Stories from 2/10 Mdm and Fd Regiments

A collection of stories from members in 2/10 Medium Regiment and 2/10 Field Regiment.

  • 1991 Arty Ball Photos

    I found the following photos in a photo album in the Memorabilia Room. They were from the Artillery Ball in 1991 so would have been after the 2/10 Mdm amalgamation. It looks like ex-2Bty folks.

  • 2/10 Mdm Regt and the 2 Div AIF Trophy

    I was processing some photos passed to me by the President and came across the following showing senior officers from 2/10 receiving a rather large and unique trophy.

    Many will recognise MAJ Peter Rowley (BC 22 Bty), MAJ Ron Harris (BC 38 Bty), LTCOL Peter Alkemaide (CO 2/10 Mdm Regt). The other Major is Richard “Dick” McDonagh, the OPSO. The tall gent is CDA 2 Div COL John “Morph” Kirkwood.

    The people, uniforms and location (notice the old Manly School of Arty in the background) place the photos around 94/95. But I had no idea what the trophy was.

    With some help on the Association and Royal Australian Artillery facebook pages, the trophy was identified as a 2 Div RAA trophy called the “AIF Trophy”. This was awarded to 2/10 Mdm Regt in 1995. This was not long after Victorian Artillery came under 2 Div in NSW (having had the 3rd Division in Victoria prior).

    The award was written up in Cascabel Issue 45 from Jul 1995. From that article…

    This tropy is presented annually to the most efficient unit within HQ 2 Div Arty. The competition is judged on all matter concerning the daily functioning of an ARES unit. The unit must rate in depot and equipment maintenance, preparation and conduct of training, unit attendance, recruiting and retention etc. The trophy was presented by NSW members AIF Field Artillery to CMF FD ARTY (NSW) on the 20 APR 1939 for an annual competition.

    Cascabel #45, p11

    Here’s the mention of the trophy in the RAA Standing Orders.

    I can’t find a date on the awarding, but it looks to be at an officers TEWT at SoA sometime early 1995.

    Do you have any more details? If so, post a comment below.

  • Formal Photos from 23 Bty, 22 Bty and 2/10 Mdm Regt

    I came across a set of formal photos from the early 90’s covering 23 Bty, 22 Bty and 2/10 Mdm Regt I thought worth sharing.

    23 Bty – Feb 91

    The first is the last battery photo from early 1991 before the merge with 2 Bty.

    23 Bty, 2/15 Fd Regt

    Some likely lads and lasses in that photo, and a lot of very young faces. No idea what Georgie Beale is laughing about. Loved my time as GPO of that battery.

    The second is just the Sgts Mess (with Bty Officers).

    23 Bty Sgts Mess

    HQ Bty 2/10 Mdm Regt – 1991

    After the merge of batteries and the regiment, I was posted to HQ Bty as the Survey Officer. This photo is of HQ Bty and 3 Div RAA Band sometime early in 1991 (before I was posted to RCSC for my Captains course).

    HQ Bty and Band – 2/10 Mdm Regt

    2/10 Mdm Regt Officer Mess – Mar 1992

    This photo is the first I know of with the combined officers from 2/10 Mdm Regt.

    Front of pic at LTCOL David Forster (CO) and MAJ Jim Stitz (OPSO), both ARA. The photo includes three current association committee members.

    22 Bty 2/10 Mdm Regt – 1993

    The final pair of formal photos are from 22 Bty in 1993.

    The first photo is a combined battery photo from November 1993. This would have been after the ARTEP. It looks like the back of the Dandenong Drill hall.

    The second photo is the battery officers with the Mount Shank trophy after the battery won it from our efforts during ARTEP. It would have been late in 1993, as MAJ Steve Venn had been the BC during the ARTEP and MAJ Peter Rowley was the incoming BC. I think this was a Gunner Dinner at Victoria Barracks.

    Two future red-tab Colonels and a Navy Commodore in that pic. That night might have got ugly.

    Two Extra Photos

    I’ve included two extras that were in the same folder on my laptop. The first was my Subj 1 for Capt (aka RCSC Basic Level Course). Notable is LTCOL Mike Buckridge on staff at the time.

    RCSC Basic Course 1991

    The second random pic is from my Recruit Course in 1982.

    Dec 82 Recruit Course

    Can anyone identify a currently serving senior Reserve Artillery officer in the pic?

    Do you have any formal photos of you time in the regiments that may be of interest to others? Feel free to share.

