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).

  • 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).

  • 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 of 2 Bty, Batman Ave (2/15 Fd Regt)

    I received the following from John Pereira from his time at 2 Bty when it was at Batman Ave, covering the period 1973-1979. The Bty moved to Dandenong around 1980-81.

    Some memories that come to mind:

    The loading of the Brig. Rossi CRA out of the Jarks Club windows on a number of occasions. As a new gunner I was horrified on the first occasion. The catching party always just made it in time.

    The exercises in Cultana – Exercise Shell Pioneer, Tassie exercise Apple Pioneer, crossing the Vic Alps can’t remember what that was called.

    TEWTS at Braemar College & the young section commander emerging from the staircase cupboard with bottle of green Chartreuse in hand late mid-morning looking very second hand. Rumourerd to be a Lt McFarlane.

    Members of the Jarks Club who would recall “Gunner X” & his subsequent moniker which was not to be used to refer to him again or else. Similar to Voldemort. Though revenge was his when he doled out some of the duties handed out at Cultana!

    The eventful tactical night occupation in Buckland Tasmania where the listening posts were not brought in by a Bdr(?) who was playing Command Post Sergeant, early onset of hypothermia was the verdict made by the WRAC signallers, who happened to be Ward Sisters. I was not convinced! Sorry Lisa.

    We nearly set fire to the CP tent trying to light the chuffer to warm them up. I was wholly blameless and suggest BK Roger Smith totally responsible for the chuffer issue as he was acting outside his area of competence. 😊. The Gunners were eventually thawed out by other means.

    Guns arrived at the position when the battery was attacked, flares fired, flare malfunctions & flies in through a rover passenger side window, fins cut the gunner’s face, place lights up light lunar park, RMO carts him away. 

    Hostilities resume. Hostilities cease due to shrieks from Gunner Ganley on Delta. Gnr. Ganley had used his finger to find the holes for the locking pin of the trails of the L5. The gunner at the end of the trails had swung the trail thinking Ganley had placed the pin in the locking hole which promptly guillotined off his finger. Lunar park lights up once again. RMO departs with Gnr Ganley. Night vision returns in due course.

    The BC heads down, gets on the Tannoy and advises that we will fire a mission tonight. BC get on the radio; and informs range control and others of his intentions. Range Control suggests otherwise. The BC announces to all and sundry OIC responsible picks a spot within the middle of range and we do fire a mission sort of recall we went straight into FFE!

    Two cans per man was the next order with #’s 1 requested to the CP. We all sat on the CP floor got into the goodies box, sweaty kabana, cheese that was well past its use by date and the GPO’s bottle of White Heather was passed around until it was no more.  

    One of the best examples of leadership during my tenure with the Battery

    Further followup observations from John.

    To the best of my recall, in 1973, 3 Bty in Brighton was folded into 2 Bty. As a newbie I felt there was a lot of jockeying for positions amongst the Senior NCO’s/WO’s and an initial us and them. The Div Loc Bty (132) stayed in Brighton. 

    Gerry Butcher was a Captain then, FO and Recruiting Officer. Bill Dingen was the Recruiting Sgt. I was inducted/sworn in by Gerry who happened to be my next-door neighbour.

    The #’s 1 were Ray Armstrong, Ian Wingate, Dave Gibson as Sgt’s. Not sure but I think Doc O’Connor was #1 of Delta as a Bdr when I joined.

    Roger Smith was the BK. Alan Halbish was the BG. Ken Foggie BC’s ack I think. The Sig Sgt god forget his name softly spoken guy can picture him but name evades me. Don Rodderick took over from him.

    Capt Rod Singleton was the other FO and permanently on call to the CO as investigation officer for lost bolts, broken SLR’s which happen to fall onto the highway off the back of a 5 ton truck hurtling down the Hume, petty cash shortages at the Jarks club, just because he was an insurance loss adjuster. David Osbourne was the GPO. Best GPO I served under I reckon never phased, Rosco Pederken close second followed by Gerry Butcher.

    Chris Renwick & Gavin (?) Schwartz most enthusiastic Section Commanders both ultra-competitive as to who would be battery leader. Fear not they both got us lost. Map reading was not a forte of either. Many a spray from the BK & BG resulted.

    Doug Caulfield was a CP Ops Field & had been earmarked for bigger and better things. John Decker was the Sgt Cp Ops Field purloiner of my Staedtler China Graph pencils purchased at great cost from a stationery place in Elizabeth Street in the CBD. 

    John had a fixation about Battery Centre markers. I think we lost one on a firing weekend soon after I joined and there was hell to pay at the subsequent EIS inspection. Thereafter he made me responsible to collect Battery Centre markers. Prior to the subsequent EIS inspection we had to hide the surplus markers we had apparently been overzealous with our collections.

    The two stand out AIG’s were Barry Cane & Bill Cross. IG would be “The Adjt” can again picture him but can’t recall his name. He had undertaken his long course before being posted to us another person you looked up to and learnt from.

    I think the expedition to Tasmania & the Cultana night occupation was in 1977 +/-. Maj Keith Bunnett was the BC. 

    Brig Rossi was the CRA in the early to mid-70’s. Now there was a character who could hold the Jarks Club members enthralled another fine example of a citizen soldier.