By Tony Foley.
The year was 1960,
the exact month unknown. The New Guard was
furnished by the 1st Field Regiment, Royal
Australian Artillery and it was to
be the first public exposure of the new 7.62
Self Loading Rifle (SLR) replacing the
historically famous Lee-Enfield .303. The Guard
Commander was Lt. "Curly" Cooper Royal
Australian Artillery. Who in later
years retired as a Brigadier. The
Guard Sergeant was "Jesse" James and if memory
serves me right he was then with the 102nd Light
Battery. The remainder of the guard
were from the Survey Troop Regimental
Headquarters and underwent extensive training by
Warrant Officer Class Two Alan "Bruno" Sneddon
(then Battery Sergeant Major of A Field
Battery). The Historical interest
was the differences in the Rifle movements and
the Orders: for example from the familiar (then)
orders of "Old Guard----- Slope Arms" to the
new orders of New Guard----- Shoulder Arms".
The entire Mounting was televised by ABC TV, and
the full programme titled "Victoria Barracks"
Narrated by the popular newsreader John Chance.
It is believed to have been "Archived" by ABC
TV. The SLR 7.62 new "movements
" were demonstrated by "Bruno" Sneddon giving
orders to an individual digger Namely Gunner
Tony "Blue" Foley. As a matter of interest
during training at Holsworthy the week before,
we were all made very aware of just how sharp
those new "short" Bayonets were, ripping a 3
inch tear in a diggers jacket (right shoulder).
From then on they were given the respect they
deserved. Anyway that is one of my
places in history and I remember it well and
just wanted to share it with everyone.