November 2013

In This Issue


2014 National Gunner Dinner

Around the Traps

Republic of Vietnam
Campaign Medal

A Blast from the Past


Feature Article

Life in the Australian Garrison Artilelry 1885 - 1906, images of the past forwarded in by a member of the general public.  Read more...

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A Field Battery Assn

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Welcome to the Australian Artillery Association's Email Information newsletter.   This edition will be the last for 2013.   We hope you have enjoyed the Email Information Newsletters, they will continue again in 2014 commencing in February.   We would like to take this opportunity to wish you, your family and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year.




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2014 National Gunner Dinner - Will Proceed

It is official the Australian Artillery Association 2014 National Gunner Dinner will proceed on the 23 August 2014.

Whilst we, as yet, have not reached the magic number of 400 we have a total of 299 registered to attend as at 20 December 2013 and we feel confident of achieving our goal of 400, in fact we anticipate exceeding this number of registered attendees.

In the event that we do not achieve our minimum number there will obviously be minor changes to that which is advertised on the dedicated dinner webpage however the afternoon Military Concert and the Dinner inclusive of the drinks package are assured.

We now have registered participants attending from the Scotland, USA, New Zealand and Thailand including all States and Territories.

For further information on the dinner see the article below.

I look forward to seeing you all there !


Around the Traps:

A Field Battery Association - November Newsletter

12 Field Regiment (Vietnam) Association -
Information Bulletin No 18 & Information Bulletin No 19

131 Locators Association - Newsletter "Eyes & Ears" for November 2013 is now available for viewing online or downloading.

RAA Association South Australia - December 2013 Newsletter

Royal New Zealand Artillery Association - Gunner Newsletter for December 2013


Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (RVCM)

The Following information has been received from a Mr Richard Barry who appeared before the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal.

Dear Editor.
For the benefit of your readers I'd like to inform them that I was invited to speak to a panel from the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal (DHAA) on 11th September 2013. Submissions closed on 31st May 2013 following wide media coverage. This independent organisation is currently looking into the eligibility for the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (RVCM).
There were five other invited submitters for this public hearing involving representatives from the Department of Defence, Returned & Services League of Australia, Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia, Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia and another private individual.
To be eligible for the RVCM, a member of the Defence Force must have completed a minimum period of 181 days, either continuous or aggregated, unless the member was killed on active service, wounded in action, that is classified as a battle casualty and evacuated as a result of those wounds; or captured and later released or escaped.
I have been agitating for an inquiry for many years and advocate that the existing criteria is far too onerous. My rather lengthy submission highlights several very deserving personal examples of why the old interpretation warrants further consideration. One travesty of justice involves a veteran (Coonamble) from the battle of Long Tan. My submission also covers the fact that this award was instigated by a foreign government that ceased almost 40 years ago.
The members conducting the Inquiry were Mr John Jones AM (Presiding Member), Professor David Horner AM and Mr Adam Bodzioch. I was satisfied that I received a fair hearing.
It is acknowledged that there has to be a cut-off period to receive the RVCM to fall into line with other foreign awards like the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal and others too numerous to mention. Anybody who served in South Vietnam and through no fault of their own was required to return to Australia inside the 181 days (including National Servicemen whose contract to Her Majesty's Forces expired) had the opportunity to lodge a submission to the DHAA.
I received excellent support from the National President of the National Servicemen's Association of Australia Inc plus individual State branches and veterans, some of whom had done two tours of Vietnam. I received excellent Letters of Support from politicians of all persuasions on this bipartisan matter. Whilst the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia was not in favour of any changes the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia recommended a reduction in the number of days. Although the representative from the Returned & Services League of Australia was not in favour of any changes he said the RSL would not be against a new interpretation. No fellow veteran should ever begrudge another veteran who was prepared to give his life fighting oppression in a foreign country albeit inside the 181 days.
There were 88 separate submissions for the panel to consider plus a further 7 received subsequently. Some of these relate the Navy personnel from the HMAS Sydney and RAAF members stationed at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand. A favourable decision will benefit many Regular and National Servicemen veterans.
The panel has advised that it should be in a position to deliver its recommendation to the Parliamentary Secretary of Defence sometime in the early part of 2014.


Richard Barry, Narrabri NSW

A Blast from the Past

The below picture is of Warrant Officer Class One Peter Prewitt at the presentation of a 25 Pounder to the Balgowlah RSL in 1981.   Peter went on to become the Regimental Sergeant-Major of the Army.


Listed below are those Gunners that have passed away over the last month, that we have been made aware of.  On behalf of the Committee and Members of the Australian Artillery Association we extend our condolences to their families and friends:

White - Russell John (Barney)

Jones - Alan

Roeger - Paul

Ries - Barry

Foulston - Gerald (Sam)

Willmont - Dennis Clive ( Willie)

All have now been included on the Australian Artillery Association's Memorial Roll.

Australian Artillery Association's
2014 National Gunner Dinner

The Australian Artillery Association is holding a 2014 National Gunner Dinner on the 23 August 2014 at "The Event Centre" in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

View the list of Registered Attendees of which there have been more than 250 thus far.   Come alone or make a Group Booking and enjoy the company of your fellow Gunners.

For full details visit the dedicated webpage for the dinner at the Australian Artillery Association website.





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