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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, May 25, 2015

The Australian Soldier in WWI

Gallipoli and famine | Podcast | History Extra

Peter FitzSimons:

"Others joined for adventure, and still others joined - and this was not an insignificant reason - 6 shillings a day, mate. It wasn't bad pay. I mean, the British soldier was getting paid 1 shilling a day. The Australian soldier was the highest paid soldier there.

You may note in my account, one of the parts that I loved is the Australians go absolutely crazy in the red light district in Cairo. And our Australian soldiers were very well known in Cairo, because all of the ladies of the night wanted an Australian soldier because they had 6 shillings in their pocket every day. So they were the first ones, and a lot of them - very tragic - got VD and were sent home in disgrace.

I don't think I put in the book but basically a dishonourable discharge for having dishonourable discharges. And when they were sent to the Dardenelles there was the Battle of the Water which took place on Good Friday. I think was April 1st or April 2st and they burnt down several brothels before they went. I mean, they were, our blokes were fairly wild men."
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