Bart Richardson - Vickers machine gun
The 2/18th, 2/19th, and 2/20th used to alternate between Port Dickson, Seremban and Port Dickson. There were two camps in Port Dickson. So we did about three months in Asia and everything was going fine. And then it was time to move us over to Mersing on the east coast.
And there we set up the best defensive work anywhere in the whole Malaya campaign. We had everything there, even had Vickers machine guns. Nobody knew how to handle them. But I'd grown up with Vickers in the militia. So they pulled me out, gave me a squad and said go and train these fellas. And we did. It was a lot of fun.
And I went to the armoury sergeant that I knew pretty well and suggested we might think about making a tripod to put the Vickers machine gun on for anti-aircraft fire. We had no anti-aircraft fire of any sort.
At that stage the Japanese were coming every day, throw a few bombs at us, we wanted to stop that. So we set the Vickers up and surrounded it with a big earthen mound, which was just as well because the Japs dropped a bomb right beside it. And no one was really hurt. And we'd been doing this for a few days and word came in, "You're not to fire at the Japanese anymore with that Vickers machine gun."
"You're drawing the crabs."
"No, we're not. They know where everybody is here. They've been coming over rooftop height slowly"
"Orders are, you're not to fire the anti-machine-gun".
So that was that. So we packed up the tripod. And eventually, of course, we had to move from Mersing. We met the Japs the other side of the river… and then we had to withdraw from Mersing because out on the west side, they were falling back there.