Actually, in this town, despite the fact that it was a thousand miles from anywhere, you might say, we had a blackout. No street lights, no lights at the windows, all blinds drawn and what have you. And you went outside, and it was total darkness, apart from any moonlight.
On one evening, I was staying at the Stuart Arms and I could hear a drum beating. So we were playing cards in one of the lounges inside, and we went out and there was a parade of soldiers beating a drum and shouting “we want leave”, “we want leave”. And they were throwing stones on the roofs and on the windows, and it was a near riot. And of course, the whole camp was closed the next day, everybody confined to barracks. And eventually the brigadier had a big assembly on the Anzac Oval and told the troops that he appreciated their worries about not getting any leave at all, but probably told them that there were other guys overseas fighting for their lives.
Troops were coming and going all the time, but there was a base team of mechanics and administrative staff and stores people. And then there were two picture theatres here, plus the army theatre, and you could see a different show every night of the week including Sundays. And the army theatre was at the back of Anzac Hill. And when the lights had gone out and the movies started, some of us civvies used to sneak up and sit on the rocks up there and watch the movies. And a bench was made out of mulga posts and bits of three-by-two, but down near the front where the screen was, there was a big row of steamer chairs for the nurses and the officers to sit down there.