1918 he was in Damascus.

On 15 February 1919, JHM Lines was briefly attached for duty with the Australian Depot Stores at Ghezrieh on the Nile west of Cairo and rejoined the 4th Light Horse at Moascar later that month.  John HM Lines was promoted Second Lieutenant on 21 April 1919 with the Australian Army Education Service at Cairo and soon after was attached to the 4th Light Horse then stationed at Damanhour in the Nile Delta south-east of Alexandria.  

On 15 June 1919, JHM Lines and other members of his regiment embarked at Kantara for return to Australia onboard the SS Essex that was chartered as a troop transport from the British India Steam Navigation Company.  On 21 July 1919, JHM Lines was promoted Lieutenant, training officer with the 4th Light Horse. 

John HM Lines was discharged from the Army on 10 September 1919 and was later awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal 1914-20 and the Victory Medal 1914-1919.  (When aged in his 50s, John HM Lines re-enlisted to serve during World War II.  He taught navigation and related mathematics to prospective airmen at Box Hill High School evening classes.  During that conflict his only son John Dunstan Lines was to serve in parts of the Middle East where his father had served some 20 or so years earlier.)

Some highlights from the 4th Light Horse Regiment’s history 1916-1919

The forgoing highlights from JHM Lines’ service record are, by the nature of such record, largely exception reports.  Service record entries show changes or movements to and away from the subject’s unit but do not record what the particular unit was doing.  This section seeks to provide a brief overview of the context in which JHM Lines’ main unit operated during the time he was with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. 

After JHM’s arrival at Tel El Kabir in late May 1916, the 4th Light Horse Regiment spent the remainder of 1916 engaged on rear area security tasks in the Suez Canal Zone.  In April 1917, the 4th Light Horse moved into the Sinai Desert in the wake of the main advance while still undertaking security duties.  The regiment’s first major battle was on 31 October 1917 when an attack was launched to outflank the Turks at Gaza.  In this famous Charge of Beersheba, the Light Horse captured the heavily defended town of Beersheba.  The action occurred when a deteriorating tactical situation late on the first day of the flanking operation caused the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments to approach Beersheba at the gallop. 

Gaza fell on 7 November 1917 and Turkish resistance in southern Palestine soon collapsed.  The 4th Light Horse participated in the pursuit of the Turkish forces that followed and later spent the early months of 1918 resting and training.  The regiment then moved into the Jordan Valley to participate in the raid at the village of Es Salt (about 23 kilometres west of Amman in Trans-Jordan) between 29 April and 4 May 1918. 

In August 1918, the regiment was issued with swords and trained in traditional cavalry tactics to prepare for the next offensive against the Turks.  This was launched along the Palestine coast on 19 September 1918 with the aim of taking Damascus.  The mounted forces penetrated deep into the Turkish rear areas severing roads, railways and communications links.  On 1 October 1918, a 4th Light Horse patrol was the first Allied formation to enter Damascus.  The regiment soon continued its advance and was on the way to Homs on the Orontes River north of Damascus when the Turks surrendered on 30 October 1918. 

As long-serving troopers began to embark for return to Australia, the 4th Light Horse was called back to operational duty to quell the Egyptian revolt that started in March 1919 and order was restored in little over a month.  Over the following few months, arrangements were made for the remainder of the regiment to return to Australia.

Appendix 2

More Details on World War II Army Survey Units with which Joe Lines Served

2/1st Corps Field Survey Company, Royal Australian Engineers

Immediately prior to departure for the Middle East in February 1941 with the 2nd Australian Imperial Force, the 2/1st had an overall strength of 7 officers, 42 noncommissioned officers and 104 sappers.  The Company’s establishment is outlined below:

Officers: Major Lawrence FitzGerald, Commanding Officer; Captain Howard Angas Bill Johnson, 2nd in Command; Lieutenant Bruce Philip Lambert; Lieutenant Clifford Stanhope Tim Tyler; Lieutenant Walter Bernard Relf and Lieutenant Ronald Eric Playford.

