LRH Bio First Draft

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M.E. (University Western Australia), D.I.C (London), F.I.E Aust.

CP Eng., Reg Bldr, ex WWII A.I.F Captain

H I S T O R Y - prepared 2004

Chapter 1

My Father was born in 1883 in Bristol UK a place where he said the Hardings were more prolific than the Smiths. He and his brother became trooper veterans of the 2nd Boer War in South Africa. Towards the end of hostilities, he was declared the ringleader of a group of troopers from 01/C that told their Major to mount his horse and depart, never to return. The Major was told that if he were still in rifle range after five minutes, he would be shot. The Boers were reputed to be able to knock a trooper off his horse at a range of a mile.

After cessation of hostilities, my father joined the local mounted constabulary while his brother (name) became an underground supervisor in a local mine. An unfortunate mine accident resulted in the death of several African miners. My father advised his brother to join the crew of the first ship to depart the nearest port and so avoid embroilment in the expected accident enquiry. The brother (name) did this and landed in Albany in south Western Australia.

After receiving a letter from his brother that Western Australia was a good place to live with ample opportunity, before my father left to take advantage of this he went back to England and married my mother. When my parents migrated to Australia horse and cart were the main method of transport. They first lived in hessian tents and my father became a self taught carpenter (much later he became a registered builder) and travelled throughout south Western Australia for available work with horse and cart, hessian tent and burgeoning family of three boys of which I was the youngest, being born in 1917. My eldest brother under went serious birthing problems (medical assistance being negligible) and an unfortunate horse accident resulted in him having mental problems during his comparatively short life.

The years after World War I and during the ensuing depression from 1929 into the early 30s, meant continued travel for my father and family, chasing available work. This meant that I attended a multitude of junior schools (both country and metropolitan ones) that had dissimilar curriculum leaving me with a patchy understanding of various subjects

At one time I was a correspondent student with my mother as supervisor. My brothers and I also spent several months in a Gosnells orphanage while our parents travelled to England, where my father underwent a major operation to remove part of his badly ulcerated stomach.

As we grew older, my second brother (name) left school at the earliest possible age to assist my builder father wherever he went. This brother (name) eventually became a registered builder himself, as did I when I retired from a position of Chief Engineer Structures in the Public Works Department, Architectural Division (PWDAD) of Western Australia at the end of 1977.

Eventually, my family became semi established with my mother and two brothers living in several houses in Maylands and Subiaco, some of them built by my father. At this school I sat and failed the exam for a scholarship to Perth Modern School evidently due to the dearth of English in my inconsistent early schooling. This resulted in my having private tuition of English while at Perth Boys School. Here I passed the Junior Exam with results that enabled me to attend Modern School and gain the Leaving Certificate for entry into the University of Western Australias (UWA) Engineering Course.

(Insert from P26) (Separate insert P 27)

My only outstanding memory of my years (33 34) at Perth Modern School was when I was appointed top of the class for my choice of the best English word mine was EFFERVESENCE my connotations being VIVACITY, EXCITEMENT and the opportunity to scoop off the top bubbles of turbulence etc.

Whilst at University, the early exam results DISTINCTIONS in both Mathematics and Geology, this was not taught in my earlier education and indicates the validity of my Modern School years. While at Uni, a pertinent comment by Professor O. F. Blakey was that the public understanding of the term engineer was that it implied MANUAL not MIND (manual labour rather than intelligence) and this was the basis for employment remuneration purposes in that sector.

Even today an architect who plans an outstanding (albeit quirky) structure has all the resulting kudos whereas the professional engineer who designs (using his intelligence) the skeleton of the structure to enable it to stand is ignored.

  • Insert from p28

During the last two of the five years of my UWA Engineering course, two Polish migrants with Polish Engineering qualifications joined the course to obtain Australian qualifications. One became a friend of mine with whom I used to share my homemade lunches. On qualifying at the same time as me he joined the PWD A.D. Structures branch where I was working, finalising my five year Cadetship. I had gained this job during the second year of my Uni Course. Together we both calculated various parts of the steel skeleton of the proposed multi-storey Royal Perth Hospital, each checking the others work, under the supervision of a Senior Structural Engineer. This included the design of massive long span steel girders that supported the upper stories of the Hospital over the wide ground floor lecture theatre that, in my opinion, should have been on the top floor. I then supervised the erection of the hospitals steel frame and its further construction and other works until 1941. Shortly after this the Senior Engineer and I obtained war service leave. The Senior Engineer departed to points unknown to me leaving the Pole to carry on during the five-year war period. After the War, the Senior Engineer turned up as the checking Engineer for the Perth City Council. He died a few years later of a heart attack whilst watching an apparently exciting football match at the Subiaco Oval.

Chapter 2

I graduated from University in 1940 I then joined the CMF 13th Field Engineering Co in 1941 (not the AIF because a Professional Engineer was a reserved occupation so I was not allowed in the A.I.F. army Overseas Service). I became what was known as a Chocko Officer Lieutenant in the 13th Field Coy CMF. The 01/C, Major Steffanoni, was an officer in the Tax Department and would become the future brother in Law to Sir Charles Court (who used to live opposite me in Dalkeith, W.A.). The other two Lieutenants were architects; I was the only Professional Engineer.

Note: In peace time many people of varying vocations eg Accountants, Architects, used car salesmen, estate agents, shop keepers etc, joined various Defence Forces, many receiving promotions to officer status for being adequate during peace time activities. Their elevated positions would be further elevated with the upsurge of enlistments in War Time. In the later stages of WWII the Powers that be realised the War Time inadequacies of some of these Officers and had them attend an Officer retraining School back in Australia consequently Bowler Hatting the failures out of the Army.

Army Engineers are BASE, not fighting troops, and as I was usually the only professional Engineer in the various Companies I was posted to, and because of the above mentioned inadequate officers, I usually managed to semi separate my platoon from my Coy HQ and get attached to the fighting divisions helping them whilst still doing my Base work.

Once during our early training in Guilford with the 13th Field Engineer Coy CMF (not A.I.F) all three platoon leaders, of which I was one, were given 10 foot lengths of railway line, a box of gelignite explosive sticks and detonators with lengths of cord-like fuses. One end of the fuse was crimped into the open end of the detonator, which was inserted into the gelignite. The fuse would then be lit with a match at the other end. The idea was to find out how many sticks of gelignite were needed to break the hard steel rail. The rail length was supported on two separated parallel logs and the gelly tied to one side and at the mid length of the rail. My platoon and I started with two sticks of gelly and gradually increased the number of sticks until the rail was broken, so that in practice it would take 50% more sticks to assure success. One of the other Architect Lieutenants had his troops sit on top of the rail to steady it and tied the whole box of gelly to one side of the rail. On lighting the fuse they all walked away, the box of gelly rolled the rail over onto its side with the gelly underneath. When it exploded, with a colossal bang, the rail shot into the sky out of sight with a receding screech, which faded to silence. While we waited, all looking up to ensure we would be clear from its landing, the screech started again and increased in volume as the rail descended. The rail was bent like a horseshoe, not broken.

After initial training in Guilford and Pinjarra my platoon and I were detached from the Company and sent to Geraldton and further North to locate and sample all possible sources of portable water. During my five year Army Service I often used my initiative, this resulted in my being threatened several times by idiot Superior Officers with instant demotion via Court-martial. On this occasion I commandeered a seasoned drover (and his horses) who had good knowledge of the area and local water sources.

Never having ridden on a horse before, I found that sitting astride of a half ton of thundering bone and flesh with a mind of his own, a daunting experience as it did not respond to my given directions. I would have and still do, prefer to sit in a mindless thundering machine, which responds precisely to my directions.

Insert here about jeep? etc. Back at ? I used my ? )

I attended Army Officers Training School at Liverpool, N.S.W with my change from C.M.F to A.I.F where I volunteered to join the newly formed Unexploded Bomb Disposal Organisation. Subsequently I was promoted to Captain and became Chief Instructor at the proposed Bomb Disposal School that trained Officers and N.C.O.s of both Australia and American armies. The School term was 3 weeks to a month.

During War Time all uniformed services personnel had free access to all forms of Government transport in all Eastern States of Australia, I used this to travel to Melbourne and visit Bomb Disposal H.R. in the fourth week.

The Major, Captain adjutant, N.C.O.s and office staff of the proposed School idly awaited something to eventuate in the establishment of the School while being billeted in an Army camp between Albury and Wodonga. I used my initiative and free train transport to Melbourne Army and Q.M. HQs mainly to obtain live bombs and their explosive accessories and a means to transport them. At Q.M. HQ, I was greeted with where the hell are you people established we have two trainloads of War equipment waiting in railway sidings, not knowing where to send them, needless to say I told them where the School was. I then needed to find transport for the live bombs and their accessories, which would be used at the school, but the only vehicle I could get from Q.M. Depot was a commandeered 5-ton high-sided left hand drive truck. There were no bombs available from Australian or UK sources, only at the US Army HQs. Their response was to my request was sure, take all you want. The truck was loaded with 5 tons plus of assorted large and small live bombs, with their associated explosive accessories. I reasoned that in their travel from the USA to Australia they had safely undergone many means of handling and transport so it would be O.K. for me to drive the loaded truck, unescorted, via the busy Hume Hwy back to camp.

This took about two weeks, when I got back to camp the train loads had been delivered but the situation was, in Army terms, SNAFU (Situation Normal, All Fucked Up). The administration section of the school was excessively equipped with all requirements but the training section was completely bare due to, I believe, incompetent and selfish senior officers. I also received the first threat of demotion for lack of escort for explosive cargo.

Having sorted out our school equipment and emptied several large bombs of their explosive contents and filled them with sand and gravel for weight retention. The nose and tail fuse apertures plugged up ready for aerial dropping onto the downside of the nearby Hume Weir. Having been refused the use of the Australian Air Force I again used my initiative and free Government transport, to enlist the services of Dutch pilots and their planes from Indonesia who were, at that time, established in Canberra. After a few jovial sessions in their officers mess they agreed.

After I flew with the first two bomb drops I persuaded the pilot to provide a display of aerial aerobatics to amuse the student observers on top of the Weir. It took at least a day and a half for my stomach to settle down especially after the celebration in the Dutch Officers mess for the success of the operation.

One session at each three-week school was a demonstration of antipersonnel aerial bombs. The Yank bombs were tightly wound 3/8 square high tensile steel making a hollow cylinder 18 long and 6 in diameter, tapered at each end with a nose fuse and tail fins. I chose a relatively horizontal branch of a substantial tree about 20ft above the ground, over which I threw a long rope with a double insulated electrical wire attached. I tied the bomb tail to one end of the rope with an 18 length of binder twine (usually used to close up bags of wheat grain) and attached an electric detonator, wired to the end of the electrical cable, in the middle of the twine. Then I carefully unwound the propeller of the nose fuse to allow the firing pin to be driven into and explode the fuse cap, which would then detonate the bomb. The bomb, now armed, was then laid gently on the ground. With the other end of the rope I went behind the tree and hauled the bomb up to the tree limb before fixing the rope to nails driven into the back of the tree. I then told the thirty or more students to take cover at least 150 yards away telling them I was about to attach the electric dynamo to the electric cable and would drop the bomb on the count of three. Because high-tension square steel rod is brittle the ensuing explosion shattered it like glass producing small knife edged particles, which became efficient lawn mowers and decimated all ground vegetation within a 100-yard radius.

