Bernard Scanlan - Recovering soldiers' bodies
Department of Veterans' Affairs
You were just lucky to get away with life there because once they were there, dug in, I weren't ...
Something I never forgot was the first morning we went into action, this gentleman was with me, the officer, he said, "Come with me." He called me, Shorty. I was Shorty, and the other fellow from Lismore was Stumpy. Stumpy Slade and I was Shorty. He said, "Come with me, Shorty."
We went up to a huge log, so high, and there were two men of the 25th Battalion. They were part of our Battalion, both shot there. When we looked around the Nips had dug under this log, and there they were, under the log, waiting for us to come up. I remember the officer cutting the tags off their neck and put them in his pocket to take them with him to report them.
It was the first morning of action and I learnt the hard way. It wasn't a very welcome sight, I promise you. Those sort of things I find, today, although I can talk about it now, tend to stick in your mind. They're fresh as if it was happening this morning, but you get over a lot of that nowadays.