Ross Pearson - Army experience

Running time
2 min 54 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We entered the army at Cowra, and we went into the reception depot and they took our clothes away from us and gave us summer clothing. And it was mid-winter. I mean, we froze in Cowra. So, it was basically an engineer training unit, and it was quite interesting.

And then they picked out all those people who had clerical experience and sent them to Bathurst to be in the ordinance stores depot. That was just processing stores and I was pretty disgusted because they were red tape and red tape specialists.

I was there when they got a missive down from Darwin for urgent Bren gun carrier parts. But it wasn't signed by the three people instead of the two. And they sent it back. And that sort of thing, I just couldn't stand the army. And I'm in the general army, by the army attitude of that particular.

I got to be fair, when the AIF came back from overseas and came down as instructors, they were dedicated. And they knew their part, and there was not nonsense about red tape with them. But, I don't rate highly the officers we had in that unit. Any other army officers, yes, they were tops. So, air force was a welcome relief, except for those fellows. The DIs, the Screaming Skulls. They weren't exactly lovely fellows.

Right, so that was what happened. We went to Bathurst and then a messenger comes up. Just before I went in the army, they transferred us from Bathurst to Haberfield to an ordinance store depot where we were virtually servants to the officers, mess orderlies and that sort of thing, in the cookhouse. And a number of slit trenches behind the drill hall, where we put, the officers' air raid trenches. They're an ideal place to put your rubbish. So we used to throw our rubbish in there, and that was when Sydney had an air raid alert in the harbour. And everyone cleared out to the air raid trenches and the officers were up to about chest high in the kitchen slops. Served them right. But, I left about a week later. So that was my army experience.

Was this page helpful?