Clickety Click

     As any English/British ‘Bingo’ player worth their salt; or Ozzie / Kiwi come to that, will tell you, ‘Clickety click- is six times ‘legs eleven’. Therefore, never having played the game, I’m not worth my salt; a pinch of which, is usually taken with the codswallop I throw at you from time to time.

     And if you can make sense of that “you’re a better man than I …..”

     On this date, in 1953, I celebrated the 18th anniversary of my birth, and being a good, proud, sort of lad, I did my duty and registered for National Service. Actually I had no choice; register or else!

      Naturally, I put my name down, and selected the Royal Australian Navy as the service of choice; fully expecting to be accepted; just as my brother had, two years earlier, just after our arrival in Australia.

     For some reason/s the powers that be, decided that the navy was not for me.; was it because of my colour blindness? Did they remember that?

     The Army was to be my calling; so they shoved me into khaki battledress!

     The perverse sadists gave me, and hundreds/thousands like me, instructions to report at some ridiculous time, and place for our induction into Her Majesty Army. 

     I was instructed to report to Royal Park, north of Melbourne one morning in August, let me remind my devoted few, that here in Australia, August is at the tail end of winter, and winter in Melbourne is not the warmest place to be in Australia, in fact it’s damnably cold, which really was quite appropriate, for here I was to lose all identity, and became a number and rank. 

     3/718724. Trooper Smith B.E. “Three oblique Seven One Eight Seven Two Four, Trooper Smith. Sir”; chuck a salute! A number never to be forgotten, it’s even engraved on the box with the medals that they gave me, and if I knew where they were, I’d certainly have taken a picture, and included it in the post!

     And it was to get worse.

     The hundreds of shivering ‘nasho’s as we were  known, shivering as it was cold, were then ‘marched, after a fashion, to Army trucks that transported us to Spencer Street, Railway Station, (Note I say RAILWAY  Station, not train station! And I ain’t going into why now, it’s a sore point with me) where we boarded a train for Dysart, just outside Seymour.

Dysart Siding

     Dysart consisted of three very large barn type structures, which are still there, which at the time was used solely by the military. There were canvas awnings, stretched across / between the three buildings, to give some cover from the elements.

     On arrival at the desolation that was Dysart, we were bundled out, lined up and and prepared for our medical. This consisted of stripping stark naked, IN THE BUSH! IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER, FOR GOD’s SAKE!  and the railway line, was just a few yards away. Fortunately, for we naked troops, there was not much traffic on the main Melbourne /Sydney route back in ’53. Just a couple of trains steamed on through.

     Told you it’d get worse.

     After this indignity, we were treated to our first meal in the Army; after 66 years I’m still not sure if it was what it was purported to be. Curried sausages. The most revolting food I’d ever laid eyes upon. 

     There were these very large, grey looking things, bearing a slight resemblance to sausage shape floating/drowning or swimming in a fluid of off yellow, with what appeared to be some type of vegetable that had lost all shape and meaning. 

     I took one mouthful and decided to go hungry. I have never liked or enjoyed curry for some reason or other.

     Again we were bundled onto trucks, for transportation to the Puckapunyal Military Base; where we were to be imprisoned for 3 months. Imprisoned is the word. There was no weekend leave, no breaks, and no alcohol; 18 year olds were allowed to go into hotels and bars for a drink, we weren’t allowed to vote, but drinking and smoking was encouraged. But we’d been given the kyber for the next 3 months when it came to drinking.

     As far as I can recall I was assigned to C. Company 21st Platoon, can’t recall the Regiment, was part of the First Armoured Corps, along with 20 other blokes of my age. I was the only Pom recruit, in the whole of C Company.

     We had a corporal, who had his own room in our  barrack, who was a Pom, and WWII returned soldier, we didn’t refer to them as Vets back then, who had transferred from the British to the Australian Army. A lot of servicemen did that!

When we’d dumped the little personal gear that we’d all brought, we were marched along to the “Quartermasters Store” where we got our uniforms, and all the equipment that soldiers supposedly need; like a Lee Enfield 303 rifle. 

LE303 002

   These rifles had probably all seen a fair bit of use, and in all probability had shot/killed or maimed, somebody over time. Mine had a date of manufacture 1917; so it may have had a go in the Great War, was in WWII for sure and now it had got stuck with me.

    The boot department was a bit of a worry for me; I have very, very small feet, in civilian life when I bought shoes, I was usually fitted with something like size 5 EE; I can actually buy shoes that fit quite comfortably, from the children’s shoe departments.

