• The photograph of the two Australian soldiers found recently in Manly's Whistler Street car park.

Friday, 19 July 2019

This photograph of two Australian soldiers was recently found on the floor of Northern Beaches Council’s Whistler Street car park in Manly.

The old black-and-white image is undated but appears to be from the 1940s or 1950s, the two men shouldering classic Lee Enfield .303 rifles.

The .303 rifle remained in Australian military service through the Korean War, until it was replaced by the L1A1 SLR in the late 1950s.

So, the photograph was taken before then.

On the reverse of the photograph are penned the names ‘J. Austin’ and ‘G. Howard’.

There is also written what appears to be the letters ‘Gnr’.

Perhaps abbreviated for ‘Gunner’? Are these artillery men?

Perhaps they trained at the School of Artillery at North Head?

The location is something of a mystery, too.

In the background is a row of low flat-roofed huts or small buildings – and the parade ground on which the two soldiers are drilling looks uneven and pebble strewn, without any grass or trees in sight.

Could the picture have been taken in the North African desert or maybe in the Middle East during World War Two?

Could it have been taken in Korea in the 1950s?

Either way, the photograph is a memento doubtless sorely missed by either one or other of the two men – or a family member.

Northern Beaches Council is keeping the photograph in safe – hoping someone recognises it.

If you know who these two gallant young soldiers are, call us on 1300 434 434.

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