Headquarters Section: 11 noncommissioned officers and 30 sappers.

No 1 Topographical Section: 8 noncommissioned officers and 8 sappers.

No 2 Topographical Section: 9 noncommissioned officers and 8 sappers including Corporal Gordon Roberts (later promoted Lieutenant) and Sapper John Dunstan Lines.

Drawing Section: 3 noncommissioned officers and 8 sappers.

Photographic Section: 2 noncommissioned officers and 10 sappers.

Proving Section: 2 noncommissioned officers and 8 sappers.

No 1 Printing Section: 4 noncommissioned officers and 11 sappers.

No 2 Printing Section: 3 noncommissioned officers and 12 sappers including Sapper Byrne Ernest Goodrick.

Reinforcements: 6 sappers.

Attachments: 1 officer (Captain Alan Fenton Kurrle) and 3 sappers.

The Corps Field Survey Company was originally designed to service an army corps which had a nominal three divisions structure.  In the case of the 1st Army Corps of the 2nd Australian Imperial Force in the Middle East in the early 1940s, these divisions were the 6th, 7th and 9th Divisions.  Owing to the Australian and Allied Armies command structure in place in that theatre, the 2/1st Company operated more as an Army company than a Corps company.  Much of the work of 2/1st Company was over-sighted by the Survey Directorate of the British 9th Army.  Thus the commanding officer of the 2/1st Company, Major Lawrence FitzGerald, reported to British Army Colonel (later Major-General) Reginald Llewellyn Bruno Brown (1895-1983) who was then Director of Survey at General Headquarters in Cairo.  It was only when operating in Lebanon after the Syrian campaign that the 2/1st Company came under the direct command of the 1st Australian Corps.  That later command arrangement had been the intention when the 2/1st Company first arrived in the Middle East in March 1941.

2/1st Aust. Army Topographical Survey Company, Australian Army Survey Corps

After the 2/1st Corps Field Survey Company returned from the Middle East in March 1942, Major FitzGerald was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel and appointed Deputy Director of Survey, 1st Army.  Captain HA Johnson then assumed command of the Company.

On 8 July 1942 the Corps Field Survey Company was disbanded and reformed as the 2/1st Aust. Army Topographical Survey Company with a considerably increased war establishment of 10 officers and 242 other ranks.  The new company was commanded by HA Johnson who was promoted Major.  As an Army Company, however, the role of the unit was wide spread and it necessarily endeavoured to serve too many masters.  This meant that a piecemeal approach was too often employed as the 2/1st had lost the more immediate goals of a Corps Company.

After the invasion of Finschhafen on New Guinea’s Huon Peninsula east of Lae by Australia’s 9th Division, the Company’s activities became very much influenced by Major-General George Wootten, the divisional commander, who also influenced the 1:25,000 scale mapping programme.  Thus the role of the 2/1st Army Company was little more than that of a Corps Company directly servicing the surveying and mapping needs of a Division engaged in combat operations.

The Corps Survey Company role of the 2/1st became more evident when the Company was split in to two units of similar composition for service in Hollandia on the north coast of then Dutch New Guinea and in Moratai, an island in the northern part of the Halmahera Group in the Molucca Sea of the then Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).  The Hollandia group serviced the II Australian Corps in Bougainville and New Guinea and the Moratai group serviced I Australian Corps and its 7th and 9th Divisions in Borneo.

In effect, the 2/1st Aust. Army Topographical Survey Company finished the war as two separate corps companies; having reverted to the 1940 concept.  The more concentrated focus on directly servicing an Army Corps with mapping in the various required forms allowed the 2/1st to better fulfil its role.

