Damien Timms - A macabre story

Running time
2 min 20 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


So the way where the mess hall was, the kitchen was inside of the building, but it had a window that opened to the outside. So you had to grab your plates, go to where this window was and you were standing outside and they would serve it up. There was the bay Marie there and then you would walk down the way a little bit, go up some stairs and you'd be in the mess hall. That was just because the way it was organised to get everyone fed, because the building wasn't actually made to be a mess.

So in our initial meal, I just remember the Alpha Company guys watching us get food and were standing there. My first meal, as I was walking along outside going to the stairs, I felt like I got hit by this wet mop. What was that? What it was, was these big giant birds like ravens, hawks and all that. They would just sit up there and they were aggressive and just grabbed the food off your plate and just take off. They just stood there watching us and sort of laughing, sort of baptism of fire so to speak.

But there is a bit of a macabre story why some of these birds were there. Because there'd been so many people massacred and killed, there was just this overabundance of the population of these large birds that had grown because they're eating all the dead bodies.

Every now and then on patrol you would have some body part just drop out of the sky or something like that because they'd been carrying it. You'd never imagine something like that in your wildest dreams. But the food actually, so the caterers, every operation I've been on to be honest, the caterers have been number one. They know it's a good morale thing to keep the food up. But I'm pretty sure they got a commendation or something like that, but everyone was quite familiar with the cooks. And always, Australia in its support, always seems to put so much money towards the way that we eat.

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