Pat Guest - Becoming a driver

Running time
1 min 51 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


After the Sigs came in I thought we'd be going back and finish our rookie course.

"No. We need staff. So you two, you can be cooks." They were two that joined up for changing ... They were dressmakers and they were going to work in the Q store altering uniforms and that sort of thing. No, they were cooks. "You two, can you drive?" "Well, yeah. I did have a license." "All right. You can be drivers. The rest of you? Well, let's see. One, two, three, four. We need four mess stewards. You four can be the mess stewards." This is how we started off.

We were just railroaded into it. So I worked in the mess for a fortnight and I hated it. God, I hated it and they had a new CO came in. Every now and again he'd come into the mess and he'd look at me. Then he'd stand at the door and he'd be staring at me and I thought, "What's wrong with him?"

So eventually he came in one day and he said, "Look, I'm sorry." He was a new Colonel. He said, "I'm sorry. I'm upsetting you a bit, I can see that. I'm just ... My daughter," he said. "She was killed. She was 18. She was killed a fortnight ago. You're the living image of her." He said, "Do you like what you do?" I said, "No, I hate it."

He said, "What do you want to do?" I said, "I wanted anti-aircraft." "Oh, I can't do that," he said. "How would you like to be a driver?" I said, "I can't drive." I hadn't even sat in the car. He said, "I can fix that. Send you to a driving school, they'll teach you how to drive." He said, "I'll fix that for you.

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