eNewsletter September 2017

8 1812 OVERTURE ON 29 TH MARCH 2014 By Richard Marshall In 2014 I took myself to Southbank to witness the RAA band performing a Beat the Retreat, orchestral pieces, and then performing the “1812 Overture”, with suitable cannon effect!!! As I was wandering around prior to the arrival of Her Excellency, Governor Penelope Wensley, AC, I introduced myself to the Artillery Captain in charge of the Saluting Guns. I mentioned I was associated with “A” Bty, QPA at the Fort. I also re-introduced myself to Her Excellency as we had met at the 140 th Anniversary of the internment in Toowong Cemetery of Governor Wensley Bowen. “A” Bty, QPA having fired a 17 gun salute on that day. The Artillery captain allowed me inside the safety fencing. After the Beat the Retreat and the Band transforming into a concert band, the time arrived for the commencement of the performance of the 1812 Overture. I had stupidly forgot to bring a tripod, the Captain suggested I use the sandbags which held the audio speakers steady. Lying prostate on the ground, I manually focused the camera onto the four 105mm howitzers. Knowing the orchestral piece quite well, I was ready for the gunfire. Camera set to continuous shooting (7 fps). After all was finished, Her Excellency and her host, Brigadier G.C.Bilton, CSC, ADC were departing, Her Excellency said to me, “I hope you haven’t put your back out”, then turned to the Brigadier and commented, “I want these photographs”. Another lady whose son was performing asked me what was I doing with the photos, just said for my private use. We went through the photos on the camera, me commenting “S**T, delete”.She gave me her address for me to send her a DVD afterwards. It wasn’t until I got home, that this photo literally exploded from the back off the camera. Was so chuffed. I had been in contact with the Brigadier’s ADC, and sent a DVD to 7 Brigade H.Q. A month later they sent me a wonderful book on the history of the Brigade, together with annotation that a DVD had also been sent to Her Excellency.