Appendix 3

Some of Joe Lines’ Nat Map field work highlights

1951 Eyre Peninsula survey

This was the first triangulation survey completed by the then National Mapping Section.  The survey party was met by Lindsay Rimington Chief Topographic Surveyor who was accompanied by Joe Lines then Senior Draughtsman at Port Augusta.  The task was to carry a second order triangulation chain from the most southerly stations of the Royal Australian Army Survey Corps’ triangulation chain (midway down the Eyre Peninsula) to the Port Lincoln area.  There the triangulation chain was to junction with stations established by the Royal Australian Navy for horizontal and vertical control during recharting of the adjacent waters.


The base for the Nat Map party’s accommodation was at the coastal village of Arno Bay.  From there the reconnaissance was carried out by Lindsay Rimington assisted by Joe Lines while the beaconing, station marking and clearing was done by the two survey parties under Dave Hocking.  Prefabricated Oregon quadrupod beacons twenty feet high with three feet diameter circular steel vanes were erected.  The reconnaissance, clearing and beaconing was completed in just over a fortnight; in all 18 beacons were erected.


On the completion of the beaconing, a one evening demonstration of theodolite observing techniques was given by the Lindsay Rimington who then returned to Melbourne leaving the survey party in the charge of Joe Lines.  Apart from this demonstration no other opportunity for practise was available before the observing program began in earnest, thus all had to learn the hard way.


Field Party for the 1951 Eyre Peninsula triangulation survey

GRL Rimington    Chief Topographic Surveyor

JD Lines              Senior Draftsman

DR Hocking         Surveyor Grade 2 (acting)

EJ Caspers          Field Assistant (Survey)

FH Lennie           Field Assistant (Survey)

RA Ford              Field Assistant (Survey)

RG Foster           Draftsman (Photogrammetric)

L Hay                  Cadet Draftsman (Canberra)

J Carrucan          Field Assistant

WJ Dingeldei       Field Assistant

J Jaggers            Field Assistant

FJ McCoy            Field Assistant


1955 astronomical determinations Northern Territory

During the dry season (winter) of 1955 Joe undertook astro fixes for mapping control in the East Alligator Rivers area of the Northern Territory. During this field work he first met Len Turner who was working as a surveyor at the Sleisbeck uranium mine. Sleisbeck mine was located about 100 kilometres east of Pine Creek (at about 13 degrees 46 minutes South and 132 degrees 50 minutes East). Len Turner later joined Nat Map and went on to become an Assistant Director. 


1956 airborne barometric heighting for aeronautical charting

Around 1956, Joe Lines used a Cessna single engine fixed wing aircraft on extremely low level flights to undertake barometric heighting for aeronautical charting in outback Australia.  This method of heighting was later abandoned as too dangerous; the decision was apparently prompted by the amount of bush and other vegetation that had to be removed from the aircraft undercarriage after a flight. 


1957 spot photography for map revision

In 1957, as Senior Surveyor in the Topographic Survey Branch Joe was involved in the introduction of spot photography as an aid in revising 1:250,000 scale planimetric map sheets in Central Australia.  The initial work is believed to have been undertaken from a Cessna 180 aircraft using a Williamson F24 camera.

1957 and 1958 auroral baseline survey work on Macquarie Island

Towards the end of 1957 Joe Lines travelled to Macquarie Island with the station relief voyage to check the accuracy of survey work carried out in 1956 for a base line for photo theodolites located at either end of the island.  These instruments were used to take measurements on the Southern Aurora.  The check work revealed the accuracy was about 1:100 which was well below the required 1:5,000 accuracy in the relative positions of the photo theodolites.  As a consequence, a reconnaissance for a future traverse was carried out with a view to completing this during the 1958 relief voyage.  (Macquarie Island is a sub-Antarctic island located in the Southern Ocean about 1,500 km south-east of Tasmania, about half way between Tasmania and Antarctica.  It has been part of Tasmania since 1900 and is managed as a Tasmanian State Reserve.) 