Having successfully run the School for nine months I was transferred to field duties as second in command of 1st Bomb Disposal Coy based in Townsville. I was required to explained this procedure to my replacement senior instructor and accompany him on his first demo.

He used over four feet of binder twine and tied three detonators to one side of the twine (he said to make sure it cut the twine). The detonators certainly cut the twine, they whip lashed it sideways with considerable force, winding it around the bomb tail. The result was, the bomb landed on its side and did not explode!!! The students started to gather around so I told them to keep their distance and walked softly to the bomb and holding it steady, rewound the propeller back to keep the firing pin away from the fuse detonating cap. On returning to the school I was summoned to the Major, the Schools 01/C, who had been told of the events and threatened me with disciplinary action (via Court martial) as my method of defusing the situation (walking) endangered all the students (idiots idiots!!!)

Approximately two and a half months after my transfer, the officer who replaced me as Senior Instructor, ably demonstrated the dangers of Bomb Disposal by blowing off one hand and half the other and half his face.

At the Bomb Disposal School I used to get live Jap bomb fuses and boosters in one piece and after separating them, removing the fuse detonator cap and booster explosives. I would cut a V section out of the fully reassembled length so as to expose the internal workings, then with an air brush, draw the assembled total with the internal details using different colours for different parts, on a large sheet of 3ply placed facing students whilst passing the actual Vd fuses to students for their edification. Once, during my weekly break, I went to the Melbourne HQ of Bomb Disposal. On arrival I was told by the Captain adjutant there (the Lieutenant Colonel 01/C always being absent probably to socialise) that two new types of Jap fuses had been sent to Melbourne from the N.G. based Bomb Disposal Platoon. I asked where they were and why the School had not been informed of their existence, the Adjutant said Theyre in that box, the Lt Col is sending them to India because the Japs are advancing on India through Burma.

Believing that charity begins at home, I left only to came back later when I knew the adjutant would be lunching in the officers mess, replaced the fuses with rocks, re-nailed the box lid and departed with the fuses, which were Vd and drawn ready for the next class. It was about 8 to 10 weeks later that I was transferred from the School to the HQs of 1st Bomb Disposal Coy based in Townsville, I did not query the reason for the transfer as I was glad because it got me away from the idiotic and selfish Major 01/C of School and his thieving Captain adjutant who eventually got cashiered for stealing from the Officers Mess Fund. It was usual practice for the Coy Officers to contribute part of their stipend to an Officers Fund to provide amenities to the Officers mess that were not otherwise provided in the Coys War equipment table and it was from this he was stealing.

It was only my musing while writing this memoir that the reason for my transfer was probably the Indian's reply to the gift asking how the Aussies coped with rocks in lieu of bombs being dropped on them by the Japs.

Incidentally, when I was transferred to 1st Bomb Disposal Coy in Townsville (the Coy also had platoons in N.G. and Darwin) I virtually became O 1/C because the Major spent most of the time in N.G. with one of the other platoons (to ensure O/Seas Service for future benefits post War). One day I received a signal from a Major of O 1/C of a Field Engineering Coy, then based in Darwin, that he was promoting a Corporal in my Darwin platoon to the rank of Sergeant. After I replied that he could not do this, as there was not such a vacancy he replied that he had already done so. After informing him he must cancel the appointment, I received a blister from Army HQs in Melbourne demanding a copy of all my correspondence (which of course had my signature on it in lieu of the Majors who was in N.G.) The inference of the Army HQs demand was that I was up for another Court Martial! On making several enquiries I discovered that the whole of the Bomb Disposal organisation was being dismantled with personnel being absorbed into relevant Field Engineering Coys. My response to this was If you are stupid enough to NOT inform 1st Bomb Disposal Coys own HQ that it is being disbanded WHAT DO YOU EXPECT! I was then immediately sent to Northern Territory Army HQ in Alice Springs, from here I went to 52 Field Park Coy in Darwin and then on to Sydney as a Captain in the newly formed 7th Mechanical Equipment Coy R.A.E.

Chapter 3

Shortly after the 7th Mechanical Equipment Coy A.I.F was initiated troops were assembled in Sydney and shipped to Wewak in New Guinea. A Sergeant, three Sapper Mechanics who had been separate from the troop assembly and I made up the new Coy. We were required to transport all the numerous vehicles (jeeps, transport trucks, machining and welding trucks, large and small bulldozers and auto patrol graders) from Sydney Wharf by tramp steamer to rough open ocean unloading approximately half a mile off shore from Wewak.

The dozers and auto patrols weighed in excess of the 5 ton regulated capacity of the ancient worn ships loading cranes. Once again I used my initiative and stripped the dozers of heavy blades and massive winching mechanisms and the auto patrols of blades, engines and gearboxes using my Sapper Mechanics. When loading, I had to (with tongue in cheek) assure the ships mate that the loads were less than 5 ton and the whining and moaning of his hoisting gear was due to their old age and lack of proper maintenance.

It was interesting to watch the unloading in rough waters, with the ship heaving and rolling and the landing barges (with drop fronts) bobbing up and down alongside. I had to remain beside the ships crane operator to ensure he always obeyed my instructions while my Sergeant and Sappers were onshore reassembling the dismantled machinery. The instructions were to slowly lower the loads overside until he noticed the lifting cables slackening off as the barges surged up under the loads and then to immediately release his clutch to let the load run freely as the barges dropped.

I eventually got ashore with the last load where my sergeant informed me I was once again under threat of demotion to Sapper via Court-martial. A Senior (and idiot?) Officer already established at Wewak had come to the beach out of curiosity upon seeing a ship being ocean unloaded and large amounts of heavy equipment being beach landed under active war conditions with occasional Jap bombs being dropped near by. When he saw the reassembly being carried out, he demanded from my Sergeant, the Rank, name and unit of whoever was responsible for the unacceptable reassembly of machinery on a windy sandy beach and threatening disciplinary action.

The only bomb damage to my men was the hitting of their heads on diffs and gearboxes as they dived and squirmed under vehicles to avoid possible shrapnel. Distant sporadic rifle and machine gun fire added texture to the comparatively dangerous situation.

The Atom Bombs dropped on Japan caused cessation of hostilities and a mass exodus of Australian troops from New Guinea. This meant I was forced back to my Company HQ. At that time the Major 0 1/c of the Coy was back in Australia being bowler hatted out of the army so I became acting 0 1/c responsible for Coy dissolution. The other two officers and most of the troops, like rats deserting a sinking ship, were allowed to go for demobilisation. I held back several sappers and also the Quartermaster Sergeant, which went very much against his wishes. I had little or no QM experience so I needed the QMSs assistance. Some of the sappers were needed to return all vehicles and earthmoving equipment to Wewak Q Depot. All other war equipment was crated to travel back to Australia.

When the crating was finished the rest of the sappers were allowed to depart for demob leaving my batman, the disgruntled QMS and myself to ship back to Townsville with the crates which were returned to the Q depot there. The three of us plus a heap of signed receipted returns then travelled to Sydney where the final Coy dissolution meeting was to be held. We joined the queue waiting for the dissolution meeting and it was during the waiting time I learned that my QM Sergent took advantage of the free travel for uniformed service personnel to go to Melbourne for his long awaited demob.

His departure meant it would be up to me to present all documents at the final dissolution meeting, so I went through and checked them, only to discover just how disgruntled my QMS was. To my chagrin, I realised that the signed invoices for the return to Wewak Q depots of all the machinery, transport and dozers etc. was missing, evidently having been thrown overboard by my QMS as revenge for his retention from early demob in New Guinea. Fortunately the third unsigned copy was there.

This meant that I went through a very swift learning curve on the details of all Q matters and managed to establish, by urgent (4 star) signals to and from Wewak Q depot, the validity of the unsigned third copy of the machinery return. By other devious machinations including a bottle of Scotch and Gin I arranged for the Army and the Coy war equipment tables, including receipted invoices of all materials returned to various Q depots, were all within 98% of agreement.

Note: Over many years the bargaining power of premium spirits and wine (such as scotch and champagne) became evident. Added to this was the spate of high taxation in the U.K. that caused high earners to become domiciled outside of England. An example of its consequence follows: When finalising the surgeons fee for his massive operation on a successful Barrister, both agreed adequate payment was a case of Scotch. The reason for this was that the surgeon would lose 80% of his fee through taxation and the Barrister would have to earn over 80% of his fee for the same reason. The American Navy, unlike the British was dry. For this reason I imagined a sufficient a number of cases of scotch could acquire one of their warships. In any case all offensive equipment leaving U.S shores, bound for war zones were written off on departure from the U.S. This did not happen in Australia. I had intuitively used this trade several times with the U.S Navy and the U.S and Australian Armies as well as the Dutch during my Army career.

When the day of the dissolution meeting for my Coy arrived, my batman and I fronted up to the Major presiding, with all our documents on hand. The batman, with all the papers, retired to a rear room with the Majors Sergeant. While they were there I listened to the Major gripe about how long it was taking to deal with other Coys dissolution, as there were threats of military or civil action against several Coy Officers. Apparently a lot of valuable army equipment got demobbed with Officers of those companies.

About 20 minutes later the Sergeant returned and was greeted with What, more trouble!?! by the Major. The reply was No complaints. All records tally within acceptable limits.

As the surprised look on the Majors face subsided, he effusively shook my hand and congratulated me on my companys efficiency.

This was only the second time I was congratulated during my Army Service. The first time occurred at the Bomb Disposal School.

When the Jap's were in ascendancy in New Guinea the locals tended to side with them, so the powers that be in Australia decided to collect several tribal leaders from N.G. and tour them up the East Coast from Melbourne, to make them aware of the Australian preparations to oust the Jap's.

At that time I was preparing to dispose of the really dangerous parts of the acquired American bombs (i.e. the nose and tail fuse detonator caps and the 1 inch long and 1 inch diameter tiny cylinders of a powerful explosive which filled a 1 inch hole through the centre of the main bomb explosive and was used to ensure that the detonation wave of the fuse travelled throughout the length of the bomb.) The Jap bombs only had a small booster below the nose or tail fuse. This frequently resulted in only the front or the rear half of the bomb exploding, spreading the rest of the explosive, unexploded, across the countryside to the detriment of Australian Soldiers who developed tinea in the moist parts of their body. My method of disposal was to gently crush some of the tiny cylinders into powder to make a 3-metre fire trail, at one end of which, I placed several of the highly explosive fuse caps. On top of them I placed the remaining tiny inch cylinders. The other end of the fire trail I ignited with a match then leisurely walked the 50 metres back to my workshop, turning around to wait for the explosion and the pressure wave to occur.

A Colonel appeared and asked for a demonstration of our activities, he was accompanied by one of the New Guinean tribal chiefs and his interpreter. The chief, on first appearance, seemed to be about 3 meters tall. He was very robust with wide shoulders, thick arms and thighs and had a great deal of feathered regalia sprouting from head, shoulders, thighs and calves. While we were all standing close to my workshop, I explained to the Chief (through the interpreter) what I was going to do. I then laid the explosives out, lit the fire trail, and returned to the group turning to watch the explosion, which was extremely loud and produced a hefty shock wave.

