If you're a Gunner, or an ex-Gunner, know that you're welcome here. Whether you were with Coastal, Field, Medium or Heavy; Ack-Ack or Air Defence; Divisional Locating or STA; we hope you'll find something here of interest to you.
VJ Day – 75th Anniversary The Master Gunner St James’ Park has prepared a video-message in which he addresses the 75th Anniversary of VJ-Day; the end of WW2 and the part played by the Commonwealth family of Gunners. The MGStJP has asked that the video be widely distributed across the serving and retired members of all Commonwealth Artillery Regiments before Saturday 15th August 2020.
We have added a new Communiques from the Regiment (RAA, RA) page for the letters and notifications we get from our Head of Regiment (RAA), The Master Gunner St. James’s Park (RA) and other notices (such as from the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, RCA).
The page can also be found under the Information and Newsletters menu item on top of this page.
I am sure all members of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, serving and retired, and all members of our sister artillery regiments in Commonwealth countries, will join me in congratulating Her Majesty The Queen, our Captain General, on the occasion of Her 94th birthday today. We wish Her and also His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh continuing good health as they isolate at Windsor Castle.
Normally we would be proud to mark our Captain General’s birthday with gun salutes at a number of locations but Covid-19 means that is neither appropriate nor possible. However, we plan to share footage of previous salutes held on 21st April as a mark of respect to Her Majesty.
These gun salutes are certainly not the only events that we have been forced to cancel or delay as a result of the pandemic. The Royal Artillery Association Assembly, due to be held in Blackpool in mid May, has been provisionally rescheduled for October. I very much hope it will be able to occur, not least because firstly this is the centenary of the formation of both the Royal Artillery Association and the Royal Horse Artillery Association and secondly that these two important organisations have decided to merge in recognition of the fact that we are all Gunners. The Blackpool gathering will be the first ever combined Assembly. Please remember that the Association is there to support you and your family, particularly now with the pressures of the lockdown; if you know of a serving or retired member of our Regiment, or their dependants, who need help, do use our Regimental networks.
Other events that have been disrupted include recruit training, all training at Larkhill, the events to mark the centenary of the Royal School of Artillery in July, memorial services to celebrate the lives of distinguished former members of the Royal Artillery, sports meetings, dinners and much more. However, the serving regiments remain busy and, in a number of areas, are providing support to the NHS and related organisations; I congratulate them, as always, for their professionalism and commitment as they go about their business, never seeking the limelight but still doing a first class job.
Most importantly, I wish you and all your families continuing good health and wellbeing during these unprecedented and most challenging times. As Gunners we need to continue to look out for one another; please do that, especially where you know of hardship, for the Regiment can and would like to help.
We’ve made a few changes to the website. You will notice a scrolling banner of recent pictures on the main page, as well as addition of sponsors to the association. We’ve also added newsletters and articles we get in from other associations.
As with ever facet of our life at the moment, the Association is moving to meet the government “Stay at Home” mandates. This means face-to-face events have been cancelled. This includes the Committee Meeting scheduled for 9 Apr – this will now be a virtual event. You should have seen notices that the ANZAC Day events are cancelled.
I would assume any of the other events we have advertised on behalf of associated organisations will be cancelled or changed to virutal events, although I have not seen any details.
The following is the March update emailed to members (with attachments and contact details removed. If you wish further information on the items or the Association in general, please email: email@example.com.
Good Morning Victorian Gunners, Friends and Associates,
Please find below a list of upcoming activities and items to be aware of. As always we try to keep the website (https://artilleryvic.org.au) up to date. The items are:
Submissions for the April RAA Assoc (Vic) Newsletter – Articles needed ASAP
Invitation to the launch of the book “Clash of the Gods of War: Australian Artillery and the Firepower Lessons of the Great War” – 26 Mar – Canberra
RAA Liaison Letter 2020 – Winter Edition and Cannonball Journal – Articles by 27 Mar
1. Submissions for the April RAA Assoc (Vic) Newsletter – Articles needed ASAP
MAJ Neil Hamer is preparing for the next edition of our Association newsletter. He is keen to get articles of interest to the Victorian (and indeed the wider) gunner community. If you have a story to share or other item of interest, please contact Neil or contact me. Neil can help with any editing needs. The earlier the better for submission, but the end of March is the cutoff. Note that we are also looking for sponsorship to help cover the printing and mailout costs of the newsletter. Whilst most of our members get an electronic copy, some still prefer a hard copy in the mail, and whilst our income is decreasing, printing/mailing costs are increasing. Details will be in the next newsletter.