In December 1958 Joe Lines (then Senior Topographic Surveyor) carried out the Tellurometer and theodolite traverse with fellow Nat Mappers Malcolm Nicholas (surveyor) and J Slama (field assistant-survey).  The traverse ran between North Head and South West Point on Macquarie Island to provide an accurate baseline for the already established photo theodolites.  The straight-line distance between the two camera stations at either end of the island was about 32 kilometres.  However, to cope with the prevailing weather conditions of low cloud, fog and rain, the traverse route went along the coast on the lee side of the island to allow line of sight to be maintained. 

The expedition departed Melbourne on 26 November 1958 on the MV Thala Dan and was the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions’ first use of a helicopter to support field operations.  (The first civilian helicopter in Australia was registered in April 1956.)  The aircraft used on the 1958 expedition was a Hiller 12C (VH-UTC) leased from Trans Australia Airlines.  It was not equipped with floats despite having to operate over water.  The helicopter was used to support the survey work for the auroral base line that commenced on 1 December 1958 and was concluded on 12 December 1958.  The aircraft flew for a total of 25 hours and 45 minutes of which 21 hours and 15 minutes were specifically for survey support.  The helicopter pilot was Keith Cottee.  In addition to helicopter support, field parties were positioned from the MV Thala Dan, the ship’s boat, a dinghy and an amphibious 6-wheel drive DUKW.

(The radio operator on Macquarie Island was veteran Australian Army Warrant Officer George Emil Heinrichs who had served in Korea and wintered on Macquarie in 1958.  Joe and George remained friends and, after the later marriage of his daughter Barbara, George became the father-in-law of future long serving Nat Mapper Garry Burriss.)

1962 spot photography and aerial map inspections in the Northern Territory

In 1962, Joe with fellow Nat Mappers Des Young, Byrne Goodrick and Len Bently undertook spot photography and aerial inspections in the eastern Northern Territory; most likely to revise sheets in the 1:250,000 scale map series.  The aircraft used was a Cessna 180A (VH-CLE) that was chartered from the Alice Springs based Connellan Airways with pilot Eric Adams.  The aircraft is known to have operated around Hatches Creek, Lake Nash and Tarlton Downs. 

1970s field visits to inspect operations

By the 1970s, as Assistant Director, Joe’s time in the field was constrained to occasional visits to inspect ongoing field operations.  One such visit was at Port Hedland in 1973 when both an Examination Surveys field party and the Laser Terrain Profile Recorder field party were operating out of that north-west port.  As luck would have it when Joe arrived laser operations had been suspended.  The aircraft that carried the laser system (Grand Commander VH-EXP) was grounded for a major engine repair.  Joe seemed unconcerned by the situation and asked to be taken to the airport to satisfy himself as to the aircraft’s status (an engine cover was off and the engine was partially dismantled).  Joe then inspected the laser equipment in the aircraft and suggested lunch back in town.  Here Joe showed the field party how to enjoy a longish lunch with a few games of pool afterwards.  It is not known if his inspection of the Examination Survey party’s operations was as rigorous.

Nat Map high frequency radio call signs

Nat Map field party members were often remembered by the radio call signs allocated for field communications.  Joe’s early field days call signs are now no longer known, but he was allocated the following radio call signs for field communications: In 1964, for Weapons Research Establishment’s VL5BW network BW101 and for PMG frequencies 9JT.  In 1966, while still listed in the Topographic Survey Branch, Joe was allocated the same call signs as in 1964 and was issued with Traeger TM2 transceiver serial number 3328.  The call sign 9 Juliet Tango continued to be issued to the Aerodist field party leaders until Aerodist field operations ceased in 1974.

Appendix 4

Some of Joe Lines’ Papers and Publications

Lines JD (undated), Report of Auroral Baseline Survey, Macquarie Island, 1958; an unpublished 5-page report with accompanying photographs, station summaries and a diagram of the coastal Tellurometer traverse between North Head and South West Point on Macquarie Island, Division of National Mapping, Department of National Development, Canberra.