When I turned to see the effect of the explosion and shock wave on the tribal chief, he was nowhere to be seen. He turned out to be on top of my workshop roof, seeming to have jumped 20ft high and 30ft sideways, descending with a shamed look on his face. That evening in the officers mess the Colonel effusively congratulated me and said that was the best and most effective demonstration so far encountered.

INSERT SKETCH HERE - (To be found in typed draft numbered 9/2)

The very heavy shock wave probably helped the Chief on his upward journey, which the LOUD sound of the explosion had started.

This was the second time I had witnessed the marvellous increase of physical ability caused by an instant surge of adrenalin. Long before the event of car and street trafficators, hand signals and police on point duty were the norm. Whilst studying at UWA I was riding my motorbike down Barrack Street towards Wellington Street with a cop on point duty. I was passing a car on its right side (no hand signals) when the car started to turn right forcing me to drive at the Cop. All I saw was a pair of boots passing over my head. On crossing Beaufort Street Bridge I turned to look back and saw the Cop on the pavement corner gasping. For the next nine months I used Plain Street to travel from Crawley to Maylands.

As another piece of trivia I once, whilst walking in the opposite direction on Bourke Street in Melbourne, made eye contact with General McArthur without my showing any form of acknowledgement of his presence in Australia. Incidentally, post-war McArthur got canned in his attempt to regain power in the USA.

Another snippet was that the head of the Australian Army, General Blamey owned a gold mine in New Guinea and toward the end of the hostilities there, he used Army troops to work the mine. A lot of Blameys profit went back to Australia virtually in the pockets of the Troops. They made moulds of all their heavy tools into which they poured molten gold, painting the results with silver frost (fine grains of aluminium powder in oil) to simulate the colour of their tools.

From this it should be blatantly apparent why, on Demob, Ive never contemplated joining Army R.S.L (Returned Soldiers League). I have no desire to socialise with self-opinionated pompous idiot Ex-Officers.

My father used to tell me that one of the main reasons for the Anzac disaster in Gallipoli was due to idiot English Officers. All the ships were loaded wrong. What was 1st needed in the unloading was 1st loaded onto the ships and what was last needed was loaded last on the ships. This is a bit like the decision to locate Australias Capital City (Canberra) inland beyond the range of enemy battleship guns or like the large guns in Singapore fixed facing the ocean and incapable of being turned around to shell inland against the Japs land invasion!.

As the saying goes, if you have a good Sergeant Major in charge of the troops you have a good Company

Several years after the war I received a letter from one of the Sappers in my old platoon reminiscent about his experiences at Wewak. In this letter he said that having been part of several companies I was the best Officer he had served under during his time in the army.

Soon after the War the Q Depot at Mataranka, some miles south of Darwin, was massively stocked with returned War equipment set up for disposal to civilian communities. The transport section was divided into two sections GOERS and NONGOERS (Damaged and commandeered army vehicles not suitable for civilian road usage). An entrepreneur bought this latter section. The Goers were auctioned off with only accredited Eastern States car traders allowed to attend and bid. This group elected only one member to bid resulting in all vehicles being purchased at rock bottom bargain prices. The problem of driving a multitude of purchased vehicles south was solved by a small number of recruited drivers each of whom drove one vehicle towing three extra vehicles with special towbars that turned the front wheels in the direction of the towing vehicle. Very few of them reached Melbourne, most were sold enroute at a massive profit to the dealers.

The large number of vehicles meant at least four trips south for the drivers, one of whom was the brother of my friend in Perth. This driver urged my friend to join the driving team. Having recently demobbed at Karrakatta, and deciding not to rejoin the PWDAD for a month, I went with my friend to Darwin. Whilst awaiting the drivers return from their first trip we both went to the no goer section and purchased several vehicles at bargain prices. He bought one and I several. My purchases were; a left hand drive commandeered 5-ton truck with damaged headlight and a kilometre per hour speedo, (similar to the one used to transport bombs from Melbourne to Wodonga), the remnants of a similar right hand drive truck from which I stripped the right hand steering and its MPH speedometer, a new unused bren gun tracked carrier (which I drove into the bush and stripped of its radiator, engine, gearbox, rear axles and dashboard instruments with its MPH speedo) and a wheelless Ford Utility.

At the time petrol was rationed in Australia, so I drove my empty Left Hand drive truck to Darwin, scavenging empty 44-gallon petrol drums dumped in various locations along the route. On arrival at Darwin, I obtained petrol coupons and at the Shell Depot. I left all the drums as a deposit for two drums of 44 gallons of petrol bought using some of those coupons, the rest I kept for use, if needed, during my trip West and in Perth on my arrival. I also bought two 4-gallon drums of engine oil. On return to Mataranka, I arranged for my friend to buy 5 wheels for my Ute when he returned south, and freight them to me in Perth. I loaded my truck with my other acquisitions and headed off to Alice Springs where I travelled on the GHAN, getting off just prior to Adelaide. I obtained newly available sealed beam headlights for the truck, fitted them and commenced my non-stop drive on the dirt tracks that were then, the road across the Nullarbor. On arrival back in Perth I happily received a sizable cheque from the Darwin Shell Depot for the surplus 44-gallon drums. I then started a fortnight of feverish activity upgrading the truck to Right Hand drive, swapping the Speedo and selling the modified truck to a farmer. The wheel-less Ute was then stripping of its engine, gearbox and radiator. I fitted to it the bren gun carrier engine, radiator and gearbox and of course the 5 wheels sent by my friend. After a top overhaul of the stripped Ute engine it, its gearbox, radiator and the trucks KPH Speedo were filled to my fathers 1928 soft-top Dodge Touring car making it a V8 FORGE (Half Ford half Dodge). As it turned out, because of the Dodges differential ratio, the KPH Speedo became a MPH Speedo on the Forge.

Some time after the birth of the Forge, my parents travelled down south to visit friends in the Capel Metricup area where they pulled off to the side of the road to have a picnic lunch. A few minutes later a new Oldsmobile Sedan pulled up alongside. The driver got out and asked what in the hell have you got under the bonnet for the last 10 miles Ive been trying to overtake you. His eyes popped when he saw the V8 power plant.

Chapter 4

When my month was up I rejoined the PWDAD to continue on my career as an engineer. My work concerned steel structures, pre WWII steel structural sections were all rolled so being open not closed, like tubes (see diagram). And all were in very short supply after WWII but tubes such as water pipes etc. were abundant.


Because of this I decided to use tubes in lieu of the usual angle irons. I therefore obtained the dimensions of all pipes from to 6 internal diameters and calculated their load carrying capacity as tension and compression members and produced a relevant design table. Through this process it became obvious that tubes were far superior to the usual angle irons due to:

a) The material being concentric to longitudinal axis and closed section had admirable torsion (twisting) ability, both these conditions were lacking in angle irons.

b) Because of said superiorly over angles less material is required to resist their loadings. This meant that although tubes cost more to produce, their costs of use in a construction would be approximately the same.

All the above was years ahead of the Steel Industry production of their own design table for tubes for the rest of Australia and decades before the UK followed suit, as I discovered 20 years later whilst in the UK on a UWA Gladden Travelling Fellowship, obtaining further qualifications at Imperial College, London University.

Eventually the Australian tube makers realising the low capacity of tubes for resisting bending due to small amount of material at top and bottom of cross section vertical axes started to manufacture tubes of square and rectangular cross section i.e. SHS and RHS.

Another of my early innovations was to introduce the use of reinforced brick lintels in all Government constructions in lieu of reinforced concrete or steel lintels. The steel rods being bedded in cement mortar rather than lime. The reason for this is because rusting steel increases in volume producing a force approximating 80tons per sq inch. Cement is alkaline and when surrounding steel inhibits rust. The State Housing Commission, although not at my instigation, took up my method in all their housing construction evidently because brickies working on PWDAD constructions also did work for the Housing commission.

Later, to eliminate the expensive carpentry work in constructions needed for concrete and all steel bar reinforcement in concrete beams and slabs (i.e., hooks and bends in both bars and stirrups) I introduced the FLAT SLAB construction. The concrete was poured onto a flat formwork and all steel reinforcement simply cut to length. Naturally this used more concrete and steel but because of reduced labour was actually cheaper over all. To increase the spans of flat slab construction, I later introduced the post-tensioned stressed concrete concept. I also designed and supervised the first post-tensioned concrete spiral staircase in Australia. The stressed steel cable end blocks were high tensile small rods formed into a tight coil and coated with high strength concrete not the present high-tension steel cylinders.

            • (probably put in here about my working for? to ?

As Chief Engineer Structures in the P.W.D.A.D. I managed in excess of 150 personnel for the design, drafting and construction supervision for government construction, both major and minor, worth millions of dollars throughout the whole of Western Australia. Through the Public Health Act, I was also responsible for ensuring the structural stability of all buildings built by private enterprise that were to be used by the public. Although this was only a small part of my duties, whilst absent for 20 months on the Gleddon Travelling Fellowship, an extra two Engineers had to be employed to attend to these matters.

  • insert from page 26

In the latter part of my service I once received on my desk a file containing a letter from a private Consulting Engineer to the Principal Architect. It tuned out he had built a school building in reasonably close proximity to the Police HQ, a PWDAD structure by the Swan River foreshore near the Narrows Bridge. The letter was in regards to concerns about the 25-foot pilings supporting the HQ. The school building incorporated 80-foot pilings. My reply to his letter was that, in the remote possibility that the pilings were inadequate, all that would be needed was to recruit small policemen to work on the ground floor adding that my 25 feet was the result of pile testing that I had done. I heard nothing further and the Police HQ built over 40 years ago is still standing proud!

In regards to another multi-story building, structurally designed by my staff and built by the government in St Georges Terrace, an Engineer, who had recently retired from the P.W.D to go into Private Practice, came to me begging for some private work. As his P.W.D experience was with bridge and wharf constructions etc which includes investigations of founding conditions in the ground, I gave him the job of investigating ground conditions under the proposed building. His report stated there were lenses of soft clay in the region of 30-40ft depths and recommended at least 80-foot pilings would be required. I completely ignored his report and founded the building on reinforced concrete footings with their tops at ground level. This building has for the last 40yrs or so stood Proud and Undisturbed!

Late in my career, at the instigation of the Cement and Concrete Association of Australia, I wrote an article published in their Journal Constructional Review Volume 51 No.2 May 1978 which I titled Harding Heresies for concrete Technocrats. (See appendix) The heresies were:

1. All failures in concrete are tension failures.

2. Concrete has no compression strength.

3. Shear does not exist.

This article was expected to create a furore of dissent. In fact not even a peep was forthcoming. This was probably due to the Journal depicting the architectural use of concrete in building and would only be of interest to Architects, not Structural Engineers.

Sometime before this, I had become intrigued in the mechanics of a doubly curved anticlastic surface used as a roof construction over large clear areas, named Hypars a derivative of Hyperbolic Paraboloids. These were normally built in reinforced concrete where simultaneous tension and compression existed which results in shear being design criteria as stated in much of the literature.


However, in my opinion, if the compression is in one part and the tension in another, shear does not exist. I produced a system where the compression was in the arched steel sheet roofing and the tension was in the Sag Bars so shear was not a criterion. This of course simplified the design procedure and I designed and built several Hypars, the most impressive of these were the grandstand roof over the Capricorn Sports Oval at Mt Newman and the Aviation museum for the RAAF at Bull creek in WA. I also presented an article and a lecture illustrating all of this to the space conference at Surrey Uni in Guilford in the U.K. and later presented a thesis titled Hypars as tin tents to the University of W.A. (UWA) which resulted in my Degree of Bachelor of Engineering being upgraded to Master of Engineering.

