Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company
ENewsletter Edition No 3
February 2013
In This Issue
LT John Carr Ewen MC, DCM, MM
Commissioning of the M777M2
Report on the Dedication of Australia's Memorial Walk
Featured Article
Artillery Badge Rotating 
The Feature Article this edition is the report on the Dedication of Australia's Memorial Walk.
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Meet the Directors
Meet the Directors 
Are you a member of the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company?    If not then visit our website, view membership details and benefits and  join us today!
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Become a part of history by purchsing your Australia's Memorial Walk paver today.   For more informaion view website.
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Dear Gunners (Readers) -

On behalf of the Board I would like to wish Gunners everywhere but especially our Members, a Happy and Prosperous New Year.  It is pleasing to see that our website has a long reach as shown by the email that the webmaster received from the Old Country.


John Parnell from Bovey Tracey, Devonshire, England has demonstrated the strong ties that have existed between the RAA and RA and the value of the Obituaries area on the website. John wrote:

Whilst surfing the web I came across your website.   

I was conscripted as a National Serviceman in 1951 and requested to serve my 2 years in the Royal Regiment of Artillery.  (My father had been a gun sergeant in the Second World War, serving with the BEF in France before being rushed to Norway when the Germans started invading it). 

After my initial "square bashing" followed by some training on 25 pounders, I was allocated for survey training at the School of Artillery, Larkhill, Wiltshire.  Following trade testing, I was sent to 14 Loc. Bty. at Woolwich, from where I was "volunteered" to go to Korea.

At last my reason for contacting you!  I joined 15 Div. Loc. Bty., 61st Light Regiment Royal Artillery, where I served as a bombardier surveyor (sound ranging).  For part of this period, my Troop Commander was Captain Stevenson, a real gentleman, very competent on survey matters, and highly respected by those of us who worked closely with him. I was very pleased to see that he had stayed a "gunner" and that his qualities had been recognised. 

Unfortunately I do not have a photo of him during his time with us in Korea to send to you.  I have attached a photo of (of me) the entrance to our A.P. on Hill 355 (Little Gibraltar).  The "Chinkie" hills are over my shoulder.  Wishing all my fellow Gunners a very Happy New Year.

 The photograph of John Parnell is shown below. You can read about General John Stevenson's career by clicking here.


 John Parnell


Ian Ahearn
Deputy Chair


LT John Carr Ewen MC, DCM, MM




John Carr Ewen MC, DCM, MM was one of the two most decorated gunners of the Australian Artillery in World War I. He also served as the Battery Commander 53 Field Battery in New Guinea until September 1942. In 2002 his family donated the Ewen Collection to the RAAHC for display at North Fort. The collection included medals, portrait, letters and photos and represented a significant and important addition to the Artillery Collection. With the closure of the Australian Army Artillery Museum at North Fort in December 2010 the family asked that the collection be returned. They have since donated it, less the portrait, to the Australian War Memorial.


The portrait, an oil on canvas painting by the artist Lawson Balfour, was painted in 1927 as a series of portraits commissioned by the Australian War Memorial. An individual representing each Corps (Regiment) of the AIF was selected for the series and John Carr is the artillery representative. He only agreed to the sitting on the basis the artist paint two canvases, one for the War memorial and the other for himself. It is said that he kept the better of the two canvases. This was then given to his mother and eventually passed on to him and his family. The canvas measures 63.4 x 47.6 and is framed.


Portrait of Lt John Carr Ewen MC, DCM, MM

 The portrait held by the RAAHC is identical

held in the AWM Collection.




As the AWM already has a portrait the family has agreed that the RAAHC may retain this one provided a suitable location for display was found.  The Officers' Mess at the School of Artillery was agreed to be a suitable site and on the 5 October 2012 Major General Tim Ford handed the portrait over to the School of Artillery where it has been hung in the portrait room. 





Commanding Officer/Chief Instructor of the School of Artillery, Lieutenant Colonel Mitch Kennedy and Major General Tim Ford Kennedy display an Australian Flag showing Ewen's service in Egypt and France. The Ewen Portrait is shown on the wall behind them. 

Commissioning of the M777A2
Painting by the School of Artillery

Project Land 17 Phase 1A (Artillery Replacement) has modernised Army's indirect fires system by replacing the legacy fleet of towed 105mm and 155mm Howitzers with the M777A2 155mm Lightweight Towed Howitzer. The M777A2 combined with the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System will see the Royal Australian Artillery enter the digital age.

Introduction Into Service of the M777A2 was conducted at the School of Artillery and in units by the Gun Training Team (GTT).  The GTT travelled to the US to be trained on the M777A2 in July 2010 at the US Army Fires Centre of Excellence at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  In January 2011 the GTT commenced 'train the trainer' instruction for regular Field Artillery gunners. The first rounds fired in Australia by a Royal Australian Artillery unit were at Puckapunyal on 1st April 2011.  The gun detachment was commanded by Bombardier Matthew Nunn and comprised members of 53rd Battery, Royal Australian Artillery, the Fire Support Battery of the School of Artillery.

Through out 2011 the School of Artillery converted and trained the regular Field Regiments of the Royal Australian Artillery to the new howitzers combining the latest state of art digital technology.

This painting is a scene of the M777A2s firing on that first day in April 2011.  Into Service - Into Action was commissioned and funded by generous donations from the Junior Non Commissioned Officers and Soldiers of the School of Artillery.



'M777A2s in action'

This limited edition print will be published in a run of only 104 signed and numbered prints plus 10 'Artist Proof' edition prints.


The over all dimensions will be approximately 750mm X 550mm with an image area of approximately 650mm X 430mm and printed on high quality 310 gsm heavy weight  rag paper.


Each print will be accompanied with a certificate of authenticity numbered to match the print.


The cost is $95 per limited edition print plus $12 for packing and posting.

Artist Proofs will be  $150 plus postage.


Prints can be ordered directly from the artist, Barry Spicer, by emailing him at


Please expect up to two weeks for delivery.


Payment can be through PayPal  at 'Barry Spicer Fine Art'  or an on line transfer at  


National Bank

Acc. Name:     Barry K. Spicer

BSB #  :          085443
Acc. #  :          57-788-5691




On Saturday 1st December 2012 over 250 people gathered at North Head to witness the dedication of Australia's Memorial Walk. The Australian Memorial Walk honours those who have served and supported the defence of Australia in peace or in war.  The paved pathway links five monuments erected to remember the major conflict periods in Australia's history:


The guest of honour at the dedication was the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir. Other guests included Lady Helen Cutler, the wife of Gunner and former NSW Governor Sir Roden Cutler VC, Manly Mayor Jean Hay, Warringah Mayor Michael Regan, Pittwater Jacqueline Townsend, Manly MP Mike Baird, Mackellar MP Bronwyn Bishop, Sydney Harbour Federation Chief Executive Geoff Bailey, Head of the Royal Australian Artillery Regiment Brigadier Don Roach, Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company chairman Major-General Tim Ford and patron Major-General Steve Gower and Blackmores chairman Marcus Blackmore. 


  Head of Regiment, Brigadier Don Roach
chats with Colonel Brian Bailey
Photo by: David Swift


Which One Is He?


Recently one of our members Chris Jobson journeyed overseas to Canada.   Whilst there had the opportunity to meet with Sergeant Moose.


Only trouble is with age comes loss of memory and I am having difficulty identifying which one is Chris in the photo below - Can anyone help?