  • Bty and Regt Plaques

    The topic of plaques for 2/10 Bty has come up this week. This discussion led to an exploration of the different plaques that have been in use by the units that led to 2/10 Bty 9 Regt. Following are examples of those we can find. Many of the Bty plaques featured a mascot.

    2 Fd Regt

    2 Fd Regt preceded 2/15 Fd Regt. Here’s a plaque from 3 Bty at Landcox St, Brighton, from Peter Kama-Shattock.

    3 Fd Bty, 2 Fd Regt plaque

    15 Fd Regt

    15 Fd Regt preceded 2/15 Fd Regt. Here’s a regimental plaque from then.

    15 Fd Regt plaque

    1970 … 15 Field Regt. .. when H.Q. and 22 Bty. were based at Dandenong and it’s sister 23 Bty, was based at Frankston – Before merging with 2 Field Regt. Which, occurred in 1975 creating 2/15 Field Regiment.

    Ian Webley

    2/15 Fd Regt

    There were unofficial plaques for both 2 and 23 Btys (there may have been one or more for 3 Bty and HQ Bty, but I’m not aware of anything).

    There was a generic Regt plaque.

    2/15 Fd Regt plaque

    Here’s the 2/15 plaque as presented to Dave Mills.

    2 Bty

    The 2 Bty plaque featured the mascot Gunner Secundus.

    2 Fd Bty plaque

    The 2 Bty Plaque I had a lot to do with, organising the art work and sourcing the production in conjunction with the PMC of the Gunners Mess at the time.  The mess actually sponsored an albino snake at the Melbourne zoo with a copy of the plaque on “Gunner Secunds’” display.  You will also note two versions of the snake scale, black on white & white of black.

    LtCol Peter Rowley
    Alternate 2 Fd Bty plaque

    23 Bty

    23 Bty picked up the nickname (or called themselves) “The Rebels” so for a long time they used the Rebel Flag (US Confederate flag) as an emblem, and this early plaque shows this.

    23 Bty Rebels plaque
    23 Bty Rebels plaque

    The Bty had a longstanding relationship with Frankston and chose the dolphin as the mascot.

    23 Fd Bty plaque

    23 Bty had the dolphin mascot that I believe was a Col Swindels (BQMS) design. The dolphin was selected as the Frankston FC are the Dolphins and this emblem celebrated 23 Bty’s connection with the City of Frankston over many years.

    Maj Stuart Pigdon

    10 Mdm Regt

    I expect there were probably many plaques from 10 Mdm and subunits.

    Here’s a 10 Mdm Regt plaque from Sgt Helen Janner

    10 Mdm Regt plaque

    37 Mdm Bty

    The only plaque I’ve seen for 37 Bty is as follows.

    37 Bty plaque

    2/10 Mdm Regt and 2/10 Fd Regt

    There were some plaques produced for the batteries of 2/10 Mdm (later 2/10 Field). The following two plaques were for 2/10 Mdm and 2/10 Fd (Sgts Mess) from SGT Helen Janner.

    2/10 Mdm Regt plaque
    2/10 Fd Regt Sgts Mess plaque

    22 Bty

    I’m aware of two plaques. The first features a M2A2 and the badge.

    Earlier 22 Fd Bty plaque

    A later plaque featured Ned Kelly as a bushranger with the name “Bushrangers”.

    22 Fd Bty Bushrangers plaque

    Comment on the “Bushrangers” significance.

    The Bushrangers plaque was by BSM WO2 Trifford. He was looking for a Victorian reference for the battery given it’s location. There is also a version with a white V behind the bushranger figure which I have. I recall being involved in the search for a new plaque at the time and it was well before 2006 at the old 22 Bty.

    Takis Diakoumis

    Here’s the other version of that plaque.

    22 Fd Bty “Bushrangers” plaque with V variation

    38 Mdm Bty

    The following plaque is from SGT Helen Janner and is similar to the 22 Fd Bty plaque featuring a gun (M198) and badge.

    38 Mdm Bty plaque
  • Memories from ARTEP Ex 93

    A few memories shared from Scott (Norm) Gallagher who was a FO Sig in 22 Bty in 1993.

    We were in EX at Pukka. I think it was the qualifying ex for the Mt Shanck trophy (ARTEP 93). We were just sig qualified and were on the hill had to dig a pit and have it all cammed up. The FO (name removed to protect the guilty) wouldn’t touch a spade, so myself, Coulson and Goldy jnr did the hard work.

