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and this is how I felt


I climbed into the drivers seat – and tried to settle down

T’was forty years and more – and the thought did bring a frown

My eyes scanned the dash – my hands were on the sticks

Adjust the seat and stretch the legs – that bloody clutch was stiff


I felt a touch of worry - as I pressed the pedal down

I knew I would sorry – and my brow creased in a frown

I knew my leg would kill me – in tomorrow’s early morn

When Tankie leg attacked me – I would stagger in the dawn


Depress the clutch and flick the stick - and slip it into neutral

It was time to hit the switch – to stop now would be futile

Revs up to a thousand – and watch the gauges settle

A burst to eighteen hundred – and I start to feel my metal


Gear stick into second – and you slowly start to move

You slip one earphone off your ear – to listen to the revs

You have to get this gear change right - and into third you go

You are feeling good and floor the foot - and power hits the road


Left stick, left stick again – and you straighten on the track

The powers on and another gear - and you slowly settle back

Its now in fifth and your driving fast – and you slowly look around

A touch of stick and it slews across – and you start to settles down


A rise comes up and you kick a gear – a lovely change you feel

That double clutch comes back at once - and the gear changes are real

The surge of power is great to feel – and you start to feel at home

The governor’s ping and you ease the foot – and your mind begins to roam


Your back forty years and your made of steel - and your world is one big rush

You kick in the power and feel the surge - you control this beast with a touch

Then it’s down a gear and you snick the change – and the memories come back again

To go back to your youth tis a wonderful thing – and so is to drive a Centurion again.

Col Filtness 2003



  They told you to go – and you had no choice

There was no way to stop it – because you had no voice

Torn from your loved ones – a new life was formed

It was so different – not like the norm


To Armoured you went – to crew on a Cent

A few months to train you - and off you went

To a land so strange – so different and green

To help the people - you never had seen


But you did what you had to – to stem the tide

Twelve months of horror - that was your ride

To live in a Cent – in the jungle so dense

To fight an enemy – strong eager and tense


I thought of mates – who’s number had missed

They were sitting at home - with the girls I had kissed

Born eighteen years – but forty years old

I’ve seen so much – that can never be told


 To try and see reason – in what was said

When all we could think of – were mates that were dead

The night brought back memories – so bad that we cringed

The drink was a mercy – so many did binge


Now I read of sportsmen – called hero’s today

I agree they are great – but hero’s they ain't

To risk your life – for some of your mates

That to a civilian –they cannot relate


When in the jungle – and fighting so close

You jump from your tank – with a pistol at most

Fire down in the bunker – till your weapon goes click

Then back into your tank – and into the sticks


Today I think - of mates at home

Out with the girlfriend – or on the phone

While I wander around – a dirty old Cent

And I wipe off an eye – that was stuck to a vent


Was it from a friend or enemy - this terrible show

It just happened yesterday – so no one will know

No one saw it - It was just part of the day

A life is gone – why I cannot say


 But its home at last – and we land at night

Out the back way - and out of sight

Come back in a week – and we will pay you then

Then kick you out – with nothing to spend


Why did I go there – and what made me stay

A quick shot in the foot – and I’d be on my way

Home to a country – to be spat on and shamed

Home to a country - that should be ashamed 


Col Filtness 2003


I would like to point out that I was not a Vietnam Vet,.

But every verse is from a story of an incident in Vietnam or a story told to me by a Vet.



This one I have no idea where it came from or who wrote it but it has a pride of place on my desk


He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast

And he sat around the R.S.L. telling stories of the past

Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done

In his exploits with his mates, they were hero’s, everyone

And tho sometimes to his neighbours, his tales became a joke

All his R.S.L. buddies listened, for they knew of what he spoke

But we will hear these tales no longer, for old Bill has past away

And the world’s a little poorer, for a Soldier died today

He was just a common Soldier and his ranks are growing thin

But his presence should remind us, we will need his type again

For when countries are in conflict, then we find the Soldiers part

Is to clean up all the troubles that others always start

If we cannot give him honour, while he’s here to hear the praise

Then at least let’s give him homage, at the ending of his days

Just a simple message saying-----------------------------------

Our country is in mourning “cause a Soldier passed away.”




Now back to the Centurions.


169081 was rescued from the Puckapunyal Gunnery Range, restored and is now Holding Ground at the Gunnery Wing - Armoured School Puckapunyal



She had been penetrated with some projectiles and rather than repair them they have been highlighted



This shows how the projectiles can cut through armour like butter



169034  at Puckapunyal Armour Museum still showing the side skirts

I thought this was a MK 3 but was proved wrong as it had a .30 cal Co - Ax gun fitted


169056  Holding ground on the Parade Ground at Puckapunyal


Owned by Howard Bull at Cape Schanck Victoria

Howard runs a driving school for armoured vehicles



169063 At  Cape Schanck Victoria


Running on the circuit


Late shot of Corruption



An old shot of 169063 taken at Puckapunyal about 1964--1965 

Crewman is Ian Summers ---- Note the old black Tank Suit



These two crewmen are Harry Taylor on the left and Barry Rainey on the right 1964----1965


169073 Holding Ground at Bandiana at the museum of the 8/13 Victorian Mounted Rifles



169076 at Holbrook NSW 

This tank I also now believe has gone to the scrap merchant in NSW and has been cut up for scrap.