Stanley Connolly

Running time
4 min 6 sec
Stanley Connolly served with 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment at the Battle of Kapyong.

"We charged and we began to get shot down. I remember my good friend Gene Tunny on my right falling in the advance and then my big mate Rod Grey on my left, went down shot through the chest and the bullets were cracking, cracking, you can, as they go past you can hear them cracking, you know, because they sort of break the sound barrier. It's louder than the crack of the weapon firing them. And it seemed to me that there were so many bullets coming that it was like walking or running into a very stiff breeze.

And I knew that most of the section had been knocked down and by this time I'm within ten foot of the Chinese trench when bang, something hit me and I didn't know what it was you know. It absolutely blew the legs out from underneath me and I crashed to the ground carrying this bloody great Bren gun and all the ammunition in basic pouches and so on"" I'm carrying about 80 pound of gear and equipment.

And I'm sprawled out on the ground and I know I've been hit and I don't know where. And I can hear the Chinese talking to each other in the trench because the attack then had subsided. It was over as far as we were concerned and they were concerned. And I'm thinking what they are saying to each other is 'will we shoot these guys in the head and make sure they are dead,' because we'd be thinking the same thing. So the thought occurred to me that it might be a good move to try and get out of there. But I wasn't sure if I could get up and I certainly wasn't sure if I could walk or run. Anyhow when you've got battle gear on you've got a clip on your belt and everything is attached to the belt and you can just unsnap the belt and just shuck all the gear, everything will come off and fall away from you except the Bren gun which is on a sling across my neck, so with a great deal of speed and agility I slipped the Bren gun sling off my neck and unclipped the belt and jumped to my feet. Then I realised that where I had been shot was through the right thigh. So I sort of hopped and skipped and jumped and well, made my, retreated rapidly in that manner and fortunately after about 20 or 30 yards I was able to drive down behind a low mound. Meantime the inaccurate Chinese are having pot shots at me trying to stop me.

So here we are, most of the section blown away and we've had a close look at this trench and we can see that there's about 70 or 80 Chinese in it, not the eight or ten that we expected. And we are pinned down because they've got covering fire from the hill we vacated the night before so nobody is moving. Everybody is pinned down and we are back to square one where we started from.

Anyhow after a short interval a whole platoon, Four Platoon, got organised and they put in a proper, systematic, well planned attack and they wiped out, they killed the 80 odd Chinese in the trenches. They lost a couple of lives in the action, but they wiped them out you know. And then the medics were able to come in and help our wounded. Rod had been shot through the chest, Gene Tunny had been also shot through the thigh. They were shooting low, I don't know why. But nobody died in our attack, in our section attack, even though the whole section were wounded one way and another, they all got away with their lives."

Find out more about the Battle of Kapyong.

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