My great uncle Phil fought in WW2 in the AIF (2/7th Battalion). As opposed to many veterans who are very reticent about discussing their experiences (my maternal grandfather was an Engineer in 2/6th Battalion and would never mention the war), he was always happy to tell stories and talk about what he saw and did. I remember being a kid and shooting tin cans with a .22 with him, and him talking about Bren guns and Thompson sub-machine guns that he had used. I was fairly in awe.

He wrote the following document a few years ago for family members. Apparently he then tried to get it published but was not successful. Being interested in military history, I thought it was a good read, so here it is.

He reckons he saw German PzVI Tiger tanks in North Africa in early '41, but they weren't sent there until late '42. I've read that Allied troops quote often incorrectly reported enemy tanks as Tigers due to their fearsome reputation, and that earlier tanks sometimes had skirt armour added which made them look like Tigers.

Feel free to use this text anywhere, as long as the content is not modified and the source is credited. If any of the images used are copyrighted, let me know at mark (at) and i'll remove them.

Reflections of an Ordinary Aussie Soldier

by Philip John Hurst VX 5862

EnlistmentThe beginning
SailingDestination Palestine
EgyptFinal training
LibyaFirst taste of shellfire
In actionAssault on Bardia
TobrukAction and pursuit
GreeceLate arrivals
The evacuationInglorious retreat
CreteUnlucky island
Walking woundedBack to Alexandria
Time for a changeReturn to Australia
Heading northOnslow and Exmouth Gulf
New Guinea at lastMaybe more excitement
Back to AustraliaNo more war for us

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