© Bill O'Mara
"Robbo" Roberts, Private
Pezet, and eventually ... the boss
only been back at the 'Dat' a few days after the
Battle of Binh Ba. Friday night after the Boozer
closes "Robbo" and a few others returned to his tent to
continue with the "supply" in the trunk under his bed.
By late Saturday morning, Robbo is in a sorry state, but
still alive. Pete Pezet suggests that he walk it off and
..." O'Mara you go with him". Just as well, as he
needed steering along the road past Battalion Head
Quarters and of course If I hadn't been with him I
wouldn't be able to tell you all that happened. Robbo
was determined to get a bet on with one of the bookies.
The first bloke we spot was Trevor Carter as he was
coming out of the chapel ... I think. Trev had been to
confession again. Robbo yells out to him, "Hey Trev, got
any good tips for me today?" The best tip I have for you
Robbo is lunch, replies Trev. "Lunch?"
Robbo says to me, never heard of it ― must be a bloody 2
I suggested we go down to A Company and he can look up
the bookie. As we near the kitchen, Robbo spots a sign
out front that says ... Lunch 12 to 1. "Jeez" says
Robbo, "that's the 'sorta' odds I like." We
couldn't find the bookie anywhere. So I said "lets try
Charlie Company." Robbo readily agrees and off we
go in search of their bookie.
As we get closer to Charlie Company lines, Robbo spots
another sign ... Lunch 11 to 2. "Bloody hell!" says
Robbo. "They're backing the damn thing in ... maybe
Trevor knows something. I 'gotta' get a decent bet
on, this could be me chance to clean up!" says Robbo.
Needless to say ... not a bookie in sight and Robbo is
I finally convince him that if he tries really hard,
maybe we could get back to our lines at B Company
without him falling over. With me, at around 9 stone
wringing wet ... I wouldn't be able to carry him. So to
his credit, we were almost back at B Company, when we
spot yet another sign which says Lunch 1 to 2. "Oh
no ... would you look at that ... the bloody thing is at
odds on!" "Jeez there goes me chance to make a fortune!"
Sadly, he slides down the sandbags at the boozer and
wails loudly of his "Loss." He was abusing,
swearing and cursing every bookie not in sight at the
'Dat', for not being where they should be on a Saturday
morning, that is very suspicious. His loud noise
attracts the attention of a couple of MP's who decide to
march ... almost ... carried him off to front 'Ghengis'
for being drunk and disorderly.
Ghengis, being a fair minded CO, instructs the MP's
to lock him up for a few hours and that he wouldn't
charge a man who was in such a state. Robbo asks
Ghengis ..."I want to know about Lunch?". Robbo,
forget Lunch, says
Ghengis ... sober up first.
"Sober up First?" Says Robbo. "That bloody Trevor didn't
know what he was talking about ... thank God I didn't
Who else would, some thirty
years later, own a race horse and call it "Balmy Bar"?
Who else would have twin
lambs and call one of them "Binh" and the other "Ba"?
When I asked him how he could tell them apart he said..."I cut the tail off
the black one."
Who else would honour my wife
Bev by naming another lamb "LB"... as Pete Wardrope referred to her back in
1969, (short for "Little Beauty") and then, some months later when my wife
enquires as to the health of "LB" Robbo says..."We ate it."
That's our mate
To all you guys, and for 6 Platoon especially
... thanks for the memories.
TALES FROM THE TIGER