John Murphy - Importance of WW2 veteran experience

Running time
2 min 18 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


A bit of a difference in some of the things in the Australian army. They had a light machine gun which was called a Bren gun and we were trained with a Lewis gun but it didn't take long to work out what the difference was. I graduated to a Bren gun and I finished up in the 3rd Battalion and I found out that the Australian soldiers were very good as far as the old ones, you know, there was a lot in K-Force who were Second World War veterans and rejoined up for various reasons, some probably didn't quite fit back into modern society as it was then and decided to have a go again in Korea and they were pretty good because they knew exactly what the war was about and blokes like me who did have army experience but not battle experience they kind of shielded us a bit gave us some hints, what to expect and what to do and how to work things out, so I found that very good.

On top of that my father served at Gallipoli. He was with an Irish regiment in the British army and he served alongside the Australians at Gallipoli and he used to tell me what the Australians were like, you know, they were well respected as some of the top soldiers in the Second World War [sic] especially at Gallipoli and of course that always stuck in my mind when I came out here. On account of that I worked with the ones who were with me in Korea.

They were not hard to get along with, you know, the Irish seemed to have a bit of a rapport with them, so I was pretty lucky, in a way, that I fitted in, put it that way and I never regretted it. Went through, I was wounded at Kapyong I'd I've been pretty well looked after since then by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, they made me a TPI so I've been looked after during the war and a long, long time after the war.

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