Tales From the Tiger

Thank Christ We Weren't in the Navy Mate!

It's morning... I know it is because the Itchy–Arse bird is calling out somewhere out there beyond the wire. Not much good getting out of the cot yet though. Packed everything yesterday and last night... I Think! Pissed or not — Stand To! — Thank Christ! About time, it’s been the longest night I've ever spent here! Last time we'll have to stand in that bloody hole we dug, out there beyond the tent!
"Gary! Get up, its time to give this place the big arse!"

Fresh new greens hey! I suppose we've got to look good for the 'Matlos.' (Navy) In three ranks we march down to the field. "Hey! Don’t kick up the dust Gary! You’re dirtying my Landing on HMAS Sydney greens mate." "What’s that Gary? Sounds like Chinooks coming in. Here they come, look out toward the 'Warbies' — Chinooks aye? Going to the ship in style today mate." "Looks like we're next hey!" "What a day, not far to go now mate hey?" "Look, down there, there she is — the 'Vung Tau Ferry' (HMAS Sydney)— rusty deck and all — what a beautiful sight!" "What’s that? — We've got to go round? Round where? What for? Get it on the deck for f**k sake!" "What’s that? The decks too weak and thin for the Chinook's weight! Have to land at the back! ... Yeah! That'd be right... fall though the bloody deck and get killed on the last day, that'd be just my bloody luck!"


"Hey! What d'ya reckon Gary? Steel under our feet at last. No bastard can dig a hole in that aye! What’s that?  Down to the mess decks? Let’s go then. Jesus! It’s like an Aladdin’s Cave down here!"
Talk about tucker — bread rolls, snags, ham, chicken, and look! ICE CREAM for God's sake!
"What’s that? Take as much as we want hey! How long has this been going on? Christ, get it on the plate mate! "
But it’s no good, I'll have to chuck it out... got a gut the size of a walnut. "What’s that? A Matlo who knows me? Where is he?" Well I'll  be! — Jesus its 'Whitey’!

"How are you going Whitey mate! Haven’t seen you since high school... What’s that? You've been in the navy all this time aye? I've been over here a year ... came with the advance party, C Company, 13 months in all."
What was it like!?... Well I! ....arr... a stoker aye? two hours down in the engine room at a time....100 degrees! Christ that's hot mate" ... No air conditioning? ... I don’t believe it! High humidity? ... MAN! That‘d be hard, and only one hour up on deck every two hours for a smoke? ... Fair dinkum! Two weeks at a time without leave?  Jesus! ....That’s crook mate ... and the food? Yeah, we noticed when we came on board mate. Crook mate!...yeah, I don’t know how you could stand it all pal! ...And they won't let you go ashore?... THE BASTARDS! Hey Gary, did you hear that!...THANK CHRIST WE WEREN'T IN THE NAVY MATE!


© Bob Cavill
C Company &
Assault Pioneers

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