Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pull on the Wheel and Yell "Whoa"

Joining up in the first flush of volunteers in 1939, Uncle found himself in the Lighthorse. An accomplished horseman, bushman, self-reliant, physically both adept and experienced, he fitted in very well.

.....then the Lighthorse was mechanised.

Like many who are highly capable with anything that had hair or hide, snorted and was bigger than you, Uncle was hopeless with machinery of any sort (rifles excepted) and incapable of adapting.

As handy as Uncle had been when mounted on a horse, as a driver he was reciprocally as disastrous.

On his enlistment form Uncle had stated that he was a sleeper-cutter. This was a reserved occupation.

The Army now "discovered" that Uncle was in a reserved occupation, and promptly discharged him.

He spent the war as he had spent the 1930's: In the bush, cutting railway sleepers by hand.

For the next 65 years he maintained immaculately his issued Lighthorse accoutrements and uniform. When recently he passed on, the Emu feather in the slouch hat was the original.

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