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Australian WWII - Far North Queensland Metal detecting and recovery

Article about: Hi Blokes ~ I am posting this as an going blog for interested parties that have been following my fossicking of (extensive) WWII ~ Far North Qld Australia . This area has been described in r

  1. #71

    Default Re: Australian WWII - Far North Queensland Metal detecting and recovery


    I made a Date with the Dept of Defence blokes for Wednesday at this stage ~

    The Police officer was telling me that they only blew up an artillery round only last week , apart from my previous Mills grenade ~

    I will endeavour to make a little video again ~

  2. #72

  3. #73


    Just watched a brilliant doco on SBS On demand.

    The story of the British 5th Royal Tank Reg, from Africa to War end in Europe ~


    ( Not sure you would be able to get it, if you are outside Australia but I am sure it could be found in other countries as it is a UK documentary!)

    SBS On Demand | TV and Online Video - The Men And Machines That Beat Hitler Ep1

    SBS On Demand | TV and Online Video - The Men And Machines That Beat Hitler Ep2

  4. #74


    Hey Blokes..

    I think I actually have put together a "Full set" after my outing last Sunday when I scored yet another collar Rising Sun and a tunic button !

    ( But I have some reservations about the slight differences in the collar Rising Suns ~ I am sur e you can clarify if there is a different application between the tow or they simply an earlier and a later version. After all the site was a camp site for the same AIF Batts from 1942 - 1945 )

    Which ever I am very proud my first set ~ with History ~!

    The Hat badge~

    The collar Badges

    The Officer's Pips

    The Shoulder badges

    The Tunic buttons

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last Sundays brief 1 1/2 hour outing produced some great scores ~ and even better a promise of more as the MD went crazy ~ So I am hoping to return to the AIF WWII camp site Thurs ~ and the weekend time permitting !

    The actual score came late and I was pressed for time ~ so these items essentially came in a 40 minute last minute rush!

    Plus I want to do some more research into another camp site in a very remote section.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #75


    Okay ~ I finally got back the high ground site where I scored the last few bits ~ all fired up ~

    But it went a tad sour as the winter weather had sried things out considerably and the ground is a hard as concrete !

    And despite the numerous MD hits I scored very little really ~ Problem was that most echoes were accompanied by iron echoes and that leads to scrap and rubbish ~

    but i did score some nice pieces ~ A 1926 penny ~ and yet another LE rifle shoulder webbing buckle ~ and a mystery brass item ~

    But interestingly I decided to wander down to the dam and check out the water levels as they are dropping ~

    In doing so I waded into the water to do some sweeps and instantly I started getting hits ~ several nice pick ups in some 25 minutes as I had to drag any targets in shore with my MD pick ~ as I was not geared to do water detecting!

    So a 1926 Aust 1/2 Penny ~
    ~ LE shoulder strap buckle ~
    ~ My oldest coin to date ~ a 1903 UK Bald Head 1/2 Penny ~

    ~ A 1943 Aust Penny ~

    Thin pickings but intriguing ~

    But the mystery item has me perplexed ~ a brass item ~ in WWII camp ~ AIF ~


    And BTW I have cleaned it up ~ and it is definitely brass ~

    And in short if this is a promise of whats to come I am in with the wet gear and my MD is good for under water ~

    Plus tomorrow I am heading back for round two in the location of a Aust Pioneer Batt ~ This time I am using the GPS readings via the nearest acess instead of trying to the location by elimination ~

  6. #76


    Well ~ went out early Saturday all fired up to find the latest researched WWII camp site 2/4th Pioneer batt, at Tinaroo dam. This was attempt number two ~ and this time I took GPS readings via Goggle earth on the access road or nearest point ~

    But still ended up as an hour drive session as I am only using the Mobile phone ~ Eventually I found the nearest point and headed into the brush ~ Now I figured it was only a short walk to the site through the bush !

    Wrong ~ the rain forest was intense and with vines and climbers virtually impassable and I figured I had no more than 75 metres to the shoreline ~ But as I did not wear jeans and my leg protectors failed me and I AGAIN was attacked by a stinging tree ~ this time on the left shin! (Bloody Drongo !! )

    ( I stopped off at the local IGA on the way home ~ after being so late and picking up KFC for dinner ~ and picked up one of those waxing kits ~ but ^%&%* I am still not sure which is worse the stinging tree or ripping off waxing strips on a hairy leg !! ARRGGHHH!! I assure you the Stinging trees are agony ~ )

    Anyway I retreated and decided this (three new) sites are best attacked by boat rather than rain forest access ~

    But rather than go homewith the tail between the legs I decided to go water wading ~ as I had planned this I was kitted up for the job!

    The day was cool but perfect and the water was great ~ despite the drongos with their ski boats ~ who I reckon were deliberately powering close by to make waves ~ but in fact a benefit rather than a hindrance !

    Anyway as I anticipated there was quite a lot of hits ~ but as you can see by the shot below it was bloody hard work using the poop scoop in these conditions ~

    So I scored another LE drop weight for the barrel cleaning, an Aust 1916 1/2 penny and an Aust Penny 1910 ~ Plus a AMF button and the Rising Sun ~

    Just enough to keep me choogling of course ~

    I spent a couple of hours ~ but the best pieces ironically came within a metre of the water edge ~ A lot of detritus but a few great scores ~

    The Rising Sun despite missing the mounts is one of the best i have scored to date ! Total four to date and ALL in the same AIF camp site ~

    (And this is one of the reasons I am keen to get at the previous site as the 2/4 Pioneer Batt were encamped on site for 18 months before they saw action in 1945 ~ as opposed to the 2/32 Batt and I am doing very well on this very accessible site !)

