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WW1 Digger History Podcast

WWI Digger Stories Podcast reproduces the diaires, memoirs and letters of the real participants in the war that changed the course of the 20th Century. What was it like to be in the trenches, on the ships or behind the big guns where death stalked in infinite ways and it was impossible to make friends unless you were prepared to lose tham at any moment.

This podcast is formatted with each diairy or memoir forming a series, usually taking the listener through the war from beginning to end, from raw recruit to returning veteran, as it was experienced by the soldier and in his (or her, when I include Nurses stories) own words.

Episode 1.2 Definitions

Mar 31, 2016

“Don” Company: in this case is “D” Company of the 3rd Battalion, AIF. In the Great War, the Military alphabet differed quite a bit to later years: The four companies are A for Ack, B for Beer, C for Charlie and D for Don. Len refers to a mate as “Toc” Oates and his CO later in the war as “Don Toc Emma”. These were their initials.

SAA: is small arms ammunition. I wonder if the Turkish authorities ever found that dump!

‘Crimed’: means having someone charged

MG: means machine gun

‘Johnny Turk’, ‘Johnny’ or ‘Jacko’: are the Australian nicknames for the Turkish soldiers. The diggers had a lot of respect for their adversaries, so this was not derisive.

Beachy Bill was a Turkish gun emplacement trained on the ANZAC Cove beach. This is from the 1916 ANZAC Book:

There’s a certain darned nuisance called ‘Beachy,’

Whose shells are exceedingly screechy;

But we’re keeping the score,

And we’re after your gore –

So look out, ‘Beachy Bill,’ when we meet ye.

‘Cripes’ and ‘crikey’ are exclamations. These are occasionally used today. ‘Crikey’ was made world famous by Steve Irwin in recent decades.

‘Dinkum’, ‘dinki di’ or ‘fair dinkum’ mean good or honest. These terms are still used today.

‘Chocolate over green’: refers to the unit identification patches worn on the shoulders.

Chats: are lice.

‘Cocky’s Joy’: is golden syrup, a sugar extract.

OC: is officer commanding (or CO if you watch American movies)

Maconachies is a brand of tinned vegetables.

A ‘Billy’: is a metal bucket with a lid.

Chit: is a written request.

DADOS: is the Deputy Assistant Director of Ordinance Supply. Now, that is a couple seconds of yours and my life we won’t get back!

The ‘Jacks’: were military police.