Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hut C on Middle Head

This post is a re-write of a post from January 2008 when I drove Dad (Laurie) out to Middle Head to revisit his old army camp for the first time since he learnt to march there on the parade ground.

My father joined the AIF (Australian Infantry Forces) in August 1941, two months after his 20th birthday. He had wanted to join the Navy but his own father's permission was required and that was never going to be forthcoming. The excitement in the car rose as we drove along the road, with Dad telling out loud the things he remembered used to be here or used to be there. As we curved the slope down to HMAS Penguin on the left he turned over me to point out the large sandstone-verandahed house that used to house the officers. It was still there. As was the flat area of land on the turn-off down to Chowder Bay where he and his fellows used to wash their army trucks.

The huts along Middle Head Road are now dilapidated but Dad knows he was in Hut C and we figured that to be the third hut from the left (closer to the Heads). I will go hunt through Dad's photos from that time and see if I can come up with some more information for Diane, who also trained at this same location but some 20 years after my father.

I will go find those photos now as I am going down the road for a chat with Laurie this afternoon and I will try to get him to name the chaps in the photos.


diane said...

Isn't that interesting. Your Dad trained in the army there and I trained to be a Cadet Education Officer there. I probably had lectures in Hut C. Laurie seems to be kicking along quite well.

Julie said...

Laurie was 88 in June just gone. If he could, he would be dead. But he leaves that to a higher authority. By continuing to live, he is giving me an example of what not to do and to do! Somewhere I know I have these little snaps of Dad in camp in these huts. I have just not been able to find them.

Dad was actually in camp here when the Japanese midget subs invaded the haRBOUR in (I think) June 1942. There was a lot of chatter over those few nights but the hierarchy put a black out on all formation.

Thke world is a small small place.