Appreciate that we lived under a 6 foot by 6 foot light weight shelter with a shell scrape alongside for weeks on end.

Consider that often water and changes of clothing were in short supply. In the wet season there was a surplus of water and after a few days in the field everything seemed musty. If we weren't covered in mud we were covered in dust. Dirt and filth were normal.

Think about the fact that bodily functions were normally carried out in full view of all others on the gun position. It was too dangerous to seek privacy for such occasions. Those simple things like scratching your private parts, picking at your nose and squeezing your pimples had to also be done publicly.

Keep in mind also that food often came in tins, the tins were merely opened and the contents spooned into the mouth with the minimum of delay.

Take note also that there were no chairs. One sat on a sandbag seat or the ground or lay on the ground. You got dirty. You stunk. So what? So did everybody else.

Life was basic, almost primitive and sometimes lived on the edge.

Then one day it was TIME. Time to go HOME.

Reference: 

Extract from unpublished memoir of David Roberts (1937-2005)

Memory Photos: 
How to cite this page: 'Homesickness - memoir of David Roberts', URL: http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/memory/homesickness-memoir-david-roberts, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 4-Sep-2013