Colin Humphery Brown as Major (Rtd.) interviewed by Michael Boyle

Accession Number S04319
Collection type Sound
Measurement 1 hr 42 min
Object type To be confirmed
Physical description digital audio tape (DAT); maxell R-125DA; 48kHz; 16 bit; stereo
Maker Boyle, Michael Dorrington
Brown, Colin Humphrey
Date made 22 May 2007
Access Open
Conflict Korea, 1950-1953
Second World War, 1939-1945
Period 1940-1949
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Source credit to AWM Oral History Program

Colin Humphrey Brown interviewed by Michael Boyle about his early life and his experiences as Corporal, Sergeant, Captain and Company Commander with the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE), 12 Armoured Regiment and 2/5 Infantry Battalion in Australia and New Guinea, 1942-1945 and 3 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), Australia and Korea 1946-1953, including working for Military Intelligence.

Topics discussed include school days and interests such as sport, debating and theatrics; matriculation in 1939 aged 16 and had to wait to gain entry to University; feeling a desire to join the war; enrolling in military college; joining the Engineering Corp; promotion to Corporal and Sergeant in quick succession; moving from Adelaide to Mornington, Victoria, for training; receipt of notice to transfer to New Guinea; reaction to vaccination; deferral to Puckapunyal; experiences at Duntroon, incuding witnessing bastardisation enacted by senior classes, and reflections on it; syllabus and routine of life at Duntroon; training soldiers at Canungra; breaking a toe during a 20 mile march and being in plaster for several weeks, thus delaying his departure to New Guinea with 2/5th Battalion, arriving just weeks before war's end; Wewak; reason for choosing Infantry; malarial swamps causing the men to look "like canaries in green uniforms"; functioning simultaneously as mess secretary, which involved evicting intoxicated men and closing the doors of the bar; transport officer and 2IC of a company, and Education Officer; he set up "Bonehead College" to provide classes for those who were interested in subjects such as maths, business correspondence and wool classing. Return to Australia with special dispensation as his father was ill; marriage (which happened before leaving for New Guinea); induction into Military Intelligence and meeting Colonel Spry and Alan Streckland; involvement in civilian affairs (as the wartime security branch had been disbanded); patterns of reporting and intelligence gathering; helping ensure security in the army's installations and personnel; monthly lectures for liasion officers and ranks of Colonel and above at Army Headquarters; impressions of Colonel Spry; reflections on learnings and nature of the work; transfer back to infantry in 1950 to South Australian Scottish Regiment; work visiting rural centres; being sent to Brigadier Moten and ordered to Korea; reflections on the Department of Military Intelligence (DMI); reflections on the formation of the Commonwealth Division of the United Nations forces; on the dangerous practice, in Korea, of capturing prisoners unlikely to have valuable intelligence, and the severity of weather and environment in Korea; reflections on the discipline and attitude of Australian soldiers in Korea; leaving the Army Regulars and commencing work with ASIO; joining the Army Reserve as a Company Commander and Training Offier (City of Essendon Regiment); association with the Korean War Memorial on Anzac Parade, Korea and working with the memorial architect.

Note techical fault/interruption to recording last approximately four minutes from timecode one hour and fifteen minutes.

(SERN: 382581, S50687, SX26727, 901, 466, SX37302)

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