NATURE’S CALL By Felix Steiner, 5/7 RAR
When I first joined up, I was with Artillery for two years before doing five years with grunts. I was going through IETs and a big, tall Aboriginal mate of mine – about seven feet – (couldn’t miss him) was on the gun course down in Pucka with me. We were conducting the live fire phase on the 105 mm light gun. We moved into the hide with the guns and put the cam nets over, while waiting to move into the firing position to set up before dark. My mate went over to some portaloos on the back of a Land Rover to take a shit and was in there for five minutes. A warrant officer came back from orders, jumped in the Rover and drove off with him in the shithouse. We drove into the gun position and were setting up. I looked over and saw the door open and he came out, looking around. It’s the funniest memory – driven into position in the shithouse – about a 45-min drive too.
Here’s another memory of my mate. We were at Mt Bundy and setting up again at night. He was on another gun and he came over with this cable called the Tannoy line. You plug it into the command post and can communicate with the guns during fire missions. He ran around with the line, asking me where the CP was. I said, “Sorry, mate, can’t see nothing. It’s too dark. Think it’s somewhere over there in front of the trucks.”
He took off and while asking around and got lost in the dark. I didn’t know what had happened to him but he came over in the early hours of the morning to wake me up for piquet with something slung around his back. It looked like he was carrying a big bow or something out of Lord of the Rings. I asked him what he had there and he told me not to ask. It was all the tannoy line wrapped around a big stick that some sergeant made him carry around for the rest of the bush trip.
These are funny memories. He’s always been a good mate of mine and we still stay in touch up to this day