Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company
ENewsletter Edition No 2
October 2012
In This Issue
Medal of Gallantry Awarded to BDR David Robertson
Gunners Around the Nation
Artillery Gun Register
Customs & Traditions
Did You Know?
Boar War Memorial
Volunteer Guiding
Airburst Archive Copies
RAAHC Survey
Website Update
Featured Article
Artillery Badge Rotating 
The Feature Article this edition is about the Medal for Gallantry recipient Bombardier David Robertson of 102 (Coral) Battery, 8/12 Medium Regiment.   Be sure to read the full story on the website using the link within the article.
Quick Links

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) - WELCOME TO AIRBURST,

We hope you enjoyed the first issue of Airburst and trust the second one will also grab your attention. It has been a busy month for the RAAHC. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held at North Head on 13 October along with a Board of Directors Meeting. After the GM a briefing was given by LT COL Leigh Crawford RAA from the Joint Fires HQ 6 Brigade. The presentation covered a number of initiatives under way in the RAA and further information will be placed on the website.

Vince Williams, a Board Member briefed on the upcoming dedication of Australia's Memorial Walk which will be dedicated on 1 December 2012. All RAAHC members are welcome Register their attendance via the online facility on the website.   You can view the records of the AGM on the website.

We are continuing to liaise with the Regimental Committee of the RAA (RC RAA) and will further develop our website to bring you information about the Committee and its activities as well as information on the current Regiment's activities. The RC RAA is about to launch a new fund raising scheme and Airburst will provide information  as it comes to hand. Major General Tim Ford has stepped down from the Representative Colonel Commandant position and his place has been taken by the Colonel Commandant Western Region, Brigadier Gerry Warner.

Finally the new combined RAA Liaison Letter and Cannonball will hit the streets in November. Let us know if you do not get a copy. Keep an eye out for the posting of all previous Liaison Letters on the website!


Ian Ahearn
Deputy Chair



Calling in accurate fire support while exposed to enemy machinegun fire on a mountainside earned BDR David Robertson a Medal for Gallantry,



AN ARTILLERY Joint Fires Observer awarded the Medal for Gallantry in the 2012 Queens Birthday Honours list was presented with his

medal at Government House, South Australia, on September 4.


BDR David Robertson, of 102 Coral Bty, 8/12 Regt, said he was honoured to receive an MG for his efforts during a patrol in the Tangi Valley, Uruzgan province, on March 20 last year.


BDR Robertson deployed to Afghanistan in October 2010 as part of MTF 2. He then helped build Patrol Base Qareb, where he worked from late December 2010 until the end of his deployment in late July last year.






  • NEWSLETTER: The Royal Australian Artillery Association (NT) Inc / Darwin Military Museum, have released their  September 2012 Newsletter
  • NEWSLETTER:   The 131 Locators Association newsletter have released their September 2012 Eyes and Ears Newsletter.



Gunner Jack Mulholland - 1921 - 2012


Darwin Military Museum regrets the death in southern Australia of Gunner Jack Mulholland, one of the defenders of Darwin on 19 February 1942. Stationed on Darwin Oval - now the Cenotaph area of the Esplanade - Jack and his gun crew fought fiercely against the 188 aircraft of the first Japanese carrier raid, and in subsequent attacks.


Jack will live on in a permanent looped interview film at the Darwin Military Museum; in one of the 48 Character Cards within the new Defence of Darwin Experience displays, and in his excellent book Darwin Bombed.


Jack was a very brave soldier, but always modestly described his times in action as doing no more than his duty.


Gunner Jack Mulholland will always be remembered at the Museum and by its parent body the Royal Australian Artillery Association (NT) Inc.


Information sourced from the Royal Australian Artillery Association (NT) Inc / Darwin Military Museum Newsletter dated September 2012.



Scotch College Melbourne


Many of our readers will be familiar with the Artillery Gun Register we are compiling. Those that are not we invite you to visit our website and view the work to date. Whilst only NSW appears we have done a lot on other State and Territories and this will be released in due course.


Where possible we attempt to establish a list of guns that were known to exist and then see if we can find them. This is certainly true of the World War I trophy guns. As time permits we also attempt to find out what has happened to those guns that appear to have disappeared.


According to the Directory of Allocated War Trophies compiled from information held at the Australian War Memorial a 105 mm howitzer had been allotted to Scotch College in Melbourne. Serial number 12442, it had been captured by 4 Australian Light Horse at Damascus on 1 October 1918. Read More...



