- Hilliard, A
- History - general
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- September 2003 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Reverend A. Hilliard recalls the amenities of the place (located in Clarence Place, Sydney) towards the end of WW2. Extract from his memoirs of HMAS Junee 1944-5
ON OVERNIGHT ‘LIBERTIES’ in Sydney we mainly chose ‘Johnnies’ (Royal Naval House). Some called it ‘the Bughouse’, but in spite of that compliment, it was convenient and cheap (1/6 for a bed). A bus conveyed us directly to Balmoral (Naval Depot, HMAS Penguin) in the mornings. One advantage of ‘Johnnies’ was that it was free of mosquitoes. It was a bit rowdy at night as patrons availed themselves of the bar, in what was affectionately known as the ‘snake pit’. I think some certainly saw snakes after an evening of liquid indulgence.
One night a couple of us arrived at ‘Johnnies’ a bit too late for a bed. We were offered a ‘shakedown’ at sixpence. My ‘shakedown’ consisted of a blanket and a pillow and a six-legged canvas camp stretcher. Four of the six legs were broken – so was my sleep! When set up, it looked like a switch-back railway. Not much ‘zizz!’