eNewsletter September 2017

RAA Liaison Letter 2017 – Autumn Edition 5 Representative Colonel Commandant Brigadier AG (Gerry) Warner AM, LVO (Retd) Dear Fellow Gunners Another Anzac Day has passed with the nation continuing to commemorate the momentous battles and events of World War I. Like many others, I have felt a need to better my knowledge and understanding of the Australian involvement in that war, and recently revisited The Nek – A Gallipoli Tragedy by Peter Burness. This story of the awful events of 7th August 1915, when Australian light horsemen suffered terrible losses charging the Turkish rifles and machine guns, became well known through Peter Weir’s film Gallipoli . Burness provides fascinating studies of key participants and their roles, and there are enduring lessons for the soldiers of today – unity of command, the necessity for coordination and the importance of using Gunner time being standouts. In the Autumn 2016 Liaison Letter, I remarked on the sterling work being done by the History Sub Committee (HSC) of our Regimental Committee. I am pleased to advise that after a wait of five years, the HSC convened at the School of Artillery in mid-May. The Chair of the HSC, Brigadier John Cox, reported very positively, thus: The meeting reviewed progress on the longer term projects it sponsors and was pleased to report on the completion of a number. Publication of history pieces has occurred on the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company website; for example ‘Gunners of Renown’ and ‘RAA Memorials and Monuments’. Good progress was reported on the ‘National Artillery Register’ which identifies and tells the story behind many of Australia’s heritage artillery pieces; NSW is complete and Tasmania is about to be published. The HSC via the RAAHC contact point appreciates photographs of heritage guns in barracks and the public domain. The HSC also examined its performance in its responsiveness to quick tasks in direct support of the Regiment, examples are: naming of units and sub-units, naming of prizes and awards, planned history publications ensuring accuracy of historical material used by the regiment (including Standing Orders). The HSC met with the CO/CI of the School, who outlined his requirements as well as his support for the HSC. A new Terms of Reference for the HSC, strengthening its direct support role, was endorsed and is to be considered by myself and the Head of regiment. I observe that the HSC is a valuable Regimental capability; it comprises a networked group of artillery history specialists from across Australia. Members of the Regiment are welcome to contact the HSC for assistance. Major John Blylevens has joined the HSC and brings a wealth of artillery experience and pivotal involvement in the Gunner community, and on behalf of the Regimental Committee, I warmly welcome him. John replaces Colonel Don Rae as the representative of Western Australia. As Don stands down, I record the Regimental Committee’s heartfelt appreciation for his unwavering passion and commitment, frank and considered opinions, expertise and knowledge, and always his comradeship. I am confident Don will continue to be a Gunner of influence in the West! The Regimental Committee remains concerned with our history and traditions, but also importantly has great interest in the motivation of the Gunners of 2017 and the recognition and encouragement of excellence within the RAA. During a Remembrance Day ceremony at Regimental