     Unfortunately the Army doesn’t go to such lengths, well it didn’t then perhaps things have changed; and when the bloke asked what size, I naturally said size 5 EE whatever,  he kind of looked at me, and said “Size 7” and so it was. I was issued boots size 7. And how I suffered!

     An army marches on it’s feet didn’t seem to apply to National Servicemen in 1953!

     And so ended day one of my service to Queen and Country. 

     Perhaps I’ll write a couple more tales of 3/718724 Trooper Smith; Sir!


    el bob sig


I’ve scheduled this post to be published at 09.04 AEST which equates to 00.04 hours GMT on the 17th April. I was cut free from my mother at that time on this date in 1935


For those not familiar with the British Bingo language pop along to


54 thoughts on “Clickety Click

  1. You didn’t mention passing out at the sight of the needle/blood when you had your vaccinations. I remember everything,


    1. Never! I passed out when I first started giving blood at the Blood bank aged 16, it was the sight of my blood being shaken up as it entered the bottles that they used back then, Looked ghastly!
      Never passed out at having needles. Someone is getting me mixed up with somebody else.
      Have you been tested for dementia recently Someone?
      By the bye I did not stop donating blood as you no doubt recall, I don’t suppose you recall how many “pints” I gave can you? Only ask as you say you remember everything! xcept your name Someone


  2. Ouch. My feet hurt just reading about those boots.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can see them now PT, the ugliest looking boots I ever laid eyes on, they certainly were not standard issue, even for those days.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Firstly, let me pick up the gauntlet you have tossed down, then I may be back, after I have read past the point which caused me to snort and say “Game on, old codger.”

    From the internet, and there were dozens more I could have chosen, exhibit 1: “This map shows all metropolitan and regional train stations in Victoria”. Maybe another example, just to get your blood pressure raised a few more notches: ” I’ve mapped the distances from places of living to the nearest train station across the whole of Sydney.” Ooh, I love this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are stations built along a railway; they service both trains buses and taxis and pedestrians not just trains.

      There are now many railway stations in the United Kingdom (and no doubt in Australia and the USA and Canada too I’d imagine) that haven’t seen a train for years, However, the stations are still there stationed along the railway line.

      This unfortunately is another Americanism that is fast become the norm with the average person, of which I am not one 😈

      I’ll wager you also say 12 pm and 12 am too

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Nope, I say noon or midnight. Sorry to disappoint you. 😁

        Liked by 2 people

        1. That makes me very happy and goes somewy to restoring my faith in humanity.
          There’s hope yet,
          It’s true what they say and who knows, perhaps you will come to recognize the error of your ways fully. 😈

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I will, when I make an error, M’Lord.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I will when I make an error, M’Lord.😊

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Don’t get over empowered by words of encouragement Yvonne, just stay as lovely and ornery as you are 😛 I like that 🙂


  4. Great story, Beari!! Happy Birthday!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I believe you have lived the most interesting life of anybody i have ever know.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I must admit it hasn’t been a boring one Lisa, and I’m fortunate in having the ability to remember what I did and when. Thank you for being part of my life these past 20 years or so Lisa. 🙂


  6. Oh since i never see replies, I am going to say it here also.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my dear friend, hope it’s a great day

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always reply Lisa, and thank you for th greeting 😛


  7. I’m so lucky I missed all that. Happy cord-cutting day, MeLud

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Derrick, best thing that ever happened to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve heard that said before, Brian. Horses for courses, I suppose


  8. Enjoyed reading your tale of day one of service, Trooper Smith!
    Glad so very glad you are still with us, after serving, and that we are celebrating your birthday!!! 🙂 Happy Birthday, Lord 🐻 iOfBow!!!
    :mrgreen: 🎂 🎈 🎁 🙂 🎂 🎈 🎁 😀 🎂 🎈 🎁 😛
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Carolyn, :mrgreen: 🎂 🎈 🎁 🙂 🎂 🎈 🎁 😀 🎂 🎈 🎁 😛
      HUGS!!! 🙂
      Guess what?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I copied and pasted your :mrgreen: 🎂 🎈 🎁 🙂 🎂 🎈 🎁 😀 🎂 🎈 🎁 😛
          HUGS!!! 🙂
          HUGS TO YOU AND COOP FROM COCO AND ME:mrgreen: 🎂 🎈 🎁 🙂 🎂 🎈 🎁 😀 🎂 🎈 🎁 😛
          HUGS!!! 🙂:mrgreen: 🎂 🎈 🎁 🙂 🎂 🎈 🎁 😀 🎂 🎈 🎁 😛
          HUGS!!! 🙂:mrgreen: 🎂 🎈 🎁 🙂 🎂 🎈 🎁 😀 🎂 🎈 🎁 😛
          HUGS!!! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        2. HA! I love it!!! 😀
          I’m so glad you were birth-ed! 🙂
          HUGS back to you and Coco from me and Coop!!!
          🐶 Coop
          🐒 Me (I are a monkey!)

