James Taylor Murrell as a member of 4 RAR interviewed by Greg Swanborough for 'The sharp end'

Accession Number F10625
Collection type Film
Measurement 15 min 20 sec
Object type To be confirmed
Physical description 16mm/colour (Eastman)/sound
Maker The Notion Picture Company Pty Limited
Murrell, James Taylor
Swanborough, Greg
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made 28 May 1992
Access Open
Conflict Period 1990-1999
Vietnam, 1962-1975

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright

Copying Provisions Copy provided subject to permission from copyright holder

Nominated his choice of Corps as a butcher in Transport, Artillery or Engineers; notified that he got his first choice as a butcher in the infantry; Scene M Take 2. comment that the first time a war was determined not on a battlefield but a television screen; Take 3. retake of take 2 all he can say is “when will they ever learn”; Take 4. the difference between a regular and a National Serviceman was that the National Servicemen were better skilled and educated than the regular soldier; National Servicemen made up fifty percent of the army units; there were some 18,000 National Servicemen ; National Servicemen casualties were around 150 to 200 dead out of 500 a significant number; National Servicemen did not do it harder than the rest; always a little feeling between the National Servicemen and the regulars in camp but in the bush there was no difference with everyone pulling together; they were both in the mess together “both ate the same chocolate coloured earth”; considers himself fortunate that he had the opportunity to go to a battalion and had six months additional training; others went to a reinforcement unit straight after completing training and were killed because of inexperience; most difficult task was picking up a mangled body of a mate in a plastic ground sheet; he was wounded because he ducked when he should of weaved in the wrong place at the wrong time; the first time he saw a European woman in Vietnam was when he was wounded and recovering in a American hospital; very well looked after in hospital; Considers that the American troops did it hard too; American Army nurses were tremendous and nothing was a problem to them; an Australian in the hospital was something of a novelty and he enjoyed his stay; the eerie experience of wandering through the aftermath of a napalm bombing raid; considers that the civilians of Vietnam and Cambodia did it hard and many millions must have been killed; in retrospect no war is worth that loss; when a challenge is not taken up when a dictator tries to over run another country; general conception that the troops were a beer swelling, pot smoking rabble; this was untrue of the Australians but applied to the Americans; Take 6 last experience with Americans was of an American ammunition truck that run of the road and spilling grenades everywhere; gives figures- a one in twelve chance of being conscripted and a one in forty chance of serving in Vietnam; eighteen thousand National Servicemen served in Vietnam, one thousand five hundred were wounded and 200 died. Take 7. first time he started to question his feelings towards Vietnam and what they stood for was the night when they sailed from Brisbane ; wondering if he would ever see the farm again; on Vietnam was when they were first shot at.