Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Army Infantry Museum Singleton

Gate to the museum


I drove down to Newcastle last week to visit an ex-army mate who is unwell.

He is having thrice weekly dialysis, so has a fair bit to put up with.

On my way South, I passed through Singleton, so took the opportunity to visit the Infantry Museum located on the army base.

Forty-six years ago,  as a Nasho, I did recruit and Infantry Corps training here.

SLR mags

My original intention was to visit the base itself, rather than the museum, but I got only as far as the front gate, where a civvie employee make it abundantly clear that base visits are not on.

The world has changed a bit since 1969, when the guardhouse was manned by recruits in their best kit with shiny brass and spit polished boots.

Note the LAW (M72). I carried one of these - never fired it in anger.
SLR mags
Matilda tank

There are a few signals amongst this lot that I don't recall.

The museum is relatively new, and exhibits are of a high standard. It's organised on a chronological basis, with examples of military hardware used by generations of infantrymen across all conflicts.

There were also examples of enemy weapons, both German and Japanese. You can look at displays of small arms, clothing and equipment, larger pieces of hardware, and dioramas. There's a lot to see. You could easily spend a few hours there.

Some vehicles were in evidence, including armoured vehicles as gate guardians, and a short wheel based Land Rover equipped with a recoil less rifle, something I haven't seen since 1970.

The areas concentrating on Vietnam were of nostalgic interest to me. I saw equipment that I'd used daily 47 years ago. Section weapons were displayed, including ammunition, and magazines.

The reality behind this statement creates a stark irony.

One of the displays which caught my eye was the text of a statement (above) by LBJ about Australian involvement. Given how hard Menzies and his government worked behind the scenes to to get us invited to Vietnam, it makes for bizarre reading now.

An excellent cafe is attached, and plenty of merchandise is on sale. This website provides a good source of information.

It's well worth a visit, particularly if you're interested in the history of infantry soldering in Australia.

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