  • insert from p29

On retiring from my position of Chief Engineer Structures from the P.W.D.A.D. to relieve the ensuing ennui, I devised and patented a method of completely constructing large clear span roofs and installing all services (such as lighting, ducting, conveyor belts etc) at ground level, and stress erecting it into final position. I called these Strarches i.e. stress erected arches. This system proved to be 30% cheaper than standard constructions, assembly at ground level eliminated lateral instability to large span trusses so saving in material costs and time whilst eliminating dangers of height work.

  • Insert from p 30 & 31 then insert from p23

The erection principles of the building system were demonstrated with a working model, the model was held and the string to pulled. To illustrate the systems extreme simplicity, I would offer one of the female secretaries, of said interested party, the model saying, Would you like an erection? Invariably, instead of the expected reply of Yes please they would blush and go all coy and very reluctantly pull the string. To avoid further embarrassment I refrained from asking Did you enjoy the experience. There was only ever one exception, she was Asian and surprisingly joined the hilarity, pulled the string and said That was really painless!, which incited further hilarity.

I also designed and built the hand held stressing equipment and the technology used. It was at this time I became a Registered Builder and built three of these buildings at Portland Cement, Canine Association and RAAF Museum to prove the viability and economics of the system. I then sold the patent for a large amount of money a lot of which swelled the Commonwealth coffers via Capital Gains Tax. Strarch International has since built these Strarches worldwide.

The patent sales agreement prevented me from being involved in any future development of the Strarch Principle. I therefore devised and patented a similar and slightly cheaper method of stress erecting, ground assembled large clear span trussed buildings called Strusses, several of which were built in the south west of W.A. by Clough Engineering and myself.

Chapter 5

In my 37 yrs of practice I came across a saying those that can, do, and those that cant, teach. I did the first full time and as an adjunct, the second.

After WWII there still was no established School of Architecture. Budding Architects had to be indentured (as Cadets) to a practicing Architect. The Western Australias P.W.D.A.D. arranged for cadets to attend training lectures given by other Architects, either in their offices or at a local Technical College.

Prior to and for a period post WWII the vast majority of Professional Engineers were employed by the Commonwealth or State Government, which meant that the then Architects had to learn a modicum of Structural Design. After WWII a structural lecturer at UWA School of Engineering was employed to give evening lectures at the Perth Technical College. The exam at the courses end was set and marked by another private practicing Engineer. His pass rate was about 75%. Some time after the war, he resigned and I was asked to take over, which I did. My pass rate for the set and marked exams was always 100%.

One of these students eventually became my wife. It was under her aegis that I learned that the Architects efforts at structural design were very conservative, as was that of the Engineers in private practice at the time, because their design fee was a percentage of the structures cost. While my wife's mentor Architect was away a client asked his son to produce plans of a factory originally designed by his father, for the purpose of duplication. I had tutored the son in structural design so at my wifes suggestion I checked the plans he made. The end result was that where the original factory cost 20,000 Pounds, years later, the design in which I had input cost only 10,000 Pounds.

A few years after WWII a Chair of Architecture was established at the U.W.A and I was asked to lecture structures. As it was a daytime activity I had to obtain permission from the Public Service Commissioner. Because quite a number of the students were Architectural cadets of the P.W.D Architectural Division, the request was granted.

The position lasted several years, during the last two, smart arse male students wanted to set their own agenda. I adamantly refused and started to treat them rather harshly to accustom them to the highly competitive and unscrupulous private practice. It was then that they threatened to get me sacked, I told them Don't bother, I'm resigning.

Chapter 6

The salary of post WWII Professional Engineers, the vast majority of whom were in Commonwealth and State Governments was pitifully small. When I got married, my income would only pay for food and one carton of cigarettes; nothing for bills electricity, rent, council rates & taxes, water supply etc, so I registered a specialised design of a particular truss (for farm sheds which were in high demand at that time) and the 2 % royalty doubled my Government salary. My wife, by me under her auspices, designing for her, the structures requested by her original mentor Architect and a second similar Architect, earned another third; because of a complaint by a private Engineer, made to the Public Service Commissioner I produced to him correspondence to and from my wife which explained the situation to his satisfaction and approval! I personally never solicited any work away from any private consulting Engineer. In my opinion, it was because of their misconception that I was that I was granted the Gleddon Travelling Scholarship that got me out of the country, travelling the world with wife and three young sons for 20 months.

It was during this period that the Engineers in the Commonwealth took the Commonwealth to the High Court, which resulted in salaries of all Engineers being trebled.

(end - Handwritten draft numbered C2)

Other Material

(Handwritten draft numbered D1)

Re the Stirk Park Hypars, because the bulk of the materials and the labour of construction was by unpaid volunteers.

I donated an adequate sum of money to the Kalamunda Council for them to pay my friend, who was also working and supervising the labour, as he, by himself, had built several of my various design systems in outlying districts such as Geraldton etc.

Handwritten draft numbered D2 D3

At one time as Chief Engineer Structures, one of my Design Engineers wanted to take unpaid leave to study at U.W.A for a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree (i.e. a degree of a higher status than Master Engineer (which I was eventually granted). I rang his father and said that the only way I could ensure his son would get the required leave was for me to deny the application, saying that his present qualifications were adequate for his design work in my organization. It succeeded in the granting of his leave and he eventually got his PhD degree. i.e. another example of the inflated pomposity of these

recently promoted to the top position to show their supposed power over their minors. If it had been the old Principle Architect whom I held in the highest regard I would have recommended the application and it would have been granted; but the senior Architect that replaced the old Principle Architect on his retirement was blown up with his supposed status and to prove it, went against my recommendation and granted the unpaid leave.

Handwritten draft numbered D4

On later musing my failure when sitting the exam to gain a scholarship to Modern School, I felt that the reason for failing was the English test paper. There was a question which I could not answer requesting the meanings of several trite expressions, none of which I was aware due to my disjointed and varied early teaching in several country and metropolitan Primary Schools. (These quotes are presently being asked of readers by the West Australian Newspaper). Examples as follows:

Early and later in life I validated numbers 2 and 5.

1) Never look a gift horse in the mouth;

2) Necessity is the mother of invention;

3) Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves;

4) A penny wise, a pound foolish;

5) It fell off the back of a truck;

6) Love and marriage, like horse and carriage, you cant have one without the other.;

7) How did surnames originate;

8) What does catch 28 mean?;

9) Does salt water boil at the same temperature as pure water?;

10) Bobs your Uncle;

11) Birds of a feather stick together, etc, etc.

(Handwritten draft numbered D5)

Later attending Perth Boys School from Maylands, (during the post WWI depression of the late 20s and early 30s, when money was sparse) I caught (to and fro) the local tram with the penny fares for children. But this would not suffice for me to get to Perth Modern from Maylands. (Incidentally during this period I used to save my weekly pocket money of one or two pennies to attend the six-penny nights at Maylands cinema).

I got to Perth Modern (using No.2 Necessity is the Mother of Invention) I rescued a cousins bicycle being discarded because the pipe holding the seat at top was broken away at the bottom where it joined the pedals spindle hub. I emptied the hub by removing pedals, large sprocket and spindle. Packed and filled the large hole with saturated cloth. Then drilling holes at right angles and at slightly different levels and putting 34inch nail in each hole, at the bottom of the seat tube and the stub on top of the hub and then melting lead from a discarded lead acid car battery, aligning tube bottom and stub, poured the liquid lead down the tube so reattaching it to the hub. As well as riding this bike to and fro Modern School, as detailed elsewhere, I rode this bike continually for 24 plus hours, night and day, down South to Metricup. Also for some time to UWA from Maylands until, for 5 Pounds, I bought an old Chater-Lea motorbike. Sometimes this motorbike got me to my destination BUT I had to push it back on the return journey. He cause was a fine crack in the Bakelite surround of the spark plug lead through which the spark shorted before reaching the plug in damp weather.

Handwritten draft numbered D6

Item 5) above was validated whilst riding this bike on a rainy winters day returning home from Perth Modern School. I used a cape with a hole for my head and two side slits in lieu of sleeves. This was draped over the handlebars and behind the seat.

In those days the traffic was fairly sparse and the roads pretty rough so when the opportunity presented itself, I grabbed hold of the left hand rear corner of the passing truck tray for a tow, so easing my arduous effort.

On a particular rainy day, a truck with sundry cases of bottles presented itself for the above. Whilst being towed, a box towards the rear of the truck tray fell over and several of the bottles rattled towards the end of the tray. One near to me bounced over the back so I instinctively released my hold on the truck and grabbed for it, before it smashed on the ground. I succeeded in holding the bottle and by the time I had regained control of the bike, the truck had disappeared in the mist of the rain. Having no hope of catching the truck I carried the bottle home where I discovered that it was a bottle of Scotch Whiskey. Because I was still under drinking age, I gave the bottle to my father who had recently returned from country work. His reaction was where did you get it. I replied with No.5) above IT FELL OFF THE BACK OF A TRUCK.

My early life, with constantly moving throughout the South West of W.A. and even in the metropolitan area from Maylands to Subiaco there was little opportunity for me to make firm friends or to develop a gregarious nature so I lacked the opportunities of developing social niceties or graces.

Professor Blakey, Dean of Engineering School at U.W.A used to have social weekends at his home in Nedlands for the students of the 4th and 5th year course. Having to cycle from Maylands to Nedlands. I attended only once. I found the attention of his motherlyostentatious wife with garish rings on every finger and thumbs not to my liking OBNOXIOUS is probably too strong a word to apply to her, but because of my feelings and the effort

(end handwritten draft page numbered D7)

required to attend I decided that further attendance of those social occasions was not for me. In later years musing I came to the conclusion that the Professor would consider social graces an essential part of a Professional Engineer character to better ensure future employment. So even though the reference got from him, before departing from Uni, stated that I topped the pass list, I did not get HONOURS even third class.

Further to the above Paddy Clare, the principal Architect of the Architectural Division for most of my career there as Chief Engineer Structures. Shortly after his retirement, he suffered a heart attack at Christmas time. I visited him in hospital and using Dark Humour to introduce a bit of levity into a serious

occasion, I said its very inconvenient of you to have your stroke at this time you should have had it before or after the holidays so allowing A.D staff to take time off work to visit you. He died a few days later. Days later his wife, because she thought that I was Paddys ONLY friend in the Architectural Department rang me and said that it was to be a private family funeral, no visitors etc.

At one time when I was studying the crude early works of using electrical grids for calculations, that in fact Electrical Engineers using their terminology and formulae for grids and electricity was identical to Structural Engineers doing the same for structural grids.

To prove this I got an Electrical Engineer from a different section of the P.W.D Architectural Division using his mathematics etc to design a structure and at the same time using one of my Structural Engineers to design the same structure Result both designs were virtually identical. So I am categorically prepared to say that the calculations for the flow of force, electricity, and liquid, through their individual grids will in fact be identical.

