"Robbo"
   
5RAR Association Website
Page title: Tales from the Tiger

 

 
 

australian imfantryman's combat badge
'Robbo'

© Bill O'Mara
B Company
2nd Tour

Author: Bill O'Mara


The Players
Private Peter "Robbo" Roberts,  Private Trevor Carter,  Private Bill O'Mara,
Corporal Pete Pezet, and eventually ... the boss 'Ghengis' Kahn.


We had 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 year old."

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 not happy.

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!" says Robbo.

 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 back Lunch!"

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 "Robbo."

To all you guys, and for 6 Platoon especially ... thanks for the memories.


 

TALES FROM THE TIGER | CONTENTS PAGE