Lines JD (1962), Spot Photography for Map Revision, in Cartography, Volume 4, Issue 4, March 1962, pp 138-139, Australian Institute of Cartographers, Canberra, ISSN 0069-0805


Lines JD (1965), Aerodist in Australia, A paper presented to the 8th Survey Congress, Canberra, April 1965, later published in The Australian Surveyor, Volume 21, Number 2, June 1966, pp 733-755, The Institution of Surveyors, Australia, ISSN 0005-0326


Lines JD (1967), Control Surveys for 1:100 000 Mapping, Cartography, Volume 6, Number 3, December 1967, pp 133-140, Australian Institute of Cartographers, Canberra, ISSN 00690805


Lines JD (1969), Science and Technology Aid Our Map Makers, National Development Quarterly, September and December 1969, released by the Department of National Development, Canberra


Lines JD (1970), Orthophotomaps-Maps of the Future, Proceedings of 13th Australian Survey Congress, Adelaide, 4-10 April 1970


Lines JD (1971), Orthophotography and the 1:100 000 Mapping Programme, Proceedings of the 43rd Congress of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science, Brisbane, 24-28 May 1971


Lines JD (1971), Application of Airborne Profile Recording to 1:100,000 Scale Mapping, paper presented to the Conference of Commonwealth Survey Officers, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 16-25 August 1971


Lines JD (1974), Map Products and Future Trends in Mapping, Proceedings of the Inaugural Australian Cartographic Conference, Australian Institute of Cartographers, Sydney, 10-12 October 1974


Lines JD (1982), Maps on Microforms, The Globe, 1982, No 17, pp 11-19, The Australian Map Curators Circle, Canberra, ISSN 03113930

Lines, JD (1992), Australia on Paper: The Story of Australian Mapping, Fortune Publications, Box Hill, Victoria, ISBN 0646097695

Lines, JD (Editor) (1984-1994), Survey Practice Handbook, Part 1-Drawing Procedures, Part 2-Survey Procedures and Part 3-Land Surveying Law and Administration (both initial releases and later updates), The Surveyors Board, Victoria, ISBN 0730650154

Lines, JD (1999), Maps in All Seasons: A Concise History of the 2/1st Corps Field Survey Company RAE and 2/1st Aust. Army Topographical Survey Company 1940-1945, 2/1st Survey Association, Beaumaris, Victoria


Lines, John D (2001), A Pride of Lines: A Biography of Mark and Jane Lines and their Descendants, JD Lines, Box Hill North, Victoria, 2001, ISBN 0957897006






Anonymous (1888), Family Notices, Births–Lines in The Argus (Melbourne), 28 January 1888, page 1.  Accessed from the National Library of Australia Trove service at:


Anonymous (1915), Marriage Notice Lines-Watts in The Argus (Melbourne), 16 October 1915, page 13.  Accessed from the National Library of Australia Trove service at:


Anonymous (1915), Family Notices, Deaths-Lines in The Argus (Melbourne), 20 November 1915, page 13.  Accessed from the National Library of Australia Trove service at:


Anonymous (1920), John Dunstan Lines Birth Notice in The Argus (Melbourne), 30 October 1920, page 13.  Accessed from the National Library of Australia Trove service at:


Anonymous (1947), Many Engagements Announced, Morrison-Lines Engagement Notice in The Argus (Melbourne), 26 April 1947, page 12.  Accessed from the National Library of Australia Trove service at:

Anonymous (1947), Church Notices, Church of England Armadale, St Albans in The Argus (Melbourne), 4 October 1947, page 38.  Accessed from the National Library of Australia Trove service at:

Anonymous (1950), Birth Notice, Lines (Morrison), in The Argus (Melbourne), 2 October 1950, page 19.  Accessed from the National Library of Australia Trove service at:

Anonymous (1953), Birth Notice, Lines (Morrison), in The Argus (Melbourne), 23 May 1953, page 18.  Accessed from the National Library of Australia Trove service at:


Anonymous (1987), The Antarctic and Australian Aviation (continuation of series): Enter the Helicopter, article in Aurora ANARE Club Journal, Volume 6, No 4, June 1987, pp 25-28, ANARE Club Melbourne.

