Wednesday, July 30, 2008

[Image] On leave in Palestine, 1941.

NX17811 Pvt L.J McCarthy
2/17th Battalion
Palestine, 1941.

Today a parcel from my mother arrived that contained all the photos my Grandfather took from his time in active service with the 2/17th Battalion. This one is a classic photo postcard that I've scanned. On the back in my Grandfather's handwriting is the following;

"Tell-Aviv 1941. Les McCarthy. D Coy."

What I also realised when looking through the photos was that one of them stood out like I'd seen it before. It was of a bunch of diggers skylarking at Alamein, one of them wearing a German helmet. Try as I might I just couldn't think where I'd seen it before. I was certain it wasn't on the internet, but rather in a book.

I went and made a cup of coffee and read through the names of the soldiers on the back of the photo and one name stood out.

Jack Barber.

Then it hit me. I had borrowed his book "The War, The Whores, The Afrika Korps" from my local library about 18 months ago and enjoyed it alot. What I didn't know at the time is that alot of these stories in the book concerned his mates on leave. My grandfather was one of his mates. I now have photos of my Grandfather on leave with Jack Barber.

Oh shit. I hope my mum doesn't read that book.

image from the author's personal collection.

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