CAMP SCENES FROM MAREEBA

The camp at Mareeba was isolated but much better than Longreach and Cloncurry. At least there were trees to provide shade from the hot sun and fresh water to drink and use for cooling baths.

Waiting at the Mareeba Post Exchange

Waiting at the Mareeba Post Exchange

One of the things the men looked forward to most was mail call. Even though it took weeks – if not months – to get letters from home, they always showed up at the Post Exchange hoping that this would be the day a stack of letters would finally track them down.

Washing eating utensils at Camp Mareeba

Washing eating utensils at Camp Mareeba

They probably didn’t enjoy doing their own KP duties, but it was an expected part of life at Mareeba. If you ate, then you had to wash your own “dishes.” Pictures in Vernon’s collection, show the large pots of hot water where each man would wash his eating utensils.

 

 

Among the pets at Mareeba - a dog and a goat

Among the pets at Mareeba - a dog and a goat

As is true of most Americans, it didn’t take the men of the 19th long to adopt camp pets.

These pets included birds, different types of reptiles, a dog, a goat, and either a wallaby or baby kangaroo.

 

The need to feed and care for these animals provided a degree of normalcy, and it must have been nice to know that there was someone in camp who would be

Sgt. Houston A. Rice - Vernon's best friend - with a baby kangaroo

Sgt. Houston A. Rice - Vernon's best friend - with a baby kangaroo

glad to see you when you returned from a mission.

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