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Childhood Memories of WWII Universal Carrier

Susan Kaschula (nee Hart) visited the National Army Museum, with hopes of seeing the Universal Carrier her father donated to the Museum many years ago. Susan was not disappointed as the World War II vehicle is the centre piece of the Museum’s iconic North Africa display which also contains the famous soldier eating baked beans.

Susan’s father originally brought the vehicle from Army surplus and used it on their farm in Urrall, South Canterbury. Eventually one of the tracked wheels broke and the carrier was put to rest behind a shed on the farm. Susan remembers climbing on the carrier as a child and pretending to ‘shoot the enemy’. Susan also recalls the carrier being the favoured spot for the family dog to have her puppies.

There were over 222 versions of the Universal Carrier worldwide and the National Army Museum owns two. This one has a ‘Vickers’ gun mounted on the back which was common in World War II, less common were those mounted with Bren Guns hence the name Bren Gun Carrier which many people like Susan called this vehicle. The carrier is on permanent display on the lower floor in the North Africa Gallery.

The other Universal Carrier owned by the National Army Museum Te Mata Toa