(end hand written draft page numbered D9)

(Hand written draft page numbered E1)

Another instance of official incompetence is when Australians KILLED their own troops (i.e. MORTAR BOMB CREWS). Mortar Bombs are about the same size as aerial dropped antipersonnel bombs but their fuse mechanisms are different. Also they have two explosive contents. ONE in their tail and the other filing its body.

The tail explosive is activated when the bomb is dropped into, and onto, the firing pin at the bottom of the firing and angle and tube, propelling the bomb with considerable force and RAPID acceleration, into the air. This acceleration releases the spring-loaded ball bearing safety mechanism in the nose, due to its? inertial, so arming the nose fuse for its detonation when hitting the ground. To supply the forward troops in action with more ammunition large timber cubic crates fully packed with mortar bombs were aerial dropped (without parachutes to soften their landing and ensuring that all boxes landed with the contained bombs facing the ground) a large number of boxes landed with considerable DECELERATION and the enclosed bombs being tail down. This deceleration displaced the nose fuse safety ball (AKA the acceleration out of the firing tube) so arming the nose fuse. When these bombs were dropped into the firing tube, the massive acceleration of expulsion of the bomb caused the nose striker, due to its inertia, to detonate the bomb before it left the firing tube so KILLING the firing crew crouching along side!!!

Further examples of general stupidity were the many fatuous and derogatory remarks made by a large number of supposedly talented people viewing my HYPAR and STRARCH (Stress erected arch) constructions, they being too numerous to be enumerated.

(Hand written draft numbered E2)

When I devise, by innovation NOT invention various types of economical (less costly NOT CHEAPER) large clear span building constructions, to avoid detailed verbal and visual illustrations (words and sketches, some of which could be complex) which, sometimes, are not immediately comprehended by the initiated or the uninitiated (students) I made small working models of steel wire for trusses (some with hinges) and thin sheet steel for roof sheeting. When the model is shown as completely assembled flat and horizontal at ground level with hinges, sometimes at junction of column tops at ends of trusses or sometimes in truss lengths, the hinges being below the steel roof cover, to allow unrestricted erection by hinge rotation the thin steel sheeting was discontinuous and abutting directly over the hinges. On erection, causing hinge rotation, the abutting ends of thin steel sheets separate leaving a gap. A pertinent comment from a female observer was But it will leak, my unfortunate ? reply, causing embarrassment to the observer and great hilarity from the remainder was DONT WE ALL. So, live and learn all future models were made of plastic thin rods for trusses and thin plastic sheets for covering. By slightly curving the tops of and shaping the ends of abutting ends of the structure, the hinge was made in the thin plastic covering by allowing it to curve over the joint so eliminating any pertinent comment about leaking at the joint.

(Insert diagram as shown in hand written draft numbered E2)

As sketched in Lews draft P29 2-7-4

(Hand written draft numbered F1- F2)

On my retirement from the AD DWD my senior draftsman was delivering his eulogy speech to speed my departure, when half way through it, having listened to his descriptions of the remembered so called quirkiness of my actions, I interrupted, saying, Hey, havent you got anything good to say about me? His reply was Im only half way through just wait.

I did and like the saying that I encountered whilst travelling through the South of Ireland which was, Paddy was gloomily sitting on a leg reminiscing on all past troubles when a voice from on high said, cheer up Paddy things could be worse so Paddy cheered up and things certainly did get worse.

The final half of the speech did just that, which resulted in a hilarious applause from all the staff. My reply was, that to relieve the ennui of retirement I intended to write about all of the bastards I had encountered. But seeing that I was the biggest bastard of all I would have to rethink my retirement activities. So I departed in a hilarious but convivial atmosphere!

(Hand written draft numbered F3 F7)

Re Complaints of my army service.

Many years after the war, I received a letter from one of my Sappers who served with me in New Guinea; in the letter he was reminiscing about the time he and a mate were stealthily walking through the bush, keeping away from established tracks in proximity of our camp. When they came across a deserted Jap machine gun post concealed near the crossing of two tracks. The gun was loaded with a belt of

ammunition with a box of belted ammunition along side. They toted gun and ammo back to camp and gave the troop a demonstration of the destructive power of the weapon by decimating adjacent woodland. In this letter he remarked that I was the best Officer he had served under in the various Engineering Companies he had been attached to.

Once whilst I was Senior Instructor at the Bomb Disposal School I was ordered to attend a meeting in Melbourne of Service Senior Officers, Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels and Majors to plan their proposed sojourn in Hobart, Tasmania to hold a conference on bomb disposed with the Tasmanian Civil authorities and finally all the locals in the Hobart Town Hall (I think the Hobart Gig was so that the Officers could spend the evenings at the Casino. The only one in Australia at that time). At this first meeting, the Officers seemed to be bereft of ideas. I made several suggestions but once the import of these sunk in it was lifted from me and expanded by several Officers.

The same thing happened in the Hobart meeting with the Civic Authorities. At the first meeting with the general public in the Town Hall, all the Senior Officers were seated in a spaced line at the front of the stage, whilst I and a few of the Senior Officers Captain adjutants were seated at the rear of the stage. Half way through the speeches of the Senior Officers, the Captain, seated alongside me asked what I intended to say; I replied I did not expect to be asked (because of my previous experience with these officers) and he said dont be so sure. At that time, I, as was a few of the adjutants, slightly inebriated, having imbibed at a local pub pre meeting. After all the Senior Officers speeches, each receiving a muted clapping response I was asked to speak. So I stood at the front of the stage and explained how to interpret the possibilities of a buried, unexploded bomb when observing a disturbed hole with a mound of dirt and matted grass like tangled hair around the mound and hole. The hole and mound size and direction indicating the slope and direction and possible depth of the intruding bomb and the imminent danger of probing this interesting mound and hole with its tangled surround etc. Instead, they should carefully excavate a 6 foot boarded square centred on the hole following it on its downward slope and when reaching the unexploded bomb, treat it with tender loving care until it was defused and the explosive contents of the bomb is removed etc. My short speech was concluded with tumultuous clapping and loud applause from the audience. Next day walking through the Town to depart, I was continually accosted by the public with the saying Congratulations, Holy man it was the best speech we have heard in ages.

Similar responses were given to two of my speeches given at U.W.A after the war. One was a required speech at my return from the Gleddon Travelling Fellowship and another as one of several speakers at a U.W.A Engineering Conference. I was the fourth of six speakers and whereas the audiences response to the other five speakers was muted. The responses to this speech and also the Gleddon Speech were tumultuous. After the Gleddon speech, during which I demonstrated my DO NOTHING machine, several in the audience approached me, demanding that they be told in advance of any of my future speeches so they could relish the result.

(End hand written draft numbered F8)

The following three pages extracted from a technical Journal illustrates the mathematical mania of so called professionals who do not comprehend the extreme simplicity of Hypar Design, my method of separating the T & C (ALWAYS at 90 degrees) into two separate materials i.e. CGI roofing arched in compression and sag bars in tension eliminate the so called shear. When built in reinforced concrete containing simultaneous T&C (at 90 degrees) the resultant at mathematical compression being so called shear my HARDING HERESIES prove that it is the tensile (NOT SHEAR) strength of concrete, which will govern. So first use a stronger concrete mix i.e. any concrete failure will be shrinkage cracks and will follow the C line so place adequate secondary steel reinforcement at 90 degrees to main reinforcement to assist the tensile strength of the concrete etc etc.

(Hand written draft numbered G1- G2) 1st pages of book

FORE KNOWLEDGE to enable appreciation of details and events in the following discourse.


C.M.F (Citizens Military Force) for war service in Australia allows the serving of Reserved Occupations

A.I.F (Australian Imperial Force) for war service in the World denies the serving of Reserved Occupations.

Reserved Occupations highly qualified professionals and practitioners etc.

W.E.T War equipment tables lists all company personnel and war equipment.

COY Company;

H.Q. Headquarters;

Q.M. Quarter Master (Material supplier)

S. Sergeant;

S.M. Sergeant Major;

R.S.M Regimental Sergeant Major

Q.M.S Quarter Master Sergeant;

Lt Lieutenant;

M Major

LtCol Lieutenant Colonel;

Mess Army dining and socialising facility;

GP General purpose (vehicles);

N.T. Northern Territory of Australia;

U.S United States

Japs Japanese race NCOs Non Commissioned Officers

W.E.T. - When an Army Company is formed QM HQ print two copies of War Equipment Tables (WETs) listing All materials and equipment to be supplied and the number of each. Alongside this number is a blank space to pencil in number actually supplied. These pencil numbers being changed as supplies are increased or decreased or returned to various depots throughout War Zones or Australia. One copy of WETs is kept at QM HQ, the other at the Company, such movement of equipment etc being recorded on triplicate invoices by the sender who keeps the third copy. The other two are forwarded with the goods. They are both signed by the consignee who keeps one copy to amend his Coys W.E.T and the second signed copy returned to the consigner for similar action. The 1940s value of the Coys mechanical equipment would be many millions of pounds as it included a multitude of Jeeps, personnel and goods trucks, machinery trucks for mechanical equipment, maintenance and repair, a multitude of D8 and D6 bulldozers and auto patrols, office and communicating equipment, cooking and mess materials for approximately 80 personnel etc.

GPs were a small, American supplied, 4-wheel drive vehicle with two sets of gear ratios. A long lever close to driver operated the normal 4 gears, 3 forward and 1 reverse and a short lever further away from driver reduced the aforementioned gears to a much lower ratio. They were mostly batman driven for Officer transport. Modern, more opulent versions of the above are now called Jeeps.

When a new Army Company is formed, Army and Q H.Qs prepare two copies of the Coys WET, one copy held by QHQs, the other by Coy Q.M.S. It details the number and rank of all personnel and details of all war equipment, the number of pieces of equipment printed alongside each item with a blank space alongside used to pencil in actual number held by Coy. The movement of equipment Q to Coy or Coy to

Q entails three copies of invoices. One kept by the sender, two going with the goods. The receiver signs both, sends one back to the sender (to acknowledge receipt), keeping the other to amend his W.E.T.

In the Eastern States of Australia, during wartime all uniformed personnel of the three Services Navy, Army, Air force were allowed free travel on all Government Transport.

It was usual practice for all Coy Officers to contribute a part of their stipend to an Officers mess fund to purchase mess amenities not provided in the Coys W.E.T.

U.S. War equipment when leaving its shores for overseas combat zone was written off which explained the ready agreement of U.S. personnel to freely donate any of it to associated Army or Personnel.

Because of my assumed paucity of work for my father during wartime and the Army clothed and fed me and provided free rations of beer and tobacco and I expected to be away from civilisation for a long time I allocated the bulk of my stipend to my Mother so establishing dependency to allow a claim by her on the Commonwealth in the event of my demise. On Demob I found that she had accrued it and gave it to me so I used it for my endeavours (later described) in the N.T. to obtain transport vehicles.

    • To be included in PWD AD experience after the war.

At one stage whilst I was on leave, my replacement Officer, through the Health Act, closed several Churches and Halls throughout mid W.A. that suffered some damage by an Earthquake, so causing different religious orders to utilise an undamaged Church. On my return to duty and after examining these buildings, I removed the restrictions on their usage. They all survived at least two more tremors in later years and they are still in use.

    • To be included in War experience.

