Bill Williams - The taste of dead bodies

Running time
1 min 47 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


When I came home, I got home, I got out of the taxi at the house and my mother and sister were walking up the street. I yelled out … and went up with them. They were going…I was living in Southwark in Adelaide and just over the river was another different suburb, so we went round over the river and they were heading that way so I went with them and we went round to some places and we called in at a delicatessen and this is awful, this is.

We went round to a delicatessen and they said, "You haven't had any decent food for a long time", you know. Like the food used to be alright, you know what I mean. They got me a plate full of meat, sliced up meat, different types of meat and that sort of thing and I said, "That looks lovely", you know. And the first bite, all I could taste was the dead bodies on the island, on Labuan.

This is the point I missed out on. When they went to lengthen the strip, the strip was there just for the fighters. Well, they wanted to bring the bombers in, see, and so they lengthened the strip and took the top of the whatshisname off. There was a big grave with hundreds of bodies in there and the stench went all through the islands and you could taste it. You could taste it. A week after you could taste it every time you had a meal and that's what I tasted when I got home. The first thing I done. So I had one mouthful of meat and that was it, I couldn't eat anymore. It tasted like dead bodies.

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