Daryl Bristowe - Recreation

Running time
3 min 42 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We played cards. We hit the movies every night. You would take your rifle, your chair, and you'd go to the movies. And it's like going to a drive in without a car. The photographer or not, well, you know, the operator of the camera or whatever you like to call it, a projector, he was undercover, the rest of us were sitting in the rain. It was interesting. Mosquitoes were everywhere. The rain was everywhere.

Have you ever seen a drawing of what the huts look like? What the tents look like? Yes. With the blast wall and all that. But you had to take your chair with you so you could watch the movie. And of course we never noticed it when you go to the cinema, but 'cause there's always two projectors and they sort of stop one and start one. Well, we had to wait, wait for the reel to be wound back then a new reel put on. And we were talking while this was going on.

And the few times they were stand-tos when all the lights had to go out and was it frustrating, because we were in a rubber plantation. And if you hit one bloody tree, you're going to hit the other. Cause whichever way you look they're in lines. And when we had stand-tos, I never got into the foxhole because it had spiders in there and snakes. So I just sat down behind the rubber tree and waited for the lights to come back on. And then you went back to the movie, but I did that. But as I said, we, we once watched the third battalion play the reinforcement unit at football.

Now I'm a non-drinker, but that doesn't mean I would, you know, make it hard for my cobbers. I never took advantage of them. They would come up to me because you're allowed to have three cans of beer per day. And they're not the soft drink size can, not the aluminium ones they were the steel one that was bigger. And so you wouldn't carry beer into the bush with you. They sort of, you know, and, and the boys said to me, "Daryl, here's the 20 cents for each can, so I wouldn't be out of pocket". I said, "Yep". I went up and he said, "Who are you?" "Bristowe. Three cans" Tick, tick, tick. I said, "That's all right". And when you got back, three people were happy. That's what you do. And because I did this when I was out, I got first choice of the lollies.

Has anybody told you anything about this? Right after every 200 meal ration packs, you get a shipper full of cigarettes. I didn't go near those because in each individual ration pack, you had one little tiny, tiny little packet of cigarettes. I couldn't even give the damned things away. So I ended up leaving in my pack. Every time I'd come back to Nui Dat, I put them in the locker. When I was sending, I won't get into trouble with mine. When I was sending, I bought a slide projector and the packing for the slide projector around it was hundreds and hundreds of, customs are going to kill me, of little packets of American cigarettes and dad got them.

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