Stories from 2/15 Fd Regt

A collection of stories from 2/15 Field Regiment, and the batteries – 2 Fd Bty, 23 Fd Bty and 22 Fd Bty (before the Regiments amalgamated into 2/10 Mdm).

  • Baxter Commemoration Plaque

    This plaque is on the wall of the RAA Assoc Memorabilia Room (the old Jarks Club) at the Chapel St depot.

    Baxter Depot Commemoration Plaque
    Plaque for new 23 Bty Depot at Baxter

    It marks the date of opening of the Baxter (Robinson’s Road) depot as 18 Apr 1982.

    Can anyone recall where this plaque was located at the Baxter depot?

  • Random 2Bty Photo

    Random photo shared by Don Watts on the facebook page.

    Sid Battershill, Don Watts and ?

  • Supporting the Skyshows at Albert Park Lake
    Skyshow – 2/15 Fd

    The skyshows were held in the late 80’s, originally run by 3XY then later Fox FM on the Australia Day weekend (1985 or 1986 through 1989). The events were a coordination of light (fireworks) and sound (from the radio station), and blasted around the lake.

    This was a major recruiting event for the Australian Army, so there were static displays of vehicles (including Leopard Tanks), engineers with pontoon bridges, Commando’s parachuting in or doing hot insertions from helicopters. 2/15 Field Regiment was invited to provide both a static display of guns and blank firing in support of the music score.

    RHQ was based at Batman Ave and that’s where we assembled for the trip to Albert Park Lake. It was the only time I recall getting a police escort with police bikes racing along and closing off the intersections so we could drive on through with the Mogs and M2A2s.

    The council had cordoned off an area beside the lake for us to park, dismount and get the guns in. One year there was an unattended car parked in the middle of the cordoned off area. We called the police and there was a huge commotion, until the owner sheepishly appeared to move his car.

    The guns were to be parked in line facing into the lake. But there was a huge concrete edge (gutter) that you couldn’t back the guns over. One year we had to put the guns behind a Land Rover and drive them down to a gate and along the foreshore, one by one. It was very slow. The following year, someone had built some ramps. Getting the guns out was easy, manhandle them up to the edge of the road, hook them in then bounce them over the gutter.

    One of the highlights of the evening was the 1812th Overture synchronised with fireworks and our guns supporting it. I was the Firing Officer (GPO) and had a white glove on. The numbers one would watch my point to them with the gloved hand to indicate when they should fire. There’s one point when all the guns are firing very quickly together and I suspect we missed one round. But it was inspiring and a highlight of the GPO role.

  • Royal Salute for the Arrival of HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Diana – 26 Oct 85

    HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Diana arrived at Tullamarine on 26 Oct 1985 to begin a brief tour of Victoria. 2/15 Field Regiment fired a Royal Salute for the occasion.

    Salute for HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Diana - 26 Oct 1985
    Salute for HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Diana – 26 Oct 1985

    The following archived news article provides a summary of the occasion.

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Prince Charles and Princess Diana arrived in Melbourne to begin a 13-day visit to Australia.

    Diana received a kiss on the hand from a spectator who said he ‘lost control for a second or two’ as the royal couple mingled with about 600 spectators following their 31 -hour trip from London.

    Their aircraft — an Australian Air Force Boeing 707 reported to be fitted out with a double bed — touched down at Tullamarine airport at 12:40 p.m.

    Charles and Diana were welcomed by Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen and John Cain, premier of the state of Victoria. They are visiting Australia to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Victoria’s founding.

    After the greetings from dignitaries, Charles and his wife, 24, shook hands, chatted and accepted bunches of flowers from the waiting crowd.

    After their arrival, the couple were driven to Government House.

    The highlight of their visit will be the Melbourne Cup horse race on Nov. 5, considered to be the biggest social event of the year, attracting racegoers from Australia and elsewhere.

    UPI Archives
    Oct. 27, 1985
    Charles and Di Down Under

    The regiment provided a battery of M2A2s to fire the 21 Gun Royal Salute.

    Salute for HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Diana - 26 Oct 1985
    Salute for HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Diana – 26 Oct 1985
    Salute for HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Diana - 26 Oct 1985
    Salute for HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Diana – 26 Oct 1985

    Mitch Kenny (with cart case in the above photo) said the day was incredibly hot and the guns set fire to the grass. It would have been uncomfortable in the battle dress.

    The trip included the opening of Hopkins Barracks Puckapunyal by HRH Prince Charles, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC) on 31 October 1985.

    In 1985, the portion of Puckapunyal Army Camp housing the Armoured School and Corps Museum underwent a major rebuild. The new facility named Hopkins Barracks was officially opened by HRH Prince Charles on 31 October 1985. Prince Charles, who was accompanied by his wife HRH Princess Diana, is Colonel in Chief of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC). The Barracks is named to honour Major General R N L Hopkins who was instrumental in the development of the RAAC and is affectionately known as the ‘father of the Corps’.

    Victorian Collections (

    If you have further details or memories of the salute, please comment below.

  • Random Photo – 23Bty Footy Team

    I came across this photo when we were cleaning up the Museum at Chapel St. It features a footy team at Baxter, and given the faces I’m assuming it was a 23 Bty team in an inter Bty comp (sometime in the early- to mid-80’s). There are some very young faces there!

    The faces identified are:

    • Standing (l-r) – Frank Quigley, Bob Armstrong, Trevor Mile, Jim Higgins, Jack Bohmer, ? Cavallaro, Wolfgang Wessner, Stuart Pigdon, unknown.
    • Seated (l-r) – John Traill, Jim Lake, Jim Goldsmith, unknown, Paul Visser, Tony Wilkins, Hookie, Adrian Cajero, unknown

    Do you know any more, like the missing people, when it was and who they beat (I’d assume 2 Bty).