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An Aussie Sentry
An Aussie Sentry 

Western Mail, Thursday 20 April 1933, page 2

An Aussie Sentry.

In one of the Australian billets in 1918 it was found necessary to put a sentry over a hatchway near the wash-house, in order to prevent unseemly jostling and waste of precious water. The sentry on duty one morning, anxious to obtain a much desired fresh water wash, propped his rifle against the hatchway and got in before the mob.

During his absence inside, the over-zealous officer of the day approached, hid the rifle, and made himself scarce. A few minutes afterwards he strolled back to complete the discomfiture of the careless guard. The sentry was then back at his post, quite unperturbed by the theft of his rifle. Drumming his heels idly against the hatch, he nonchalantly viewed the officer's arrival, smoking the while.

"Are you the sentry?" snapped the officer.

"That's me," replied the hero, removing his cigarette.

"Where's your rifle?"

"Dunno! Some thieving _ pinched it."

"Well, I'm the thieving _,” was the officer's retort. "What are your duties?"

"Oh, to keep the men off this hatch."

"Well, what would you do now if you saw a man sitting on it?"

"Tell him to get off, o' course."

"What if he wouldn't move?"

"I'd tell him again."

"But what if he wouldn't move then?" persisted the officer.

"I'd let him _ well stop there."

"But wouldn't you use your rifle if necessary?"

"What's the use? I haven't got any ammunition."

"But he doesn't know that," argued the officer.

"What a pity he doesn't! He was on this game himself yesterday."

Against such potent reasoning the officer found himself powerless, and left hurriedly to hide his laughter.