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Coco says thanks and G’day Coop 🙂 😛

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post! And Happy Birthday! As it happens, my sister Diane was born on your birthday in 1945. I love hearing your stories from long ago and far away. 💜💕🎶🎉🎂


    1. I recall now that you did tell me of your late sisters sharing the day with me, I’m sure I’d have got on well with her, we Aries click, just as in clickety click
      Thank you for the compliment and the good wishes Elouise. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. You’re also probably (most certainly!) correct. Diane could always give as good as she got—unlike me. 😊


  10. Happy Birthday and Cheers! to one of the Salt of the Earth. Best wishes to ya’
    (Got a giggle over the boots and the food memories – dad said the same about WW II…he, the youngest of 5 boys wanted to go into the Coast Guard but discovered he was color blind (they tried to keep the youngest of the family if multiple enlisted family involved in a safer spot. He ended up in Battle of the Bulge and behind enemy lines in Germany at one point.)
    Really appreciate the pictures – gads, that old rifle.
    A big Hooray to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Phil, good you got a giggle, I must admit i didn’t at the time, brings a grin of happy, long gone days now.

      What could have been safer than the Battle of the Bulge, that’s where the Americans lost the most killed in one battle I believe; over 19 thousand and another 80 thousand wounded. George really should have taken better care of his men!

      That old rifle weighed 9,lbs without the bayonet, back then I weighed in at 9 stone 8 lbs (134 lbs) The rifle and bayonet weighed almost 10% of my weight,which was a helluva big tote when fully loaded with full back packs.
      I would not have missed that experience for love or money, loved it! 🙂

      Thank you for the birthday greetings Phil 😀


  11. Belated, but sincere, birthday wishes, dear old codger! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy Birthday M’Lord. Great memories. Also, noting your exchange with Anonymous Lisa, I’ll venture the idea that she doesn’t see your replies because she does not have a WordPress account. It took me a long while to realise this. So now, when the presence of their comment hits my email in-box, I hit “reply”. The address on the reply email tracks back to your WordPress blog. Then I add a second addressee, the email address of the “anonymous” person who made the comment. So they get my reply, and it shows on the blog post too. No doubt there is a much easier way to do it, it just how I’ve worked it out over-time.
    Of course, that entire bit of codswallop may be entirely on the wrong (train) track. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve gone off-topic.


    1. Thanks Gwen,
      Lisa is my longest Internet friend acquaintance, more than 20 years.
      I think there is someway that I can send an invite from WP to a non registered user I really should find out.
      Your way naturally has me bamboozled however I shall have to give it a try should my enquiries into an easy way fail/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never do anything if there is a hard way to go about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That was meant to say, I never do anything the easy way, if there is a hard way to go about it.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. So you suffered for that small feat . . . those small feet . . . in the army?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always been a curse Lindsay, very hard to buy footwear that actually fit.
      I’ve often wondered if it was the result of polio when I was a child, stunted the growth. Bit late now to try and find out


    2. Just read your comment again, where the print is LARGE, and noticed the corn, which is appropriate I suppose whilst on the subject of feet. And yes in the army, they may have been more concerned about my feet had there been a war raging, Korea was just about finished at my time of conscription

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now, that really needs a corn plaster!


  14. I understood the Bingo lingo perfectly. Bingo at the seaside was the highlight of my childhood, that and the donkey rides and the little sticks of Blackpool rock! (And Scarborough) that’s about the extent of my travels back then.
    Sorry about the big boots, ouch…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. PS. I was unable to click LIKE. Not because i didn’t like it but because the site wouldn’t let me!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I found some hugs with your name on them, so I thought I’d pop in and leave them here.
    ((((LordBeariOfBow)))) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I found them in a Hug-Bag marked “Special Hugs for THE Bestest People”! So I brought them to you, B!!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I though I’d lost my Hug-Bag looks like it slipped off to somewhere or other in the U S of A and is now in the possession of a lady and a dog named Coop, but where oh where in the United States? 😥

          Liked by 1 person

        2. We live in The WILD West! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        3. 😊😅🐶🍗🍻🍺 🍸🍗🐾

          Liked by 1 person

        4. 🤠 🌵 🐎 🤠 🌵 🐎 🤠


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