    Ala Natural patina here ~ not bad for 70 years ~

    A very small but eventful day ~ and lots of water therapy and lots of Vitamin D to boot !


    I figured I have to pay regular homage to the pull ring and the twist top Gods ~ but maybe I have been remiss of late so my good bloke credits have been flagging , so I end up getting King Hit with the Stinging tree ~ AGAIN !!!!!!!!!

    ! Rainforest Stinging Tree ! Tropical Rainforest, Far North Queensland Australia

    So this morning as Ms M wanted to go town for some electrical Raspberry cables ~ I bought some Camo pants which will absorb any future encounters !

    I actually bought a waxing kit from the local IGA and applied that ~ and OMG !! Thats pain !!

    But at least the pain on both counts does go away after ~ and the stinging plant needles have all but been totally eliminated ~ THAT'S COOL I assure you !

    The first time ~ well I still get some pain in the left hand from that encounter from Easter Friday !

  7. #77

    Default My Relics

    Closest i am going to get to digging relics is what i buy on Ebay for a while .These are Volunteer Air Observer Corps badges.. I have a feeling the seller is a member lol. Got them very cheap they are in poor condition but i want to see if i can track serial numbers on the back. Once again sorry about the quality of the photos.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture P8110001.jpg   P8110004.jpg  


  8. #78


    Hey Michael

    And they are certainly not to scoffed at ~ very cool IMO ~ And probably a lot safer buying the goods than risking life and limb in the Bush !! LOL


  9. #79


    As some are aware I was heading out Saturday for potentially one of the biggest anticipated venture to date ~

    The invitation was to go out with work mate “Ed”, and to primarily trial his new Minelab CTX 3030.

    Ed had also been offered the opportunity to sweep a bush property near Herberton~ and asked me along for the ride ~

    We deliberated as to whether we should keep it simple and just go to Tinaroo, so he could get the feel of the CTX or opt to check the 9th Div site.

    So we headed to the (9 Div) bush at Herberton and the bush site ~ I was very pumped as I was lead to believe it was a untouched site ~

    It was a superb property with fantastic views ~ but very quickly "pump" went to flat when the owner announced that the property had been swept in the past by one local, “Noddy” ! And that he had taken away buckets of stuff.

    ( I have since found out a little more about this mythical local character and his searches range back as far as 20 years ago ~ so skeptical that he will have totally gutted the site ~ given ours are the latest technology in MD ~ I feel we were simply looking in the wrong area of the site and have agreed to revisit ~ )

    So, despite the crushing report ~ we started on the high ground which is cleared and maintained.


    Although to be fair we did only worked about an hour on the high ground where logically the camp site would be ~

    So much of the time was focused on the new CTX ~ and I suggested we move away from the dwelling and machinery shed `

    ( In hindsight was, maybe a tad hasty as we agreed ~ the high ground was obviously the main camp site ~)

    So Ed suggested we head to the low ground on the river at the back of the property ~

    On suggestion I even worked over a large excavated mound recently dredged, for possibility of alluvial gold ~ No luck there either!

    We worked into the neighbour’s block under advice the first property owner's suggestion ~ where it was known the AIF had also camped ~ or exercised ~ and the area looked the part ~

    Again pickings were very scant and I found a 9 mm burst of shots ~ and a 303X firing line ~ and nothing more than some scrap ~

    The owner warned us about his Savage Dog ~ Tyson ! Seems Tyson warmed to us pretty quickly and went along ~ but he soon tired of no target hits and went home too!

    In the distance slightly to the right on the lower slope was an old riveted steel plate water tank which had been used a target and was riddled with heavy calibre holes ~

    So the indications were that the lower ground was more a practice range rather than a camp site ~

    "Holy !! ~ ^&%& What is that !!?? "

    By 13.30 we decided to call it a day ~ and move out for lunch~ and agreed to head over to Tinaroo for a short session.

    I took Ed to one of my most flogged sites ~ which just keeps giving ~ and he delivered to his delight when he almost immediately found an embossed AMF tunic button`

    We spent about an hour on site and sadly for me ~ one of my leanest days to date~

    I was determined to regain some esteem and headed back to retrieve my shorts and ready for water wading excursion, but as it was getting on we agreed to pack it in for the day ~

    My entire finds including ~ misc 9 mm heads ~ ( Owen Gun burst) ~ numerous 303 shells ~ misc scrap ~ 4 tooth paste tube ends !!

    ( And I also endeavoured to expose what is, in one hole that I have dug 3 times so far, and still not resolved, despite a strong clean signal !

    We agreed wil bring spades next time and seriously dig the main site as suggested we agree this "Grassy Knoll " was a Mess tent and despite my pulling many artifacts from the site promises even more.

    Relics to date from the grassy knoll~ include; Rising Sun hat badge, AMF embossed badges, coins , buckles and name tags ~ scrap not included ~ )

    A pleasant day though and lots of varied ground but Ed made inroads on the Minelab and a few smalls for a reward.

    But we plan on returning to the 9 Div site ~

    AND Ed has a boat , which means we can now pencil in the 3-4 various other sites we have discussed~ which are best accessed by boat !

    This includes one site which I have spent some considerable time endeavouring to access from the roads/ rain forest, and each recce has ended in tears or total frustration ~

    So slow day and disappointing ~ but not done and dusted ~

    I am planning a solo outing tomorrow ~ weather permitting ~ unless of course Ms M agrees to come along ~
    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 08-27-2013 at 11:26 PM.

  10. #80


    Sweeps thanks for the great photos and narration. gives one the feel of almost being there with you. stay after it mate. Best Jack

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