Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company
ENewsletter Edition No 6

November  2013
In This Issue
Webmaster's Update
Australian Army Journal
St Barbara's Day NSW
St Barbara's Day QLD
Did You Know?
National Library of Australia
Webmaster's Update
Honourary Membership
Featured Article
Artillery Badge Rotating 
Have you held the position of a Commanding Officer, Regimental Sergeant-Major or Master Gunner? Then the Webmaster's contribution in this issue is of great importance to you!
Quick Links

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!
Memorial Walk Pavers 
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Become a part of history by purchsing your Australia's Memorial Walk paver today.   For more informaion view website.
Army Newspaper                 
Australian Army Journal        
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Publicise Your Upcoming Event
Are you a member of an Artillery association? Does your association have an upcoming event? Want to publicise it to a wider audience for free? Contact the Editor for further details.
Dear Gunners (Readers) -


 The AGM was held at North Head on 12 October 2013. The Annual Report and the Chair's Report can be viewed on the web site.
 We are in negotiation with the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust (SHFT) over the re-location of the RAAHC library. We hope to achieve the relocation with a minimum of fuss and cost. Volunteers who are able to help would be appreciated. Please get in contact with our Honorary Secretary  Peter Lawrence 


We have been fortunate in obtaining the services of  John Rehn to act as Honorary Treasurer. John is an accountant currently in public practice on Sydney's North Shore.  He has over 20 years experience in audit, business services accounting and taxation.  John's qualifications include a Bachelor of Business in Accounting, he is a fellow member of the Institute of Public Accountants and holds Chartered Tax Adviser status with the Taxation Institute of Australia. 

John has a keen interest in military history, particularly the involvement of Australian troops in the campaigns of North Africa, Syria, Greece and Crete in the Second World War. We are grateful that John has decided to join us and we welcome him to the Company.
Sadly we have lost the services of our Western Australia representative, Bob Farrelly. We would like to thank Bob for his efforts on behalf of the RAAHC and we will miss his video presence at our Board Meetings. 
The 18 Pounder ANZAC Memorial Gun Project continues apace  but we need your help to contact Gunners of all shapes and size both to obtain donations and to seek contact in business who may wish to provide larger donations. There must be over 10,000 Gunners, past and present out there. If we could get 3,000 of them to make a $50 tax deductible donation then we would be well on our way to provide the basis for the project funding. A plea to use your networks to support the most exciting Gunner project since the National Gunner Memorial in Canberra.
Please have a look at the Webmaster's update. It provides information on an initiative to record the details of all CO and RSM as well as those that have held the position of Master Gunner. 
This may be the final Airburst of 2013, Therefore may I, on behalf of the Board and all our volunteers, wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a great 2014.


Ian Ahearn
Deputy Chair


AustralianArmyJournalAustralian Army Journal

The Australian Army Journal provides the primary forum for Army's professional discourse. The Journal, in addition to facilitating debate within the Australian Army, also raises the quality and intellectual rigor of that debate by adhering to a strict and demanding standard of quality.


This publication is well respected internationally, and gives Army's people an opportunity to reach out to their colleagues in the Army, the Australian Defence Force and military personnel the world over.


This entire edition is devoted to the issue of culture.


View online or download the "Australian Army Journal".

nswstbarbarasdaySt Barbara's Day NSW
Open Invitation


The Royal Australian Artillery Association NSW Inc extend an open invitation to all Gunner, their families and friends to attend the St Barbara's Day celebrations at Millers Point NSW on 1 December 2013.

qldstbarbarasdaySt Barbara's Day QLD
Open Invitation


The Royal Australian Artillery Association QLD Inc extend an open invitation to all Gunner, their families and friends to attend the St Barbara's Day celebrations at Tattersall's Club, 215 Queen St, Brisbane 4000 on 1 December 2013.
DidYouKnowDid You Know?


