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.
As we’ve mentioned in the past, 2021 is the 150th Anniversary of the establishment of permanent artillery in Australia. At the committee meeting this week there was much discussion around activities – whilst there are some nationally coordinated events with a focus on NSW, we are focussing on facilitating events in Victoria, especially given our rich Australian Artillery heritage.
The major activity currently scheduled is for our birthday – 1 August. There will be a nationally coordinated fireplan, based around the Shrine. 2/10 Bty will be firing an 18-gun salute with the M2A2s as part of the national fireplan. Supporting this will be static displays (perhaps firings) of current equipment, 25 Pdrs, the Armstrong Gun and anything else we can muster. Colonel Cooke and Brigadier Perry are co-ordinating with many organisations such as Army (School of A and the Bty), the Werribee Half Battery and other historical/re-enactment groups. We will be working with the Shrine to see what else can be included. This will be an exciting day and definitely something for the calendar.
Coastal Gunnery is also a critical piece of our history and we are working to get activities to run on that day at Point/Fort Nepean and Fort Queenscliff. We are also looking at an activity in Warrnambool.
Whilst 1 Aug is the most significant activity, there are a number of other events being discussed for the year:
Another social gathering at the Cranbourne RSL such as the one run by Lisa and Phil in 2019
A cocktail function similar to the one being planned for Sydney in Oct
2/10 Battery functions
Ongoing webcasts from the Bty BC, Major James Eling, and reinstating the Gunner Symposium evenings at the battery.
Hopefully a dinner/St. Barbara’s Day event at the end of the year.
As details firm up, we will share them.There are also some activities being organised by the Australian Artillery Association (the national body) and details can be found on the https://australianartilleryassociation.com website.Two calls to action:
Put 1 Aug in your diary and plan to get to one of the anniversary events
We will need some help. We anticipate there will be an increased need for coordination, logistics, communication help as we get closer to events. If you’ve got time we’d love some help. Please reach out to me.
Oh, and don’t forget the Shrine is running their Last Post every Sunday at 4:45. The Battery also fires salutes on key dates – the next one will the the Queens Birthday.
Good Afternoon Victorian Gunners, Associates and Friends,
Please find below several notices covering the 2020 AGM Replay, Newsletter, Vale and other Notices. As always we aim to maintain relevant information on the association website, https://artilleryvic.org.au and on our facebook page.
Welcome New Members
We have had two new members recently – SGT John Staples (ex 2 Fd Regt and 2/15 Fd Regt) and LBDR Stjepan Bosnjak (2/10 Bty and our new Treasurer). Welcome both.
The latest RAA Association (Victoria) newsletter (Nbr 12, Jan 2021) has been published and can be viewed on our websites Cascabel page: http://artilleryvic.org.au/index.php/cascabel/ I’d encourage you to read through the older cacabel’s on that page also. There’s some great articles in the older editions there. We are going through an exercise to scan and upload the older (missing) copies.
We receive Vale notices from Peter Bruce of the RAAHC. If you are on Facebook, I would suggest you follow the Australian Artillery Association group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/346818566245872) as Graham Hampton does a great job of posting timely notices.
03/01/21 – Ken (KJ) Slow Alan Mears, via Graham Hampton, has advised of the death on 31 December 2020 of Ken Slow. Ken served in Vietnam with 4th Field Regiment from June 1967 until April 1968. He spent his later Army years with 16 Air Defence Regiment and the School of Artillery in a career spanning 25 years. No other details available at this stage. RIP Kenneth James SLOW.
09/01/21 – Peter Dinwoodie and WO1 Gordon Albert (Mick) Cole Advice has been received of the death on 30 December 2020 or Peter Dinwoodie. WO2 Peter Dinwoodie was a Life Subscriber of RAAA(Q). He had served with 11 National Service Bn, 5th Fd Regt RAA, and 121 LAA Bty Darwin. Peter was a regular and very sociable attendee at RAAA(Q) luncheons when his health permitted. Unfortunately he was unable to attend the December function. Peter Gore last spoke to him shortly before that. Funeral details are not finalised, but it might be private – family only. I will advise if more information is available.
Advice has also been received of the death of WO1 Gordon Albert (Mick) Cole on 16 September 2020. Mick was 93 years young. Mick saw service with the RAAF towards the end of WWII and then in the ARA in Japan with the BCOF and later in Malaya. Mick also had service with 1st Fd Regt & then later as RSM of 7th Fd Regt. His step-son is asking for any old memories, photos etc for a memorial service shortly. If you can help, please phone Chris on 0407 632 077.
RIP Peter and Mick
20/01/21 – William (Bill) Tooke I have been advised of the death on Tuesday 19 January of William (Bill) Tooke. Bill and Juliet had moved back to England late last year. Bill knew he was not well and wanted to spend time with family he not seen for some time including a new grandson. Bill’s health deteriorated rapidly and he required full time care towards the end. Juliet and their daughters were with Bill at his bedside until the end.
Bill Tooke had a distinguished career in the Royal Artillery and rose to become WO1 Master Gunner. He then migrated to Australia and joined the Australian Army and of course the RAA. Bill was well known and respected as an instructor on Gunnery Wing at the School of Artillery. Bill and Juliet were also the life of the party especially at Sergeants’ Mess functions.
Bill was a wonderful human being. He was smart, eloquent, and a wonderful family man. He will be sadly missed by all his family both in Australia and in England and by his many friends around the world.
Rest in Peace, Billy Tooke.
28/01/21 – Obituary for Clagg Wilkinson An obituary for the late Clagg Wilkinson has now been posted on the RAAHC web site. Sincere thanks for all who responded to our initial call for information. It really is wonderful to see the RAA networks in action.