At one stage, to test the acumen of my batman G.P. driver, when he eased accelerator pressure (load off engine) I carefully, with knee pressure, nudged the small gear lever into neutral. Whilst he was underneath the G.P. to see if anything had fallen off I reinstated the gear lever. I did this at least three times but he never twigged. Eventually he got his revenge for quite some time I slept in one legged pyjamas; the missing leg had been left accidentally, on the outside of the cut down 44 gallon drum in which he boiled my clothes.


Forward knowledge

All asides etc

Potted history

Marie's eulogy

My references


Certificates etc - as appendix

Pictures of buildings and models etc - as appendix


Electricity promotes motion movement of ATOMS

So all animates generate their own type of electricity Human ref. nerve synapses, fanatics etc.

(End hand written page G2)

(Hand written page numbered G3)

Which makes theology HOG WASH! used to impart importance and status to particular organizations individuals and at a lower level to general humanity.

The time Moses spent on the Mount was that which he took to carve with Stone Age tools (his, NOT GODS), Ten Commandments in a suitable slab of stone! Supposedly etched by lightning guided by GOD.


(Hand written draft numbered G4)

Insert diagram here relative movement in opposite directions of two objects drags the air between them so reducing the airs density and producing a reduction in its pressure causing a relative vacuum, causing the air outside the objects to push them closer together.

Another instance of the above occurs in my kitchen when fluid spills over the slightly projecting edge of the counter over the cupboard doors below. The fluid lands on the lower part of the doors and drops on the floor.

Insert diagram here Dis Death?

The weight of the Railway engine and its wheel flanges would restrain the engine from moving away from platform edges and the side sway of carriage springs would allow the carriages to be sucked and pushed the few inches onto the platform edges. This twisting action would start as soon as the front of the car entered the tunnel and as the car would stay airborne for a very short time on entry, the point of impact with tunnel column would be less than 100 yards from entry. The actual distance should go quite a way to prove or disprove all of the above.

(Hand written draft numbered G5)


In the Depression years of the late 1930s, my father was virtual paymaster for the group settlement scheme for British Migrants in the South-West of Western Australia in the Capel Metricup area. The migrants were allotted plots of bushland with a sparsely furnished four-roomed timber house, thereon, they had to clear the bush to start farming and they were paid by the Government for these endeavours in accordance with their progress. My fathers job was to visit all of them and assess for their payment based on their clearing endeavours.

On December 23rd, an urgent Government letter addressed to my father arrived at the Maylands address where my brothers and I were living, my mother being with my father at Metricup at the time. With no telephones and although I knew where their house was, I did not know its address. So at 5.00pm, December 24th I mounted my repaired bike (that I used to ride to school) fitted an acetylene-producing headlamp to deliver the letter myself. In those days, all the roads outside the metropolitan area were badly corrugated gravel roads, only occasionally graded by various Shire Councils. I rode through the night arriving the next day, the 25th at approximately 7.00pm after they had finished their evening meal. My greatest disappointment was that the last of my mothers Christmas pudding with its many embedded sixpences had been eaten and there was none left for me. My father drove my bike and me back to Perth. Some months later my second brother rode his light racer bike down to help my father to build a church in the area but he was less than half way down when picked up by my father in his 1928 Dodge.

(Hand written draft numbered G6)

Another piece of trivia

My experience with YAMK LEND LEASE war equipment supplied to Aust. Army (to wit) bulldozers etc the welding joining components to make a whole was usually substandard. When this equipment was used in excess of its usual usage such as lifting trees or large rocks out of the ground with the outside tips of the pushing blades, the blades disintegrated. Also a lot of the welded Liberty ships disintegrated in really rough seas.

Another instance of YANK bad workmanship and supervision i.e. inadequate fireproofing of bare light section central structural steel contributed to the collapse of the YANK TWIN TOWERS. The low intensity of the aviation fuel fire was only sufficient to soften the centre core light section steel to bend and fall onto lower core sections, the extra loads causing them to also collapse.

This removal of the floor-to-floor horizontal support of the core section to the main columns turned them from short to long columns, which buckled from the loads above so dropping the building above with high impact onto the lower section collapsing it.

The validity of the above is proven by the building that was hit lower down with higher load above was the first to totally collapse.

At one stage in Wewak the Corporal and his staff on mess duty had trouble waking up early to prepare breakfast for the platoon so I contrived an alarm clock to be placed near his head. By removing the glass face of an issue pocket watch and mounting the pocket watch onto a block of wood to which I placed two fine wires, one with a slight bend on its inner end, both projecting between the watch face and under the hands with the bend projecting to just above the hour hand (but below the minute hand) so that it would push the bent wire sideways onto the other wire completing a circuit which activated an electric bell which was in a circuit which also included the tent light. On awakening to the bell he moved another switch in the circuit, which stopped the bell and turned on the tent light. This light circuit included a resistance so that the light was only dim so as not to arouse the other sleepers in the tent. (All tents were equipped with lights powered by car batteries).

(Hand written page numbered G8)

During my tenure as Chief Engineer Structures in the AD P.W.D, I would extract articles from Technical journals that detailed structural collapses of major structures throughout the world. During my appeal for a higher salary for my position after a wage appraisal for department heads, to prove that under my direction, none of these occurrences occurred in my $6m plus yearly construction, I produced them to the panel adjudicating. The panel avidly viewed the articles (presumably because they mistakenly assumed the collapses were caused by my negligence) however when the idiots realised that was not so dismissed them and my appeal. It was only at the next salary review a few years later that I received a much belated salary boost.

(Hand written page numbered G9)

In running my department I always ensured that each Engineers design was checked by another Engineer and with a roster system get the original design Engineer to actually supervise its construction. I also supervised each construction and pointed out to the appointed supervising Engineer all the points he had missed. Whilst overseeing, I always counted the number of reinforcing bars required and frequently found that there were several missing or misplaced etc followed with the usual reprimand to the supervising Engineer.

On one particular job, a high school in Armadale where the ground floor was cantilevered over an embankment to provide an undercroft for storage of sporting materials and student bicycles etc that all the concrete beam steel had been placed in a reverse direction. This meant that the building would have collapsed; I will leave it to the imagination what was said to the supervising Engineer!

At another job, a long multi-story building for the womans hospital at Subiaco where the floor loadings at one end were much heavier that at the other end, the heavy reinforcements of the concrete beams were placed at the lighter end and the light reinforcement placed at the heavy end.

My policy was AKA the old adage look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. i.e. pay attention to small details.

(Hand written draft numbered G10)

(This is to be placed under two extra Engineers were employed to do Health Act work whilst I was away for 20 months)

During the 20 months that I was overseas on the Gleddon Travelling Scholarship a Regional Hospital had been designed and was being built in Bunbury and Geraldton, the Bunbury one about three storeys high and the Geraldton one was started with only the footings poured. On an inspection visit to Bunbury, the supervisor brought to my attention that only diameter main sheet reinforcement was used in a very large footing under one of the main columns. On examination of the structural drawings for this footing I noticed that a draftsman had drawn a vertical line obscuring the 1 of the 1 O indicating the size of the main reinforcing bars. Fortunately the column went through the loading dock floor, which was several feet above the top of the footing. My remedy was to prop up the first and second floors and excavate around the column down to the top of the footing and knocking out the concrete at the bottom of the column away from the column reinforcement then cast another (smaller) properly reinforced footing on top of the original one. The Geraldton footing was blasted out of existence and replaced by a properly reinforced one.

(Hand written draft numbered H1)

Finally I have been a boss all my working life (it is lonely at the top as I was told when applying for a higher position in the Government A.W.D) and regard myself as a non-gregarious confirmed cynical egotistical atheist. All religions are fairy tales egged on by power brokers and do-gooders. Humanity is presently one of the biggest scourges that so far have evolved on the Earth, which is of less significance than that of one grain of sand in all of the beaches of the world, when considered as part of the cosmos. All things both animate and inanimate are made from star material and have evolved in the last billions of years due to chemical reactions in a multitude of continually evolving electro magnetic motional environments (any two of which produce the third).

APPPS (in brackets) after the above.

            • Attached are a few of the many references (none of which I have used until now) that I have accrued over the years.

I had a reasonably successful marriage, lasting 46 years, with my devoutly Catholic wife, so perhaps I should have added tolerant to the above. My cynicism finally erupted when I published a death notice shortly after my wifes death on Friday 13 March 1993, which read

A voir chook, Hope your wings work well, Love Lew.

(Hand written draft numbered H2)


The direction of large solid airborne object travelling at SPEED ? eccentrically through a comparatively confined air space will be determined by the vagaries of gaseous mechanics. ? the works of Bernoulli (1700-1822).

Insert sketch from handwritten draft H2

When landing another venturi under the vehicle sucks it onto the ground with a force greater than cars weight and harder to steer in split second of landing. Two examples above are :

1. The flying Scotchman trains trail run at normal speed encountered no obstructions BUT at speed it TORE THE FRONTS OFF PLATFORM EDGES i.e. the Venturi effect sucked the train to platforms.

2. The low front bottom edge of Formula 1 race cars bumpers leaving only a SMALL gap above ground produces a Venture under car holding it more firmly on corners at speed countering centrifuged forces.

Death responsibility

1. Designers of funnel and its approach.

2. Inebriated driver.

              • Insert sketch from draft page H2 here.

(Hand written draft numbered H3)

Whilst I was studying Engineering at U.W.A, the Engineering Campus was an outpost being Shenton House near Crawley jetty. The house rooms being Deans office and general lecture rooms. Laboratories were farm-shed outhouses. Whilst I was there a modern brick 2 storey was built adjacent to Shenton House with the top floor accommodating a large drafting room.

Also at that time because sporting activities were an ADHOC arrangements between students of varying faculties and different schools I dont think sporting prowess was part of student assessment as it eventually became an essential criteria in the granting of Rhodes Scholarship etc.

In any case my sporting abilities were miniscule. I tried football, the only memorable time was when I was chasing the ball with no competition near-by, I tripped over. The umpire blew his whistle and gave me a free kick which produced no result.

After that I tried Lacrosse, where the players had to provide their own equipment and protective clothing. Because I was not a good runner I became a goalkeeper and all that I could afford was the goalkeepers racquet, which was larger than those of the runners. (No protective clothing etc)

Our Uni team was always short one or two players. When it was two, one from the opposing team joined our team for balance. We never won a game. At one time when the opposing team had sufficient goals to their credit so ensuring their win, a particular player started to use me in the goals as a target. Next day when showering I noticed several purple rings (not discs) on my body where his balls had hit me. As a deterrent I got one of our players to stand a little way apart of my right side. So that when approached by my tormentor we both would race at him leaving enough space between us for him to run through as he did so I dropped my racquet to chest level of my companion so that the attacker in running between us would turn sideways and break a collar bone. No such luck but the attacks on me stopped. Fortunately, my racquet did not break because some time later I had to sell it to help pay a speeding fine whilst riding an overly loud Charter? motor bike round Mounts Bay Road. The guts of the silencer had disintegrated and I had stuffed it with chicken wire. This sale forever ended my sporting career!

Shortly after the war when my staff was small, the School of Engineering was relocated from Shenton House to the West, alongside Fairway and I designed and supervised the structure of the new constructions and later still the three annexes for the laboratories and workshops for the 3 divisions of Engineers, Structural, Mechanical and Electrical.

