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Old 24-08-14, 09:20
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Keith Webb Keith Webb is offline
Film maker, CMP addict
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Eltham, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 8,161
Default Mailmen Back of beyond press release

This is a new documentary which I have been involved in with Executive Producer Ian Doyle. It will be sold through the Royal Flying Doctor Service to help raise funds to keep the Doctor flying.

As you'll read in the release Ian has unearthed previously unseen footage shot around the time of the making of the Back of Beyond, but in colour and what he doesn't mention is the stars of this film (in my opinion) are Blitz trucks. The main one is a C60L which Tom converted at his Marree workshop to Perkins power. One of the reasons for this is much of the load of a petrol powered machine had to be fuel for the rugged 440 mile run through sandhills and bogs - at the time the Cooper Creek was in flood.
In finding sound effects for the truck I decided to go with standard CMP sounds and gave our editor a batch, much of which is Euan McDonald's C15A recorded when I made Year of the Blitz back in 2002.

24th August 2014
Centenary Tribute DVD to Outback Mailman Tom Kruse
The centenary of the birth of Australia’s most recognised outback mailman, dam
sinker and carrier Tom Kruse MBE is this Thursday (28/08). Along with his eleven
siblings, Tom was born in the front room of a modest family home at Waterloo, a
hamlet in the mid north of South Australia on August 28th 1914. He died on June 30th
2011 and rests with his wife Valma at the nearby Carlsruhe cemetery.
On Sunday August 31st from 12 noon, the community at Waterloo will be paying
tribute to their favourite son, Esmond Gerald (Tom) Kruse MBE. In addition to
readings from the internationally successful children’s book Tom the Outback
Mailman, written by Kristin Weidenbach and the unveiling of a commemorative
Tom Kruse panel, the celebration will host the premiere screening of a new feature
length documentary The Mailmen Back of Beyond, produced by Corrugated Air
The Mailmen Back of Beyond is a result of 28 years of research by producers Ian
Doyle and Keith Webb. They gained unprecedented access to the significant
photographic collections of the Kruse, Heyer, Ding, Crombie and Teague families. In
addition to the stills collections (available online at, the
documentary airs for the first time elements of movie footage filmed by filmmaker
and adventurer Colin Wagener. He is now 96 years old and lives in the Adelaide
Hills. He filmed in colour a trip he took on the Marree to Birdsville mail run with
driver Monty Scobie in 1953 and the Cooper Creek in flood in 1956 and 1963.
Tom Kruse was the key figure in the classic Australian docudrama The Back of
Beyond, directed by the Shell Film Unit’s John Heyer and released in 1954. Shot in
black and white, The Back of Beyond remains one of the most critically acclaimed
and awarded films ever produced in Australia. It won the Grand Prix Assoluto – the
best film in all categories at the Venice Film Festival in 1954, as well as many other
international awards.
The Mailmen Back of Beyond reveals, in a letter written to Tom, that John
Heyer believed that if he had been able to show the film to a paying audience (and it
was allowed to be nominated), it would have won an Oscar in 1954. The documentary
has also unearthed a letter written in 1954 from London by Australian artist Sidney
Nolan to Tom Kruse in Marree. The contents of the letter have sparked a search by
the Kruse family for ‘enclosed’ photographs and drawings promised by Sidney Nolan.
Sixty years after the release of The Back of Beyond, the double DVD set The Tom
Kruse Collection includes more than 3.5 hours of material about Tom Kruse, the
rescue, restoration and re-enactment involving his 1936 Leyland Badger mail truck,
the stories behind the making of The Back of Beyond and the past 100 years of
history of the mailmen of the Birdsville Track.
“We are delighted members of the Kruse, Butler and Heyer families including Dr.
Elizabeth Heyer, daughter of director John Heyer, will be at Waterloo for the
celebrations. It will be a memorable afternoon and a significant tribute to Tom in his
centenary year. The town is right behind the event,” The Tom Kruse Collection
Executive Producer Ian Doyle said.
Outback mailman Tom Kruse was a film star before his Top Gun Hollywood
namesake Tom Cruise was born. The 1954 Australian film classic The Back of
Beyond introduced Tom Kruse and his 1936 Leyland Badger mail truck to a
generation of Australians. Most never forgot the extraordinary images of the man
and his battered trucks doing battle each fortnight with the sand and isolation along
the Birdsville Track - outback Australia’s toughest mail run.
The Tom Kruse Collection includes The Mailmen Back of Beyond
(Corrugated Air Productions 2014), Last Mail From Birdsville – the Story of
Tom Kruse (Corrugated Air Productions 1999), The Postman (ABC TV Australian
Story 1996) and The Outback Mailmen (ABC Countrywide 1986).
On Sunday (August 31st) there will be a community BBQ from 12 noon, followed by
the unveiling of the Tom Kruse commemorative panel and book readings by author
Kristin Weidenbach. The screening of The Mailmen Back of Beyond in the
Waterloo Community Hall will start at 2.00 pm.
The Tom Kruse Collection is available from the Royal Flying Doctor Service (ph.
08 8238 3333 for $39.95 including P&H). Funds raised from the sale of the double
DVD The Tom Kruse Collection are in support of the RFDS. Part of the new
documentary is planned to be broadcast on ABC TV’s Landline on Father’s Day,
Sunday September 7th.
More information:
Ian Doyle Abby Walker-Schwartz
Executive Producer Co-Ordinator
The Tom Kruse Collection Waterloo Community Event
M: 0417 819 189 M: 0417 414 104
Film maker

42 FGT No8 (Aust) remains
42 FGT No9 (Aust)
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Keith Webb
Eltham, Victoria Australia
Also Canadian Military Pattern Vehicles group on Facebook
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