02/02/21 – David Adams and Graham Fredrick Hubbard David Adams died on 16 January 2021 after several weeks of illness. His funeral was held on Monday 25 January 2021 in Mitchell ACT. Dave was the Battery Sergeant Major of ‘A’ Field Battery from 1963 until 1967, this included 2 years in Malaysia during Confrontation. Tex Bassan first met Dave when he was posted to 1 Field Regiment, at Georges Heights Sydney, straight from recruit training at the School of Artillery, North Head and was posted down to Middle Head, 3 Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery, where Dave was a gun Bdr. Dave’s son Phill advises that David was 90 years young and had been married for 70 years and will be sadly missed.
Graham Fredrick Lawrence Hubbard (Dadda to many) died on Friday 29 January. His funeral will be held on Wednesday 3 February at 1100 hrs (EDST) at Easton Funeral Service, 16 Florence Street, Tweed Heads. Friends are invited to gather at the Tweed Heads RSL Club after the funeral. A record of Service is not available as yet however Graham served in the ARA as a driver in RAASC in the 1950s and later joined 41 Battery, 11th Field Regiment at Southport in the late ‘60s.
RIP David and Graham.
06/02/21 – John Edward Irvine I have been advised of the death on 3 February 2021 of 1731636 Cpl John Edward Irvine. John served in the Light Aid Detachment with 4th Field Regiment in South Vietnam from 8 Jun to 13 December 1967. John’s funeral will be held at Drysdale Funerals, 33 National Park Road, Nambour on Tuesday 9 February at 11.00am.
RIP John Edward Irvine.
150th Anniversary Notices
2021 is the 150th year of permanent Artillery in Australia and various part of the Regiment are organising activities. This includes a synchronised firing of guns around Australia on 1 Aug, events in Canberra on that day, and the presentation of the new Banner at an event in Sydney. There will also be merchandise available from the various associations. The committee is still building a consolidated list of events in Victoria and we will publish these as they develop. We hope to make the website calendar function more useful this year.
2021 Gunner Luncheon
The 2021 Gunner Luncheon will be held on Wed 3rd March at the RACV Club in Melbourne. From Brig Perry
My dear fellow Gunners and our supporting Arms, This year will be our 16th lunch at RACV and despite the Covid Crisis it looks like we have missed the bullet, as last years event slipped in before the lockdowns and at this time it appears that we will be in the clear unless there is an unforeseen breakout. Reg made this years booking, as we usually do, in the day after the last lunch and so far it is looking good and we have proceeded as usual. It is my aim to ensure the continuum of this social activity at any cost. At this early stage we have a good early response to our initial invitation and I expect a good turnout on the day. There will be some spacing and other restrictions however I am confidant that we can manage that. In the circumstances I urge you to respond early and actively encourage as many of your old comrades as possible to attend. We are inviting the family members of the WW2 Associations committees to attend even though their serving Fathers may no longer be able to attend. I will continue to host the RMC graduates who may be on course at the time and also canvas the staff at School of Artillery. If you have any suggestions or names that can be pursued, please contact me or Reg
On 6th Dec we held the 2020 RAA Association (Vic) Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Due to COVID restrictions the AGM was held as a hybrid event – most of the committee was in attendance at the Chapel St. Depot, and others attended via Zoom.
Congratulations to the new committee members: LBDR Stjepan Bosnjak being appointed to the Treasurer position and MAJ Garry Rolfe being appointed to the committee. Thanks to SGT James Overell (outgoing Treasurer), LT Sandra Hodgson (committee) and SSGT Reg Morrell (long term committee member and Museum manager).
Congratulation to MAJ Neil Hamer for his Honorary Lifetime Membership.
There’s been a lot of communiques arriving this week for the planned 150th Anniversary activities. As per the attached flyer there are two major events planned; Sun 1 Aug in Canberra and Sat 6 Nov (weekend after Cup Day) in Sydney.
In addition the old Queens Banner will be laid up at the School of Artillery (Pucka) between 7-14 Nov. There are also local commemorations planned as well as commemorative items and books.
The Association hasn’t planned any activities yet. I expect the events will be discussed at the AGM and future committee meetings. Personally I can see a motorcycle trip to Cbr and maybe Sydney for events. I’m sure there are some members who would be interested.
We have received the following email from BRIG Perry regarding supporting Legacy in 2020 given the current restrictions.
Good afternoon all
As many of you may know, I am a Legatee, having been dragooned into service with Mornington Peninsula Legacy some 22 years ago, where I have been Treasurer, President and Secretary.
It seemed to me to be an appropriate extension of my service to community after 33 years with the Army Reserve.
When I commenced we had 3400 Widows and dependents and now we are down to just on 1000. Whilst this may appear that we are on the “home stretch” nothing is further from reality. We have a steady inflow from SVN and the number of disabled dependents remains quite high. In addition the demographic has also changed and our volunteer workforce has also altered significantly.
Legacy is somewhat unique in that we only conduct one formal fund raising event per year, in the first week of September, where our traditional mode of attack has been the sale of badges in the street and particularly in shopping malls and other places where there is a good traffic of shoppers.
The lockdown of Covid-19 has swept away our area of operations and we need to replenish our working fund by Click & Collect.
The aim for the Mornington Peninsula is $50,000 and that works out to about $1000 per Legatee
The bank details are available from firstname.lastname@example.org (I’d rather not make the details publicly available).
If you require a receipt and/or a badge to display on your already decorated chest please email the secretary who will put you in contact with BRIG Perry.
If you still have job or you are a self-funded retiree, try starting @$20 otherwise $10
P.S. I realise that some of you are already involved with Legacy and may be able to contribute elsewhere, however I would prefer you gave to my lot.
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.