Mick Rudkins - Lights out

Running time
1 min 50 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


You had a hammock bin you got out of a morning. The first thing you done was lashed your hammock up and put it in the bin of a night-time and after the rounds, officer of the watch would come around about 8 o'clock every night to go through the mess to see if everything was in place and tidy and you hung your hammock up if you wanted to go to sleep and that. Lights went out at 9 o'clock.

Jokers used to get in the corner and play cards with the night lights and if you were down on the mess deck and you wanted to go up to the loo or action stations, you had them lights to guide you from the toilet and action stations and at the end where you went out on deck they had curtains, black curtains and you only opened one and went out that one and closed that before you opened the other so it didn't throw the light out and it's surprising that people ... not so much light, I think, but noise.

Any noise carried over the sea...And your rubbish from your mess deck, your meals ... every tin had to be punctured at the bottom so when you threw all your cardboard and rubbish out, it all went out of a night-time so it wouldn't be floating around so the enemy wouldn't see it.

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