Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company
ENewsletter Edition No 4
August 2013

In This Issue
The 18 Pounder Project
LBDR Les Bettany's WW 2 Sketches
To day's Regiment Gunner Wayne Gordon
New Head of Regiment
Featured Article
Artillery Badge Rotating 
The Feature Article this edition is the
18 Pounder Project
Quick Links

Meet the Directors
  Board of 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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Dear Gunners (Readers) -


Today the 9th August 2013 marks the RAAHC launch of both our Mobile Website and the Today's Gunline section of our principal website.   Both these initiatives are designed to significantly raise the profile of the RAAHC with an emphasis on keeping you the current and retired Gunner and general public better informed about the past, present and future of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery.  We hope you enjoy these initiatives and make the best use of them.  We would greatly appreciate feedback on our efforts either via the option available on this site or via our Contact Us webpage. 
You will note that the website has  been extensively redesigned and we hope that it has a better look and feel. Visit the Website
The central feature seeks donations for an exciting project: the restoration and display of an iconic 18 Pounder gun complete with horses, harnesses and a period uniformed detachment. The intention is to provide a living memorial to all Gunners. An article on the project is contained elsewhere in this Newsletter. Please support the project by making a donation, no matter how large or small.
We have also introduced a new website for mobile phones. You can have a look at Clicking Here or by entering the following on your smart phone/tablet:
We welcome the new Head of Regiment Brigadier Peter Gates and thank his predecessor Brigadier Don Roach for his service to the Regiment in that position. Brigadier Gates' profile is contained in this newsletter.
I have to report that the Board and the RAAHC have lost a key contributor to the rejuvenation of the Company with the resignation of our Treasurer Brian Armour. Brian has toiled unceasingly to not only bring some financial discipline to Board deliberations but to record Company processes and procedures for the edification and guidance of present and future Board members. He will be sorely missed. On behalf of the Board I would like to express our gratification to Brian for all his work and wish him well for the future.
Is there anyone out there harboring a secret desire to become an 
 Treasurer? Please get in touch!


Ian Ahearn
Deputy Chair







The vision is to produce a living memorial to Australian Artillery by deploying the gun and team for commemorative events starting in 1915 for the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli. 




The 18 Pounder gun was introduced into Australian service in 1906 and continued to be used until 1945. It was the standard field gun in service until 1940 when it began to be replaced by the 25 Pounder gun.


TRG 18 PDR PRE WW1     
18 Pounder Training Australia Pre-World War 1




The project is a daunting task and will involve the restoration of an 18 Pounder, its ammunition limber, the acquisition/restoration of harness and saddles, the recruitment of gun detachments, the acquisition of horses and the replication of period uniforms. The photograph below shows the gun and part detachment on display.


See more detailed information on the project BY CLICKING HERE




 The RAAHC 18 Ponder at North Fort 





Like all projects this project will require funding and the RAAHC will actively seek grants and donations to complete the task. The RAAHC has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 Sub-Division 30.15 Item 1 and 4. Consequently, all cash donations in excess of $2.00 are tax deductible.



Des Bettany was a Lance Bombardier in the Royal Artillery during World War 2. Early in 1939 he and a number of friends joined the Territorial Army (Royal Artillery) and was mobilised in August of that year. Lance Bombardier Bettany fought in France and Belgium with the 88th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, manning 25 pounder field guns, and after evacuation from Dunkirk, served in various locations in southern England, in preparation for the anticipated German invasion.
 Des Bettany on a beach  World War 2

He was then re-equipped and shipped to the Far East, travelling on the troopship 'Empress of Canada' via Freetown (West Africa), Cape Town and Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). In the Malayan campaign he fought the Japanese at Ipoh and Alor Star. He was at Kuantan on the east coast, off which the 'Prince of Wales' and the 'Repulse' were sunk. In the company of the Australian 8th Division and the Indian 9th Brigade, he saw most of the major actions in Malaya until capitulation in Singapore in February 1942. Des became a POW and continued the sketching of his experiences that he had begun on joining the Royal Artillery. 

One of Des's sketches is shown below. You can  see more of the story of Des by By Clicking Here




Gunner Wayne Gordon.


Berrimah's Wayne Gordon spent 12 months in Afghanistan, providing big-gun back up for British troops in Helmand province.




Wayne, 22, joined the Army six years ago and trained as a gunner with 1st Field Regiment based in Brisbane. Early in 2010 he was picked for a group of Australian gunners to deploy to Afghanistan with the British 7th Parachute Regiment. But first came seven months training in the UK.

"The Brits use a different version of our 105mm gun so we had to train on theirs. It was good to see how they operate," Wayne said. 

Wayne was already a veteran of Timor in 2006, so he had some idea of what to expect when he got to the Forward Operating Bases in Helmand Province. As well as fire missions in support of infantry patrols, the Aussie gunners maintained their guns, did sentry duties, and kept fit through team sports or gym work. 

"I enjoy working overseas," Wayne said. "I'm doing what I have trained to do. "It's good to play a part in this large-scale effort to help the Afghans." 
It has been a long time away for Wayne, whose daughter, Sophia, was only one when he left, two when he saw her on his leave and will be three when he gets home. "I am looking forward to seeing my little girl and getting back to Darwin to see all the family."




On 1 March 2013 Brigadier Peter Gates, CSM was appointed as Head of Regiment replacing Brigadier Don Roach,AM.



Brigadier Peter C. Gates was born in Sydney in 1966 and completed his education at Daramalan College, Canberra. He graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in December 1986 into the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery. 


Brigadier Gates has served in 4th Field Regiment and 8th/12th Medium Regiment where he commanded 103rd Medium Battery. He commanded the School of Artillery between 2003 and 2004. He has had instructional appointments as a tactics instructor at the Royal Military College and at the Combat Command Wing of the Combined Arms Training Centre. He also served on the Directing Staff at the United Kingdom's Combined Joint Services Staff College.


Staff appointments have included Army Force Development and as the Colonel of Operational Plans (J53) in Headquarters Joint Operations Command. He has seen operational service in the Middle East with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation in Syria, Israel, Lebanon and Egypt and served in Multinational Force - Iraq as colonel plans in the Combined Joint Force Headquarters (Operations) in 2008.


Brigadier Gates attended the Australian Army Command and Staff College at Queenscliff in 1998 and subsequently studied Law at the University of Melbourne. In 2009 he completed the Defence and Strategic Studies Course at the Australian Defence College. Brigadier Gates holds post graduate qualifications in Defence and Strategic Studies and International Law.


Brigadier Gates was awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal for service to Army Force Development in the 2004 Australia Day Honours List. As Director General Defence Education and Training in 2010, Brigadier Gates led enterprise wide education and training reforms as part of the Strategic Reform Program that included the establishment of the Defence Learning Branch. He was appointed Commandant of the Australian Command and Staff and College in 2012.