2. Invitation to the launch of the book “Clash of the Gods of War: Australian Artillery and the Firepower Lessons of the Great War” – 26 March – Canberra
From MAJ Terry Brennan (Staff Officer to Head of Regiment) … On behalf of Deputy Head of Regiment, LTCOL Ben Gray and RAAHC board member and co-editor, LTCOL Nick Floyd, I am pleased to forward you details on the soon to be released excellent RAA publication ‘Clash of the Gods” which will be of interest to all Gunners.
Clash of the Gods of War Background
Following the success of the Firepower Seminar Series, Nick Floyd proposed that an anthology of all the presentations be published as a book. The RAAHC endorsed the proposal and the result has been the production of Clash of the Gods of War: Australian Artillery and the Firepower Lessons of the Great War. Nick has had tremendous support from his steering committee, Dr William Westerman from the AWM and from Big Sky Publishing
The book will brings together scholars and practitioners to present fresh and erudite insights into the development of Australian artillery through the First World War and the application of firepower more broadly. Please refer to the attached brochure for more background detail.
Book Launch If you are in the Canberra area I would encourage you to attend the book launch on the 26th of this month (March). Please refer to the attached invitation for details.
The book will be available for purchase in all good book stores. Enjoy reading about our history.
3. RAA Liaison Letter 2020 – Winter Edition and Cannonball Journal – Articles by 27 Mar
From MAJ Terry Brennan (Staff Officer to Head of Regiment) …
Hello from Puckapunyal. I have attached the formal request calling for submissions for the next RAA Liaison Letter & Cannonball.
It would be most help full if everyone could try and adhere to the submission deadlines if possible, however I always remain flexible.
The journal is only as good as the contributions made so I encourage everyone to consider supporting it even if only to write a letter to the editor.
As highlighted in the attachment submissions are requested to be sent to me by Friday 27 March 2020.
Addressees are welcome to forward this email as they feel appropriate to interested Gunner parties.
I look forward to your continued support.
4. Invitation to attend ‘The Bloody Beachheads’ One-Day Conference – 4 April 2020
From LTCOL Michael Buckridge … “Would you be kind enough to pass on this email and attachment to your membership list. I would be grateful if you could assist in this way to publicise the event to an audience many of whom may be interested. It promises to be a very interesting day with well qualified speakers on a somewhat neglected aspect of Australian military history.”
5. ANZAC Day Gunfire Breakfast – 25 Apr – Chapel St Depot
The annual gunfire breakfast run by the Bty at Chapel St. Open to all. Details to follow.
This is a gathering for anyone associated with the Victorian regiments of the last few decades; 2/15 Fd, 10 Mdm, 2/10 Mdm/Fd, 2/10 Bty. Following the very successful event in 2019, Lisa is organizing another one. Please consider coming along. See details in attached pic, or contact me. (removed)
This will be a great catchup afternoon.
7. M777 Prints for Sale
This came from MAJ Gary Down (SO2 HOR) late last year… As some of you may be aware, in May 2017 the Australian Artillery Association very kindly presented the RAA with a large oil painting of an M777 and detachment painted by Mr Phillip Pomroy. The painting now hangs in the School of Artillery.
A proposal was discussed at the Regimental Committee Meeting in Feb this year regarding prints of the painting, and it was agreed that there would be a run of 200 prints of which 50 would be numbered and signed by the artist.
The prints have now been produced and a low-res image is attached FYI. The only difference between the attached image and the hard-copy prints is that the prints have a 40mm white border for framing purposes. The overall dimensions of the print are 672mm x 415mm.
The signed prints will be sold for $100 each, and the unsigned prints for $35 each. Additional unsigned copies can be printed if there is the demand.
Individual prints will be available for purchase in November and I would therefore be grateful if you would give this matter the widest distribution and place any orders through me.
It is with regret that Staff Sergeant Keith Zibell, aged 81 years of 132 Div Loc Bty, died on 13 Jan 20 and a Service to Celebrate Keith’s Life will be held at Redeemer Lutheran Church situated at 25 Cypress Ave., Glen Waverley on 20 Jan 20 at 1030 hours.
SGT Robert (Bob) Semple
Also it is with regret that Sergeant Robert (Bob) Semple, aged 99 years who was a Gun Sergeant with 2/12 Field Regiment, RAA during WW2. Bob’s funeral will be held at Scot’s Church in Collins Street (near Russell Street), City on Wednesday 22 Jan 20 at 1030 hours. (Bob was not a Member of the RAA Association, but he did attend RAA Luncheons with Brigadier D. Perry)