Once I was tentatively approached to join the masonry but because my being a confirmed atheist married to a staunch Catholic, my joining would place too much stress on the marriage so I politely declined the offer.

(End of flip side handwritten draft numbered H3)

(Hand written draft numbered J1)

At one stage years after my retirement from the A.D.P.W.D whilst I was employing my No.2 Architect son and his iterant world travelling Iranian friend (who could not go back to Iran because he would be immediately arrested and possibly be executed) as labourers to ground assembly my second STRARCH building. The Iranians effort were proving more of a hindrance than a help; so I said to him youve got a brain use it and try to understand what and why we are doing to get these trusses properly assembled. He obviously took my advise because of the immediate improvement in his endeavours.

He left a few months later to continue his travels which included Japan and Germany, where he is now financially and firmly established having married a Fraulein and raising a family. During his travels, my above advice to him paid considerable dividends. In one of the countries of his travels from Australia he got a job in a Govt. Dept., which was using Billions of foreign money on infrastructure in that country. Whilst in that position he, taking my advise re Brain usage, assiduously collected and collated irrefutable proof of massive bribery and corruption of a lot of senior government heads of Departments. When he decided it was time to move on he, for a fee of in excess of US$250,000.00 would give all of collected proofs to the people involved. A considerable amount of this money was invested in the Australian stock market exchange via my son who was managing his and my family trusts.

(Hand written draft numbered J2)

With tongue in cheek, a PhD should be granted, not for producing reams of mathematic formulations but for the intelligent comprehension required to eliminate all the aforesaid and to develop the absolute simplicity of an apparently complex situation (aka, my first, not my second Thesis on HYPARS) i.e. reduce ACADEMIC MANIA. A simple explanation of LIFE IS ELECTRICITY! i.e. movement of atoms not the stupidity of RELIGION! A mythical GOD or even aliens from outer space did NOT place humanity on Earth. It was the result of chemical reactions in electromagnetic varying environments of star materials. So life, not as we know it, (based on abundant H2O) will exist in a different form throughout the cosmos, where abundant H2O is not available and it would not have developed our electromagnetic methods used by us to detect it.

Note the ultimate weapon would be one that could dampen or eliminate electricity. Genius is probably metabolism reducing electrical resistance in all nerves in the body and brain aka, a sudden surge of ADRENALINE instantly increases physical ability.

(Hand written draft numbered J3)

To be inserted after the eulogy on my retirement by my Chief draftsman.

Instead I became a registered Builder and concentrated on designing and building two types of large clear span, very economical buildings when compared with orthodox constructions (i.e. costing 30% less due to design and methods of construction).

These were:

1 HYPARS (my favourite) because of the paucity of materials used and their Panache shape and the clear uncluttered underside (ceiling) and

2 STRARCHES (Stress erected arches), which with the curved roof in lieu of the usual angular ones. The best location for viewing both types is at the Bullcreek aviation museum. They are both called HARDING HANGERS.

Insert sketches here from draft

Other examples are the HYPAR Grand Stand roof as Mt Newman and STRUSSES (Stress erected trusses) for horizontal siles for wheat storage in the SW of WA. All of the above illustrated in appendix. (The strusses were developed after the sale of the STRARCH patent and their construction costs were slightly less than strarch due to smaller continuous, in lieu of larger single span purlins used in STRARCHES.

The economics providing the 30% cost differential were for HYPARS Shape providing stiffness (Strength) where all materials used are either in pure tension or compression (i.e. no bending) the roofing is structural and not just to keep the weather out as for orthodox construction and the stress erected structures being completely assembled at ground level so eliminating lateral instability of large span trusses being erected singly so saving in time and materials used.

(Hand written draft numbered J4)

Another one of my many foibles is saluting the Brit & Aust. method of sustained horizontal palm outward fingers touching forehead to me means as well as acknowledging higher authorities it has a demeaning admission of submission. I rather prefer the Yank protocol with sloping hand face down, fingers touching forehead then without delay cutting away with a slicing downward motion, so acknowledging superiority but not necessarily submission. Because of this, I nearly started a riot at the Officers Training School in Liverpool N.S.W because of this, and the RSM treating us students as complete imbeciles, by shouting and screaming at us whilst drilling and saluting etc. They might be Superior but still are idiots!

(Hand written draft numbered J5) to be inserted after my retirement etc.

Two years after retirement I was invited to attend the Christmas party of the then staff of the Structures Department. On arrival I noticed a particular Engineer that I had had slight trouble with before retiring. He had recently recovered from a heart attack; in my greeting with him, I said why didnt you have the decency to die from your attack, it would have saved a lot of trouble and controversy on your return to work. He did not cringe but joined the hilarity caused by comment; he beamed and grinned because he now had become part of the legend of my DARK humour evidently regarded as a privilege.

(Hand written draft numbered J6)

Add to Mortar bombs being dropped in boxes etc Australians killing Australians

There would be a spring under nose striker sufficiently strong to resist the striker being depressed onto detonating cap when bomb accelerates out of firing tube or when tail down bombs in cases hit the ground after aerial dropping to mortar crews.

(Hand written draft numbered J7)

In Wewak it was rumoured that

1 the Japs cut the clothes off a dead Australian Soldiers leaving the clothes and take the corpse to cannibalise it due to the paucity of their food supply and

2 that the Japs had the habit of, in the hours of darkness, creeping into Australian camps and roll live hand grenades into tents sleeping six soldiers so I arranged between lights out and reveille, four patrols of 2 men for 2 hour shifts to patrol our camp.

(Hand written draft numbered J8)

Have you ever seen a black man turn white? I have! Whilst lecturing to the class about the myriad of chemical mixtures to produce various intensities of explosive reaction to detonation under varying condition. Such as a petrol air mixture in cars which under normal conditions only burns and expands producing pressure on piston if the spark is too far advanced this pressure is building up to a maximum before the piston is at top dead centre the sudden extra pressure causes the mixture to EXPLODE, the detonation sound causing pinging in the engine (aka CORDITE IN BIG CANNONS i.e. burning under pressure then exploding.

Re the afore mentioned myriad; these are usually liquids stabilised in a compressed cotton or wood pulp for safety in transport i.e. gelignite in stick about 1 inch diameter and 9 inches long or TNT in a compressed block of fibre 9 long 4 wide 1 thick with a 1 central hole into which a small centrally holed (for detonator cap) small cylinder is placed. I had a painted wooden model of a TNT Block for explanation. I explained that liquid TNT, even stabilised was still very sensitive and a sharp heavy knock such as hitting the floor from a height would probably detonate it. I then pointed to a hefty American Negro and tossing my wood model to at least 4 feet above his head, said examine it. He instantly jumped up and caught it but fumbled it several times before becoming seated. Definitely white about the gills. That evening at mess table, to the hilarity of the other diners at the table he pointed his side arm at my head and said If you ever do that again, I will blow your bloody head off!!

Most explosive will burn away if not confined. I used to empty bombs of their explosive contents, remove caps on nose and tail apertures, place the bomb in a ground depression and place a diesel soaked rag in one of the apertures to burn against the wind, light the rag and retire to a safe distance listening to the roaring noise similar to a massive blow torch.

(Hand written draft numbered J9)

Re my thesis on HYPARS

My first submission (for which I should have got a PhD because it was short but still explained the true simplicity of the system) was rejected by the Examiner and the then Dean of Engineering UWA (not the Examiner) said I should develop a more complicated algebraic mathematic solution (as per attached pages) which I did for the successful 2nd try with 12 extra pages of complex algebraic formulations. Even the Dean UWA said I should have added still more bulk. Reminiscing, I feel that both Prof. Blakey and the examiner both ignored my abilities. I should have achieved HONOURS at UNI and a PhD in lieu of top pass and an ME Degree.

Its all like a Yank, whose Father was a design engineer in New York, when he arrived in W.A. and joined UWA coming to me in my office of the P.W.D and saying he was quite prepared to assist me with any structural problems. The years are all the same (as I encountered them in my tour across USA as part of the GLEDDON FELLOWSHIP). In fact it is my opinion that the Yanks supposition of their superiority and organisation engendered the BIRTH OF ALQUIDA, which had latched on to Islamic Fantasies i.e., the demolition of tall poppies. It is also my opinion of the European countries can become EGALITARIAN with each country adopting a common language (as for currency) and becoming a state of the whole, it will eventually surpass the USA. Dont forget that the bulk of the USA citizens were refugees from ROYALTY dominated Europe and the UK with their supposedly superior class structures. Probably this would require an internal European War.

(Hand written draft numbered J10)


Another example of ACADEMIA madness in T Y Lins (An American Engineer) Voluminous Tome on pre & post tension concrete. Its all BULLSHIT, making a simple concept as complicated as possible. I repeat AGAIN, concrete has NO COMPRESSIVE STRENTH, its ability to resist compression is based solely on its tension strength aided by tensile reinforcement or confinement. In addition, all failures in concrete are TENSILE not SHEAR failures and follow the line of compression force.

(Hand written draft numbered J11 J12)

When considering the FAIRY TALES of religion, many of their TENETS of various denominators make good sense (but should not be referred to as Gods of direction). One case is in SUDAISM all food should be KOSHER (one of its commandments). In the early days, pigs used to be diseased which transferred to the consumer so JEWS were forbidden the consumption of pork for centuries including the present time, when for years past, pork is no longer diseased. A firm friend of mine for over 60 years was a Jew and a Rotarian. One time I took him with me down to Albany where I was to inspect the construction of the New Albany Hospital. Passing through Katanning in the late afternoon we stopped so that he could attend a local Rotary meeting with both of us enjoying an evening meal. When I asked him if he enjoyed the meal (which was roast pork) he said the rabbit tasted lovely. My remark was that this was the first time I had been served rabbit with apple sauce (normally served with pork). So for the past seven years, he being deceased is now communing with his GOD trying to expiate his early sins. One thing I noticed if you used a diagram with both vertical and horizontal references (for individual letters of the alphabet), depending how you used the references (by reading backwards, then forward), you could get both GOD and DOG both being mans BEST FRIEND.

(Hand written draft numbered J13 J14)

To illustrate the economy in both ? materials and cost for large clear span HYPAR roofing when applying for progress payments during construction of the HYPAR Air force memorial Museum at Bull Creek the sponsors demurred saying that it was impossible to build so quickly. My policy was when each subcontractor had driven last nail or tightened last nail bolt etc they got their cheque. At least the sponsors had the decency to apologise for the delayed payments on viewing the building at the official opening ceremony. Also in these days there was a Government post on all cheques so I endorsed the (or bearer) cheques to my company to pay contractor. This halved the Governments impost.

(Hand written draft numbered K1) refer to sketches in draft.

On rejoining the PWDAD after war service, before the volume of design built up from its dearth during war time, because the damage to the external brick cladding of the multistorey Royal Perth Hospital, built just before the war, that had occurred during the five year war period, I spent time examining metropolitan government and private buildings and other constructions to assess their general conditions. Government tends to build long low buildings on large plots of land whereas private industry tends to build high narrow buildings on small plots of land. The experience gained allowed me, several times, to contradict many private consulting Engineers reporting on various buildings and other structures distresses, some in court cases. One memorable occasion dealt with the massive cracking in a 3 or 4 storey brick Uni building on the opposite to river side of Mounts Bay Road at the Junction of Hackell Drive. The Consultants report said the cracking was due to subsidence caused by the land sliding into the adjacent Swan River. I proved that the cracking was caused by the rusting of HOOPIRON straps that used to, in days gone by, be laid in the mortar joint to provide tension strength to the brickwork. Rust can exert a force of 80 tons per square inch.