    Then a Kiowa flies over, lands and takes the FO, me and someone else for a fly around to call in a few fire missions. We were fkn stoked. That fire mission from the chopper was the most intense thing. Coulson had to relay the fire orders from the chopper to the CP. They landed near the bty the next day and took a few for a ride.

    That camp was hotter than hell. A few A Bty boys were with us. Wilco was CP Sgt. I’m sure POG (Paul O’Grady) was on that EX. As either GPO or Recon Officer.

  • 4 Bde Ex at Tindall RAAF Base, 1994

    David Edwards, FO, 22 & 38 Combined Bty

    In Oct 1994 2/10 Mdm Regt participated as a combined battery (+ extras) in a 4 Brigade exercise at the Tindal RAAF base. In addition to our regiment, there were elements of 5/6 RVR, 8/9 RVR, 4/19 PWLH, the engineers and other units from Victoria. Our fortnight involved a week of gunnery training by ourselves at the Mount Bundey training area, followed by a move down to Katherine for the brigade exercise.

    I don’t recall much of the trip up there. The guns and vehicles were shipped by rail and the rest of us flew. We’d had many reminders to keep our fluids up, so by the time we arrived at the training area after a long wait at the Darwin airport and the drive out, everyone was busting (and wanting to beat up the convoy commander – me).

    The first week was spent with the usual range activities including live firing. I had one of the three FO parties, with Bdr Jon Moody as my ack (apologies to the sigs as I can’t recall who was in our party). It was very different terrain to what we were used to in Pucka. At it was stinking hot – October with a late wet season building up (not uncommon to find folks sleeping in all states of dress on the gun line).

    Those who have been up north will know of the bulldust. There was a main road from where we were located to the echelon area near the main highway that had lakes of it – if you’ve seen the films with helicopters flying through smoke and it billowing around the blades, that’s what driving LandRovers through the bulldust was like. We’d got a flat and asked transport to supply us with a replacement to be dropped at a certain spot. Moods and I drove down to pick it up. When we got there, there was a rim, tube and tyre (some assembly required). Moods lost it. I turned to him and cracked up laughing – he was covered in bulldust, all one grey colour like a mudman from Borneo.

    The drive down to Katherine was uneventful, but we did have a cooling off stop at Humty Doo and one of the WWII cemeteries which was interesting. We drove through Katherine and out to the RAAF Base at Tindal – our home for the second week.

    Each FO party was assigned to one of the infantry companies, and I think we were assigned to 8/7 RVR. We had a third unit in the exercise – 1st Airfield Defence Squadron (1AFDS) a regular unit. These guys are the fly-in airfield defence unit. They liked to style themselves as the SAS of the RAAF and had all the fancy gear (rumour had it they had their own blacked out C130). I can’t recall who the FO party was that was assigned to them (one of the Geelong crew) but they were run ragged. We spent most of the time sitting on our black-rock OP in the company defensive position or in the company CP.

    At that time we’d moved on from the treacherous Musiorians onto the equally dastardly Kamarians. Apparently small groups of them had infiltrated the mainland of Australia and had moved south the probe the RAAF Base. All we know was these small groups were know to be travelling in beige 4WDs (‘cos there’s not many of those up there).

    I don’t recall much of the week, but there was a lot of agro. When the base commander was told of the Arty with it’s guns, his comment was something like “you can send those little guns home and park the big ones on the main road as a boom gate”. Perhaps taking guns on a “low level ops” type mission wasn’t the best. As an FO I fired an illum mission without it being cleared by the Brigade Legal Officer and I couldn’t sit down for a day or so. There was a lot of learning from that week.

    There was a spectacular thunder storm off to the north one night, as only northern Australia knows. We were sitting on our black rocks, warmed from their day in the sun, enjoying the light show.

    The last night after end-ex was a big night (I think). We were assigned an area outside some workers hut accomodation which was fine until the heavens opened up in the middle of the night. People were running for shelter wherever they could find it. The bulldust turned to soup. The next day we boarded the RAAF plan home.

  • Cultana92 – Part3

    David Edwards, FO, 22 Bty

    In the second week we returned to the range. At some point we migrated the FO parties to the ridge to the west. It was steep. One night I slept in my sleeping bag wedged in the bottom of a tree to stop sliding down the hill.

    Then there was the day the BC party went missing. We found out later they had got bogged on the plain. Sgt Don Errey (BC Ack) was driving, so the BC had to do the pushing. When they eventually turned up to the hill, he was covered head to foot in mud. It’s probably not appropriate to fall about laughing at your boss, but we did it anyway. 