Anonymous (1991), An Appreciation of JD Lines, in The Globe, 1991, No 35, p 50, The Australian Map Circle, Canberra, ISSN 03113930

Anonymous (2009), Sir James Ralph Dowling entry on Australian College of Educators website, accessed at:


Anonymous (undated), 4th Light Horse Regiment, Australian Military Units, on Australian War Memorial website, accessed at:


Anonymous (undated), Koninklyke Paketvaart Maatschappy (KPM) History World War 2 Pacific, accessed at:


Anonymous (undated), Our History pages on Geelong Grammar School website, accessed at:


Anonymous (undated), Melbourne University Regiment entry on Wikipedia website, accessed at:


Australian Antarctic Data Centre (2013), Place names search on Lines Ridge (ID 2300) in the Australian Antarctic Gazetteer, Australian Antarctic Division, Department of Environment, accessed at:


Australian War Memorial (2013), John Harold Melbourne Lines entry on the Australian Imperial Force Nominal Roll, page 37, accessed at:


Australian War Memorial (2013), John Harold Melbourne Lines entry on the First World War Embarkation Rolls, accessed at:


Australian War Memorial (2013), John Dunstan Lines entry on the Honours and Awards data base, accessed at:


Australian War Memorial (2013), John Dunstan Lines entry on the Honours and Awards (Recommendations) data base, accessed at:


Bain, Gordon (2000), Special Report: Australian Antarctic Aviation on Bears on Ice website, accessed at:

Burriss, Garry James (2013), Personal communication November 2013.


Coulthard-Clark, C D (2000), Australia’s Military Map-Makers The Royal Australian Survey Corps 1915-96, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, ISBN 0195513436


Department of Veterans’ Affairs (2013), John Dunston (sic) Lines entry on the World War 2 Nominal Roll, accessed at:


Department of Veterans’ Affairs (2013), George Emil Heinrichs entry on Nominal Roll of Australian Veterans of the Korean War, accessed at:


Douglas, Terence Llewellyn (2013), Personal communications August 2013


Ely, John Herbert (2013), Personal communications December 2013


FitzGerald, Lawrence (1980), Lebanon to Labuan: a story of mapping by the Australian Survey Corps World War II (1939-1945), JG Holmes Pty Ltd, Melbourne, June 1980, ISBN09594979. Extracts here along with extracts from his 1962 paper here.


Ford, Reginald Arthur (1979), The Division of National Mapping’s Part in the Geodetic Survey of Australia, in The Australian Surveyor, June, September and December 1979: Volume 29, No 6, pp. 375-427; Volume. 29, No 7, pp. 465-536; Volume 29, No 8, pp. 581-638, The Institution of Surveyors, Australia, ISSN 00050326.  This work is accessible on line at:


Hocking, David Roy (1985), Star Tracking for Mapping: An Account of Astrofix Surveys by the Division of National Mapping during 1948-52, paper presented to the 27th Australian Survey Congress, Reducing Remoteness, held at Alice Springs, March 1985,  The Institution of Surveyors, Australia; accessed from the XNATMAP website at:


Kirby, Sidney Lorrimar (2013), Personal communications July-October 2013


Lambert, Bruce Philip (1971), Super-wide angle Photography and Orthophotomapping in Australian Federal Mapping Programmes, paper in the proceedings of 50 years Wild Heerbrugg, Switzerland,1971, accessed from XNATMAP website at :


Lambert, Bruce Philip (1989), Interviewed by Byrne Goodrick for National Library of Australia oral history recording, tape No. 1, recorded at the NLA Canberra on 31 October 1989, reference nla.oh-vn547247, accessed at:

