MORTARMEN By Max Walker, 1 RAR
Even though I served 15 years, I was fortunate enough to only serve in the 1st Battalion, but from what I heard around the traps, Mortarmen were the same ilk across the regiment, ie. grotty little buggers but funny as hell on the piss. They were that bad that they had their own room in the boozer and would often set jubes up with the promise of a carton of piss if they could run through the mortar room and make it outside. No jube ever did make it across in my memory.
Anyway, one night the lads were on the gas (Thursday sporty’s) and someone came up with the bright idea to steal the Howitzer gun from 4 Field Battery. So off they went up to 4FD in someone’s shitty Datsun 120Y, hooked up a few ropes to the gun and tried to tow it away. Obviously the bloody gun was far too heavy for the Datto and it was concreted in place. The lads obviously weren’t too clandestine about the whole affair as the 4FD guard spotted them and came tearing across the parade ground. The lads shat themselves, undid the ropes, quickly stole the shovel, rope, and spare tyre and anything else they could pull off the gun and headed back to the 1 RAR boozer laughing like drains. When they got back to the boozer they were showing off their trophies from 4FD.
The next minute, the area duty officer, 4FD DO, BOS and some MPs turned up at the boozer to the chorus of pogues and plenty of lads making squealing pig noises.
Prosser, (Boozer PMC from PNRs) wandered over and spoke with the Area DO. He asked him why he thought the 1 RAR mortars had their shit. The DO replied it was because they had 1 RAR mortar T-shirts on! So the MPs and various rank started searching the boozer. Someone from mortars must have panicked because the next minute the boozer started to fill with plumes of black smoke. Yep, you guessed it, instead of turning over the stolen items and copping a kick in the arse, the lads decided to deny everything and burn the evidence. Ha, ha, ha. The look on the Jabba’s face was priceless. I’m unsure of the outcome but it was bloody funny.
The next day Craig Miller was going down to get Mornos, while checking out the damage, and all that was left was the melted handle and blades of the spades and stubs of the rope. I’m pretty sure Griffo was the RSM. We had a shit muster parade for that one because we had a couple back then so my memory is a bit bad. However, in front of the 4FD RSM, MPs and such, no one owned up. Our RSM was towing a party line; let’s say pretending to be pissed. Does anyone remember that? It was still fucking funny though!