Dad in Cleveland Street, Sydney, 3rd of February 1954. This is the first day of Queen Elizabeth II's visit. It is the first time a reigning monarch has set foot in Australia.
By taking this photograph of Dad holding a .303 with fixed bayonet, the unknown friend/relative unwittingly destroyed dad's chances of representing Australia in olympic swimming.
Note: That Lee Enfield is loaded. (Put that in your pipe & smoke it, Olympic Committee pansies!!)
In the nearly 60 years since, dad has never made olympic selection in anything. He now realises that it was due to being photographed with a rifle.
The "Nuremburg defence" seems to have cut no ice with Olympic selectors: "The Sgt. ordered me to do it!" "That's no excuse son, your Olympic swimming career is over!"
Dad wasn't a bad shot. When on the range they were given a magazine each to fire, just to familiarise themselves with the Owen gun. He fired the entire magazine at the steel post beside the 100yd target, hitting it with about half his rounds.
The range officer was speechless.
Dad did even better with the .303, which just happened to be his favourite shooting rifle. The army tested them on the rifle range at 300 yds. Dad, who'd been "Cock of the Walk" the entire year before in his hometown, was accustomed to shooting at 600 yds, thus put in a... .. rather impressive performance, on his ear.
He was a "master marksman" for the rest of his time in the Army.
This is not the first time this event has been written up on this blog.