Lambert, Bruce Philip (1990), Interviewed by Byrne Goodrick for National Library of Australia oral history recording, tape No. 2, recorded at the NLA Canberra on 6 February 1990, reference nla.oh-vn547247, accessed at:

Lines JD (undated), Report of Auroral Baseline Survey, Macquarie Island, 1958; an unpublished 5-page report with accompanying photographs, station summaries and a diagram of the coastal Tellurometer traverse between North Head and South West Point on Macquarie Island, Division of National Mapping, Department of National Development, Canberra.  National Library of Australia online catalogue entry Bib ID 4670862, accessed at:  Report copy (5 pages only) obtained from National Library of Australia Copies Direct service, December 2013. Text only version here.


Lines JD (1962), Spot Photography for Map Revision, in Cartography, Volume 4, Issue 4, March 1962, pp 138-139, Australian Institute of Cartographers, Canberra, ISSN 0069-0805. Personal copy here.

Lines, John Dunstan (1992), Australia on Paper: The Story of Australian Mapping, Fortune Publications, Box Hill, Victoria, ISBN 0646097695

Lines, JD (1999), Maps in All Seasons: A Concise History of the 2/1st Corps Field Survey Company RAE and 2/1st Aust. Army Topographical Survey Company 1940-1945, 2/1st Survey Association, Beaumaris, Victoria. Personal manuscript copy here.


Lines, John D (2001), A Pride of Lines: A Biography of Mark and Jane Lines and their Descendants, JD Lines, Box Hill North, Victoria, 2001, ISBN 0957897006. Extracts related mainly to JDL himself here.


Manning, John (2013), Personal communications November–December 2013


National Archives of Australia (2013), Lines John Harold Melbourne World War I service records, series number B2455, item barcode 8195833, accessed at:


National Archives of Australia (2013), Lines John Harold Melbourne, Service Number 7315, Date of Birth 25 January 1888, Australian Defence Forces personnel records listing (1939-1948), series number A9300, item barcode 5257474, summary listing only accessed at:


National Archives of Australia (2013), Lines John Dunstan, Army Number 213192, Date of Birth 23 October 1919 (sic), Militia Forces Voluntary Enlistment Attestation Form, series number B4747, item barcode 9295439, accessed at:


National Archives of Australia (2013), Lines John Dunston (sic) Service Number VX23760, Date of Birth 23 October 1920, World War II service records, series number B883, item barcode 5684898, accessed at:


O’Donnell, Peter (2013), Personal communications April 2013


Prescott, Dorothy F (2003), Bibliography of the History of Australian National Topographic Mapping Agencies, International Cartographic Association, Commission F History of Cartography, accessed at:


Prescott, Dorothy Francis (2013), Personal communications November 2013


Roberts, Gordon (1943), Report on Surveys in Oro Bay and Cape Nelson areas by Officer Commanding Detachment 2/1st Aust Army Topographical Survey Company AIF, in FitzGerald, Lawrence (1980), Lebanon to Labuan: a story of mapping by the Australian Survey Corps World War II (1939-1845), pages 71-72, JG Holmes Pty Ltd, Melbourne, June 1980, ISBN09594979

Schneider, Darryn (2006), Antarctica-ANARE Expeditioners 1948-1997, accessed at:

Surveyors Board of Victoria (2013), Communications with John Manning November-December 2013

Vassil, Romulus Anthony (2013), Personal communications December 2013

Veenstra, Con (2013), Personal communications November 2013

Victoria Government Gazette (1918), Midwives Board, Register of Midwives under the Midwives Act as at 31 December 1917, in Victoria Government Gazette Number 25, 15 February 1918, p 809, accessed at:


Victoria Government Gazette (2013), Register of Licensed Surveyors for 1961, in Victoria Government Gazette Number 7, 30 January 1962, pp 195-202, accessed from Victoria Government Gazette Online at:


Williams, George Earl (2013), Personal communications November-December 2013


Wise, Paul Joseph (2013), Personal communications November-December 2013