Did You Know:   The lanyard, worn today by the Military on a number of items of dress, was originally used by gunners and it was worn on the left shoulder. The cord, which was approximately four feet (1.2 meters) in length, carried a jack-knife. The knife had a blade and a spike; the blade was used for cutting-loose horses which became entangled in picket-line head and heel ropes, and the spike was used for the removal of stones from the horses' hooves. An ammunition fuze key was also attached to the lanyard. The lanyard was worn on the left shoulder with the knife and key tucked into the left breast pocket. Later the lanyard was shortened in length and bleached white to match the white bandolier worn by gunners, and in 1920 it was moved to the left shoulder. Today the lanyard is worn by all corps/regiments, in their relevant colours; however, Gunners still wear the lanyard in its original colour, white.  

NationalLibraryofAustraliaNational Library of Australia


The website of the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company will from 26 September 2013 be periodically digitally captured by the National Library of Australia for both eternal archiving and general access to the website.


The National Library of Australia aims to build a comprehensive collection of Australian publications to ensure that Australians have access to their documentary heritage now and in the future.


PANDORA, Australia's Web Archive, was set up by the Library in 1996 to enable the archiving and provision of long-term access to online Australian publications. Since then we have been identifying and archiving online publications that meet our collecting scope and priorities. Additional information about PANDORA and access to archived titles can be found on the Library's server at:

WebmasterWebmaster Update



The RAAHC is embarking on a major project within the website to list the all the past and present Commanding Officers (CO's), Regimental Sergeant-Majors (RSM's) and Master Gunners (MG's) of all past and present Artillery units inclusive of a biography where available.  In addition to this we will also be listing those who were appointed RSM of a non corps unit yet never held this position within an Artillery unit.   To kick the project off we have now opened up for public viewing the RSM's section of the website.   To date the most comprehensive of these is both the School of Artillery and 16th Air Land Regiment with the other to follow shortly. To view the project to date visit the website, look inside "Moments in History" and select "Regimental Sergeant-Majors".


Therefore if you have been a CO an RSM or MG your input will be greatly appreciated by way of a biography and photograph for use within these sections of the website and your assistance to get the word out there to as many past incumbents of these positions will be considered invaluable.   All contributions should be sent to the Webmaster.


Having read the article immediately above, you will be aware that your contribution will be captured by the National Library of Australia and forevermore made available to the nation for future generations.


Your attention is drawn to the column on the left hand side of Airburst which now includes 3 permanent additions which are a link to the Army Newspaper and the Australian Army Journal as well as the QR code for our website for those wanting to track us down via their smart phone..


The website continues to grow.  A video on the 18 Pounder Update has been added and is accessible via the link on the Home Page immediately below the photo of the 18 Pounder.  A great way to stay in touch with those on the ground rebuilding the 18 Pounder.


The Obituary Resource section continues to grow thanks to Peter Bruce.  The Obituary Resource section will become a significant asset to those historians and researchers over time investigating those who served our corps.   Anyone with information of the passing of one of our colleagues or an obituary should contact Peter Bruce.


The Today's Gunline section of the website also continues to grow and a good example of this is the 8/12 Regiment.   All units regular or reserve are encouraged to take ownership of their respective unit within Today's Gunline with regards the content and layout.  I will endeavour to achieve whatever it is you desire for your particular unit area.   For more information either contact myself, Webmaster or Ian Ahearn.

honourarymembershipHonorary Membership


Congratulations to Mr Alan Smith on being presented with his Honorary Membership of the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company by the Chair, Major General (Retd) Tim Ford AO.


For  eight years Alan was the driving force behind the RAAHC Historical Journal "Cannonball". He was involved in fifty issues of "Cannonball" as a contributor, Assistant Editor and hen from December 2004 to April 2014 as the Editor.   During that time he has contributed his own research, sought input from many Gunners and other sources and cajoled and encouraged others in the Gunner community to submit their contributions.  He has also been a benefactor to the RAAHC financially contributing to several issues of Cannonball.


In addition Alan has assisted the Regiment over the years in recording the history of the RAA.   He has been most active through editing several RAA biographies and publishing two excellent manuscripts, in 2008 his first titled "Gunners in Borneo - Artillery during confrontation 1962 - 1966" and last year an excellent book on our Locators titled "Do Unto Others - Counter Bombardment in Australia's Military Campaigns".


Well done, thank you and and congratulations Alan on your Honorary Membership of the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company.