    On another day the two 22 Bty FO parties were bunkered down in their little holes with their little cam nets over them, mine on the left, the other on the right. Working away we hear this scream of “SNAKE” and we looked around to see three blokes bolt out from under there cam nets in all directions. Apparently, a little fella had slithered between them and continued on its way without a care in the world. It wasn’t the only snake story of the week, apparently a few folks had them cross their paths (or boots).

    The last day on the range was a combined regimental shoot. Up to this point we’d only shot our own batteries, so this was a good chance to fire both 105 (22 Bty) and 155 (38 Bty). Whilst it was interesting to see the effect of both, the “crump” and impact of the 155s is very impressive.

    For some reason it took two days to get to Cultana, but three days to get home. We stopped at P&EE Port Wakefield for the first night on the way home. Two things I remember from that night – really bad beer (West End? – the boys couldn’t stop complaining) and the white chopped LandRovers the locals used to recover rounds from the flats at low tide. I don’t remember it, but the CO LtCol Forster gave a rousing speech that quelled some of the 2/15 vs. 10 Mdm animosity. The second night was at the Transport depot in Horsham down the street from where I lived as a kid. Other than that, it was a long and uneventful trip.

    I’ve heard other stories of goings on at camp or on the gun lines, but I’ll leave them for others to tell. It was an interesting camp, and very different to the usual two weeks at Pucka where we were constantly deploying to the same places and firing on the same hills.

  • Cultana92 – Part2

    David Edwards, FO, 22 Bty

    The middle weekend it was back to the camp. First thing in the morning we did the CFT with the forced march (15ks?) followed by a wind-down afternoon of cleaning and BBQ. Then the heavens opened up. It had been hot, dry and dusty all week – the rain turned everything to mud.

    The following morning was the CO’s Direct Shoot. We were given a time and location. 22 Bty made it, 38 Bty didn’t. They got bogged, up to the axles with the Macks and M198s. They managed to dig themselves out and get there by “another route”. But by this time, it was too late for the shoot. The CO was not happy!

  • Cultana92 – Part1

    David Edwards, FO, 22 Bty

    The newly formed 2/10 Medium Regiment travelled across to Cultana Range in Oct 1992. I was a FO with 22 Bty. Here are my notes (spread across multiple parts).

    Soon after 2/15 Fd Regt and 10 Mdm Regt amalgamated into 2/10 Mdm Regt under LtCol David Forster, we held an annual camp at Cultana in SA. This was the first time many of the Victorian gunners had experienced this type of terrain and it was quite a learning experience.

    I don’t recall much of the trip over other than stopping at the Murray Bridge (SA) range before continuing on through Adelaide and up to Port Augusta and Cultana. There may have been some issue with us driving on the newly laid GP circuit, but I don’t remember it. The Cultana Training Area (El Alamein) encampment was somewhat underwhelming. A bunch of small buildings spread out amongst the red dirt and sparse scrub with an imposing hill behind it.

    We had little appreciation of the size of the range until we drove the 60-odd kilometres down to the bottom of the range (just short of Whyalla). Our FO party consisted of Bdr Andrew Eccles (FO Ack), Gnr Peter Haysom (Sig) and myself. The other party was Capt Jim Pearson, Bdr John Moodie, and Gnr “Johnno” Johnson. Our driver was Ray Chachia – sporting the coolest 70’s wrap-around shades.

    My first observation of the terrain close-up was that over the millennia all the topsoil had washed down off the hills onto the plain leaving incredibly sharp rocks underfoot. Good thing I was looking down on this occasion as I nearly stepped on a baby tiger snake sunning itself. The place was hot, dry and dusty.

    The range itself seemed like a huge bowl with a steep ridge running down the west side and a few smaller hills to the SE where we started our observer activities. After shooting at Pucka, Singleton and Holsworthy, the large featureless plain was challenging for adjusting. My first adjustment went something like; add 400, add 400, (what the…) add 800, drop 400 …

    On another day we were in a similar position with all FO parties, with BC (Maj Steve Venn) and CO (LtCol Forster) on the hill. The first adjusting round from the other battery went whizzing overhead and the CO jumped on the radio to call ‘Check firing’. Apparently, the GPO (who will remain nameless) hadn’t done his crest clearance drills. I reckon I could have held up my highlighter and put a nice spiral pattern on the round. Well, it’s funny now.