Another occasion was the Coroners inquest into the death of a rigger, assisted by his son in the dismantling of the triple steel wire guyed wireless tower on top of Newspaper House in St Georges Terrace. The rigger was seated on the bottom of a long rope threaded through a pulley at the top of the tower and pulling himself to the tower top, between two of the guys, he was nearing the top when the top toppled outwards from the tower by swivelling at the mid level guys throwing him and tower top a long distance sideways, and still swivelling downwards and inwards hitting the side of the building with considerable force so killing the rigger. The consultants report to Coroner was that rusting of the tower at mid gut level had caused the tower to fold and rotate at that point. Mt report to Coroner after examination of debris was completely different to the consultants. The cause of tower collapse was although the twine covering was long enough to indicate the necessary 8 tucks to each of several guy loop splices, there was only 2 tucks to each loop. Also all guy ropes were in several sections joined by massive ceramic insulators, some of which had split down the middle allowing, under excessive loads for the two loops to come together with a considerable jolt which would pull out the two tucks of the splices; so opening the loop and destroying the supporting action of the guy rope. The action of the rigger pulling himself up would be at the start of each pull, kick himself away from the tower. This action would put an outward force on tower

(Hand written draft numbered K2) refer to sketches in draft

top, which would get larger as he approached the tower top. This outward force at the top would put a larger load on the rear guy opposite the rigger. This extra load would cause the split ceramic guy rope connecters to open up and allow the two adjacent loops to come together with an impact bang which would cause the slipping out of the 2 tuck loop splices so rendering the back guy opposite rigger to fail allowing the top of tower to swing out under the outward force at top caused by rigger when starting each pull. This outward load at top would, because of distance room top to mid tower guys, and an extra considerable load to the single tower leg that the rigger was kicking against so causing the leg to buckle allowing the tower to bend and rotate at this point. So was my contention that responsibility for the death was NOT rust but lay squarely on the splicer of the wire rope guys.

My contradictions of consultants reports over the years did nothing to improve their reputation of me. Because of all the above, part of my training for new Engineering staff was to send them to examine and EXPLAIN the causes of distress in various Government and Private buildings and other constructions. Mostly they were wrong in their assessments!

(Hand written draft numbered L1)

After completing UWA Engineering course and war service I rejoined the AD PWD and found that often that the design process was controlled by Rule of thumb building codes produced by the Australian Standards Committee (of which I was the WA representative). Much later when I comprehended the true value and action of internal force distribution in structures that the rule of thumb produced conservative and more costly structures than were necessary. This applied through the WIND CODE for light tenuous structures such as farm sheds. I attended all committee meetings in NSW at the constant code reviews but because at the meetings if the Vics scored an amendment against the NSW delegates, the NSW ones moved heaven and earth to score the next one. Neither would countenance any of my proposals. So, unfortunately I stopped attending as I thought it was a waste of my time.

The Standards Association always kept up to date on the Standards of various countries such as USA, UK, Russia etc. Several years later a NSW Professor, using wind tunnel experiments produced a WINDCODE that I thought was spot on. But unfortunately he transferred to Canada where his code was promulgated. The Yank influence killed this code in preference for its own one (which was in excess

of the then Australian one) Result the Australian code was changed to align with the USA one which led to an Australia wide FURORE OFANGER by all light truss makers. I just laughed and ignored the Australian Code because years before, I had REGISTERED an economical truss system that competed with the then light farm building trusses built by Australia wide firm that did not even comply with the then wind code. I named my truss as RIGITRUSS (i.e. RIGID TRUSS PORTAL) where the form trusses being built had the top and bottom chords meeting at the column top, so creating a PIN joint allowing rotation, the RIGITRUSS had a lower bottom chord at column so creating a moment resisting joint. I also used a substantial 2 cubic foot concrete footing, which also produced a moment resting force at column base whereas the aforementioned light trusses had a rather insubstantial concrete footing, which allowed column rotation.

(Hand written draft numbered L2)

The light trusses having virtual pin joints at four corners base and eaves constantly blew over in storms whereas RIGITRUSSES with moment resisting capacity at four corners leaned a little but always stood proud during storms. A few years after the war, when the economy picked up, the firm to which I had delegated the rites for RIGITRUSS under a royalty agreement being 2 % of truss construction, as well as building the trusses also built the buildings. By employing an enthusiastic salesman who travelled throughout the farming districts of WA from above to Geraldton to below Esperance enabled their occasional yearly turn over to approximate one million Pounds Sterling. My royalties then equalled and sometimes excelled my Government salary.

Before the RIGITRUSS, I had developed, for a different steel fabrication firm, a system called BOUCHER Building BENTS were a 10 foot length of a triangular tapered truss that could be manufactured in the hundreds and stored for instant supply to a purchaser. These BENTS with a few small accessories could be assembled in differing column and truss formations to build farm buildings in spans of 20 or 40 or 60 or 80 feet.

Also a method of assembling the steel frames, with purlins and wall girts attached with one of a two bolt connection, to allow rotation relatively flat on ground and with universal joints at column to concrete footing pull the whole assembly into upright position.

Insert sketch from draft here -

This is to be inserted in a section called PONDERINGS

The simple explanation of life is electricity (the movement of molecules).

There is random electricity in all waters, both fresh and salt. AKA LIGHTENING and electric corrosion (electrolysis) of wet metals in contact and metals immersed in water. This explains the use of sacrificial ZINC and later ZINCALUMINIUM coatings to steel roof sheeting and sacrificial ZINC blocks bolted to metal structures immersed in water and the beginning of life in the ocean depths (which is still occurring) and the emerging surface foliage releasing oxygen to the atmosphere so allowing ocean life to begin above and on the ground. Of course this process took millions of years with lots of trail and error i.e. survival of the fittest.

(Hand written draft numbered L3 L4) Standards Association

The members of the Standards Association would not accept my claim that concrete constructions behaved differently in WA to these in the Eastern States as the climate was much more humid than in WA. So their buildings would be more stable. I always provided gaps in long concrete buildings and in their outer brick walls. My experience was that concrete shrank 3/8 inch per 100 feet and brickwork grew inch per 50 feet and that concrete grew or shrank approximately 2 to 3 months after a humidity change. To prove the latter I had meteorological instruments installed in one of the gaps of a long concrete building. (An example of brick growth and concrete shrinkage occurred in the USA. An Army Q Depot built continuous LONG (300 yard) storage building without any breaks in its length. A few years after construction, the shrinkage of concrete stretched the main bottom steel beam reinforcement past its yield point and the building collapsed This was years after I had introduced gaps in both concrete and brick Government constructions.)

Also when flat plate construction in lieu of beam and slab was introduced in the East several failures occurred (which I put down to bad workmanship and supervision. They completely ignored me and introduced excessive further provisions to the Australian Standard, which would include WA. I ignored these increases because I ensured good workmanship and supervision in all Government jobs for which I was responsible.

(Hand written draft numbered L5) Re Hypars and Strarches

My favourite is the Hypar shape; with ALL materials used either in pure tension or pure compression (no bending) provides strength, so using a paucity of materials the sizes of which are governed by practicality resulting in a low level of stress and strain (distortion). Also the roof sheeting being structural and not super numerary.

(Hand written draft numbered L6)

? a Captain. One time when travelling from the Eastern States back to WA on leave I was made O 1/C of the troop train where most of the Soldiers were travelling in cattle cars. At one of the stops (on the Nullarbor Plain), I had to form a bucket brigade with the troops to top up the steam engines supply for further travel.

It was during this leave in Perth that a friend of mine introduced to me, one of his friends whom were getting married. I was asked to be BEST MAN which I agreed to. To celebrate the occasion I purchased as a wedding gift, a baby sized Teddy Bear for the Bride for her to practice cuddling her first child. To accelerate its arrival I gave the Bridegroom 2 dozen oysters and a dozen bottles of stout.

The Bridegrooms name was Tatham and he had a friend called Leavers, both of whom were friends of my friend.

About 22 years later when I bought and built a shack on an Island at Yunderup I discovered that both Wedding presents had been successful. Tatham owned and with several children ran a group of Holiday Cottages on the mainland at South Yunderup and Leavers owned and ran the local store. So once again the adage of its a small world was vindicated.

(Hand written draft numbered L7)

At one time a few years after the war, when I was designing ALL roof trusses using pipes in lieu of the pre-war angle irons, I was asked to design a new workshop for the PWD machinery (storage and repair) Depot in East Perth. By this time the PWD had acquired a multitude of heavy tracked earth moving machines replacing the pre-war horse drawn drag line buckets etc. This workshop was to de-track vehicles, roll the track up and hoist them on a truck and take into the large existing pre-war factory for repairs

Due to the superiority of pipes over angle irons (using less materials) the truss pipes silhouettes were far smaller than that of angle irons.

When the factory, which included a 1 ton monorail hoist attached to the bottom chords of the trusses was finished, the workmen, who were used to working in the old factory with large over-sized heavy timber truss members over head, flatly refused to work in the new factory. They said the trusses were made of fencing wire and any extra loading would collapse the building.

I eventually persuaded a small group of them to drive in and coil up the removed track of one big heavy machine and when they got outside, bat well within sight of its interior I, with hoist control, walked alongside the load and moved it up and down, to and fro.

In the building and by rapid stops and starts of the load to make it, by sudden impact, swing to and fro and bounce up and down. Of course this slightly shook the building but had no other effect on it. After the demo, the workers, some still with doubtful looks, agreed to work inside. Si I became a potential strike breaker.

Quite a few years later, through the aegis of my wife I designed the structure for a factory to produce windmills. Later I was told that the structure was fabricated and erected for a much less price than the cost of the raw pipe materials from tube wrights for one of their standard designs. Result a very satisfied client!

(Hand written draft numbered M1)

There is random electricity in fresh and particularly sea (salt) water. The foremost is illustrated by storm (lightening flash) and the galvanising (zinc coated) roofing sheets rusting at edges (in later times the galvanising is zinc aluminium to retard the depletion process) and sacrificial zinc blocks bolted onto steel pier supports and the bottoms of out board motors etc. The depletion of the sacrificed metal is called ELECTOLYSIS.

Ive walked on water 30 to 40 ft in from waters edge towards the centre of a tributary of the Murray River. All that happened was that my feet got wet. It certainly did not make me a Son of God either. Any religious bigot reading this may wish to crucify me. The simple explanation was an explained high sea tide, a strong westerly storm driving sea water into the Dawesville cut backing up the flow of rainwater from recent rain down pour in river catchment causing the river to overflow its banks! The only fish that were stranded in the shallows were blowies, not fit for human consumption but the water did have a dark red colour AKA Burgundy wine.

Electricity is forced movement of molecules, which in them are electric. It is this force, which keeps us from falling through apparent solid floors, which with boots on us are miniature universes etc. Electricity forces the separation of hydrogen from oxygen in water H2O.

Why not produce solar and wind driven electricity to

1/ Separate Hydrogen oxygen from water and

2/ Compress, individually, both gases and then recombine both in an engine to produce? and water vapour?