Pte. "Spike" Watson and Me
We had settled into our two man tent for the night. I had decided to bunk in with Pte. "Spike" Watson, an original soldier of the 2nd Battalion. He was from Victoria and a couple of months younger than me. We got on fairly well together, but I tended to bully him a bit because he was younger than me. When I had first Joined the army I had been the youngest of the group. Consequently they always called me "Baby San". This name I had grudgingly accepted during training back in Japan. I guess that by bullying Spike, this must have been my way of getting my own back.
At night, our tents were lit only by candles. One day I dug up some 1.5 volt battery packs from somewhere, along with wires and some 1 1/2 - 3 volt light bulbs. With some other bits and pieces, I somehow made up a switch. Now Spike and I had the onlv two-man tent fitted out with electric lighting!
At dusk Sgt. Keith Foran came around to inspect the tents. I gave him a demonstration of our electric lighted tent. His comment, at seeing the light, made me realise that he remembered a bad day I had had somewhere back during practice manoeuvres. I had somehow got my act wrong and had become disoriented. This meant that I found myself with my rifle aimed at friendly soldiers, instead of the enemy. Sgt Foran's comment on the light was; "Pte. Holden, you will make an excellent mechanic or electrician, but definitely not a good soldier."
Ptes E. R. Holden and and Spike Watson 10 Plt. D Coy, air out their 2 man tent
(The blow-up tartan pillow was mine.)
Kansas Line, April, 1953
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