Ray Seaver - Living quarters

Running time
2 min
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We lived in tents. We had six to a tent and in the middle of the tent was an oil heater and outside was a 44-gallon drum of oil with a pipe coming into the oil heater so you used to fire that up and they used to get pretty hot. It was probably a bit of a fire hazard living in a tent with wooden sides, wooden floors but canvas tops and it's interesting, we had to virtually, we were just given a camp stretcher and a space and you had to use your own ingenuity as to how you furnished that space knowing you were going to be there for six months so some people became ingenious about, you know, making little cupboards and beds and things like that.

You could scavenge around for timber and stuff like that, so you had to make it your space and liveable. We had a bar, which was a concert hut, one of those, sort of, semi-circular things made out of galvanised iron and that was very popular. It was very popular with the Americans because they used to like to come over and have drinks with us and be entertained and then we used to go to the American mess to eat which brought up an interesting situation because when we graduated we all graduated as non-commissioned officers, we were sergeants and this was an officers mess so in order to get around that we were told to take our sergeant stripes off and just wear our wings and people would assume we were officers and that's what we did. When you went back to Japan, of course, you had to go back to the sergeants' mess there.

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