Right of the Line


The term "Right of the Line" is often used when discussing the placement of (Australian) Artillery units on parade, however, the Term has no place within the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery. "Right of the Line" is a privilege bestowed solely upon King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, and is only applied when the Unit is on parade with its guns.


The honour means that the Troop is positioned on the right of the parade ground (the left as seen by the observer), taking seniority over all other corps and regiments on the Order of Battle. 


In the Australian Army the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery takes precedence after the Corps of Staff Cadets and units of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps. Within the Regiment units take precedence according to numerical order by regiments and then by independent batteries; however, A Field Battery, if on the Order of Battle as an independent unit, has precedence within the Regiment.



By: Christopher  Jobson



On the 19th September 2012 the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery celebrated the 50th Anniversary of what?


To find the answer to this question, and a whole lot more, visit the website of the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company.

The National Boer War Memorial Design was unveilled by the National Patron General David Hurley AC, DSC, Chief of Defence Force in Canberra on 1 March 2012.
The site for the National Boer War Memorial on ANZAC Parade Canberra has was dedicated on 31 May 2008. Please view a slide show and video of the dedication when you visit the Boer War Memorial web site.
From 10th October 1899 to the end of May 1902 a bitter conflict raged across the South African veldt between Britain and her Empire and the two largely self governing Boer Boar War MemorialRepublics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The six Australian States (colonies) were quick to make troops available to Britain when a Boer ultimatum to the British expired and Boer commandos streamed across the borders into the British colonies of the Cape of Good Hope and Natal. The first formed unit of troops from Australia, a squadron of the New South Wales Lancers landed in Capetown on 2 November 1899, less that one month after hostilities commenced.
Up until 1899 for Australians there had been quite fierce fighting in some areas as European settlement expanded across the lands of the Aboriginal peoples, and two minor rebellions on the Australian mainland quickly put down by British garrison troops. Australians had also fought in the Maori wars in New Zealand and, in 1885, New South Wales sent a 700 strong contingent of infantry and artillery, with a small medical detachment, to the Sudan in North Africa. The Boer War was the first full commitment of troops by all the Australian Colonies to a foreign war and with the formation of the Australian Commonwealth on 1st January 1901 it became our country's first military involvement as a Nation.
Australia's contribution was significant; we suffered casualty numbers which have only been exceeded by those of World Wars 1 and 2. In all, over 16,000 troops were engaged in the Australian contingents and another 7,000 Australians fought in other colonial and irregular units. Possibly 1,000 Australians lost their lives on service in South Africa during the Boer War.
For detailed information on how to donate to the memorial building fund, registering as a descendant or for more general information regarding this first Australian conflict as a Nation and Commonwealth please visit
Volunteer Guiding

North Fort North Head Sanctuary Manly 

North Fort is an historic WW2 heavy coastal artillery battery of two 9.2 inch gun emplacements with supporting tunnels and fortifications. The site also includes the impressive Defence of Sydney Memorial and Walkway. The guns however, were scrapped in 1960.


The fort forms part of the North Head Sanctuary under the control of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and work is currently underway to open to the public, the underground plotting rooms. Restoration volunteers are also working on artillery pieces and associated equipment to form the Defence of Sydney Museum. This will replace the former RAA Museum that has been re-located to Victoria.


Whilst the Fort is open to the public every day, tours of the tunnels and restoration workshops are only accessible on guided tours that are conducted each Sunday. Special tours are conducted at other times by arrangement.   Interested in this article?   Read more...




Airburst will now be archived for a period of up to 10 years. Upon the publication of Airburst the past edition will be added to the archive list. All past editions of Airburst will be available for viewing by visiting the Members Area of the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company's website.



Your feedback is important it us, please participate by completing the brief Survey below.


The website continues to grow at a very quick rate.   Of particular interest is the Artillery Awards and Defencer Honours and Awards section within the Moments in History part of the website.   Over the past few weeks some 30 plus webpages have been added and the entire section is recommended viewing.

Also new to the website is the "News from Other Artillery Associations" which can be found on the Home Page in the left hand dark green panel.   Here we offer to all Artillery associations throughout Australia the opportunity to adverise upcoming events, this offer is in addition to associations being able to advertise within Airburst for free.   Associations wishing to advertise should contact the Webmaster direct.