Wednesday, August 20, 2008

[Image] Phone for you Sir!

1st August, 1942. Tel el Eisa, Egypt.

9th Division Signals sets up a mobile switchboard.

This photo, taken during the 9th Division advance, shows two unidentified members of 9th Division Signals working rapidly to establish lines of communication across the newly captured front.

The soldier to the right is setting up and operating a mobile switchboard. The linesman to the left has a reel of signal wire mounted on his back in preparation for the mad dash he is about to perform to front line postions. A seperate wire would need to run to each position from the switchboard. These wires would often be cut by shell bursts and it would be necessary for men to go out under extreme fire to repair the wire. There are many stories of bravery by members of 9th Div Sigs, many of whom were killed or wounded attempting to repair a wire during a battle.

Not often given their due, Signalmen performed many of the unseen tasks that made the Infantry's job alot easier by ensuring rapid voice communication, by 1940's standards, was possible.

image 041965 Australian War Memorial.

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