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Gunner Signallers' Club

Queensland

 

 

Contacts

Gunner Signallers' Club

 

Who

are the

Gunner Signallers?

 

The GUNNER SIGNALLER’S CLUB consists of members of 9 and 10 Section, 23 Platoon, “D” (DON) Company, 11 National Service Training Battalion, Wacol, 6th August – 11 November, 1951 being part of the first Army National Service Scheme ( The Guinea Pigs ).

Our Platoon Commander, then Sergeant, Harry Brodie, Platoon Sergeant, Bruce Cowan and Company Commander, the then Captain, Tom Collins also joined the Club on its formation in 1990. Tom retired from the ARA as a Lieutenant Colonel but, sadly, died in 1997.

Happily, since inception, the Club has been joined by a welcome number of Fellow Members. During this time Harry, Tom and our Platoon Sergeant, Bruce Cowan, were accorded Life Membership of the Club.

23 Platoon consisted of 47 members, 24 in 9 Section and 23 in 10 Section but not all have joined the club as some were deceased at the time of formation and some opted not to join.

 

When

was the

Club

formed?

 

The Club was formed in 1990 after our President, Nigel Stevens, discovered that some members of 9 Section were to hold a get-together, something they had done a few times over the years.

A similar get-together, of as may 10 Section members that could be traced, was then organised. At this meeting it was decided to contact 9 Section members with the intention of organising a 40th Anniversary Reunion. This was held at the United Service Club on the 6th August, 1991 and here it was that 9 Section members became part of the Gunner Signaller’s Club.

Annual reunions have been held ever since with special events being our 60th and 70th Birthday Celebration Reunions in 1993 and 2003 and the 50th Anniversary of our National Service Training on the 6th August, 2001.

After Wacol, the two Sections having been trained as Gunner Signallers, were allotted to CMF Artillery Regiments, 9 Section to 11 FD REGT, RAA and 10 Section to 3 LAA/SL REGT, RAA, both situated at Kelvin Grove ( later Gona Barracks ). Not all members went to these Units as some (bank employees and the like) were transferred to country areas and Units. The reason our Club newsletter is titled “COCK O’ THE WALK”; is that 23 Platoon, being superior to all the rest of the Battalion, won that competition towards the end of the intake at Wacol. The competition later became the “Telegraph Shield”.

Some achievements of the Club have been the conduct of a survey of members as to the possibility of the re-introduction of National Service. The results of that survey were that “a compulsory scheme be introduced to cater to the training of both 18 year old male and female residents of Australia and consisting of a period of Full Time and periods of Part Time training and that the scheme should involve both Civil as well as Defence Force training. The comprehensive and tabulated results of the survey were sent to organizations thought interested as well as the Federal Government of the Commonwealth of Australia and its Opposition.

In 1995 our Annual Reunion was organised to celebrate the 1945 – 1995 Australia Remembers Campaign. At this function of note we had the pleasure of four WW2 Guest Speakers as well as a number WW2 Veteran Guests.

 

 

Distinguished

members?

 

It is with pride that we view the Military Service of our Platoon as:

  • one member served to become a Major General,
  • six rose to Captain,
  • one to Warrant Officer Class One and,
  • ten were promoted to Sergeant.

Two of these were honoured with the appointment of service decorations of AO & MBE during their Army careers.

At our 2003, 70th Birthday Celebration Reunion, our Life Member, Harry Brodie, was elevated to be PATRON of the Gunner Signallers’ Club and, as such, presented Septuagenarian Certificates to all those 1st Intakers present.

The Gunner Signallers’ Club has been, and will be, honoured by Reunion Guest Speakers who have all given quality and most interesting presentations. Over the years we have become corporate members of the National Servicemen’s Association of Australia and members have participated in their City marches.

Preserving

History

 

We have also become a corporate member of the RAA Historical Company. With the administrative assistance of our Club, in 2004 we have been able to place a WW1 AUSTRALIAN ARTILLERY BANNER that was originally presented in 1962 to 11 Fd Regt, RAA for safekeeping and parading, to the care of the Royal Australian Artillery National Museum situated at North Fort, Manly, NSW.

[The Australian Artillery National Museum is currently in storage at Bandiana pending the development ]

Below: Secretary, Rob Collins MBE commits the banner to LTCOL John Macpherson MBE, then President of the RAAHC in the presence of LTCOL Noel Hansom RFD ED.

 

Other Projects

In conjunction with others, the club has been involved with documenting the history of the Kelvin Grove Depot.

Artillery Units at Kelvin Grove

A tribute to their guns and gunners

 

 

After 18 months of intensive research, editing, compilation and printing this book has come to fruition and is now available to all interested.

 

The book was launched by Major General Peter Arnison, AO, CVO, Chancellor of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and past Governor of Queensland, at the Kelvin Grove Urban Village Community Hub.

 

It is to the QUT that many thanks are extended for their wonderful support. Thanks are also due to the Brisbane City Council towards the printing of the book.

Eight former gunners, by forming a team titled “The Kelvin Grove Artillery Historical Group”, and consisting of two Colonels, a Lieutenant Colonel, a Major, two Captains, a Warrant Officer Class One and a Sergeant, all retired, became authors for the eras:

  • The Great War (1915-1919), Arthur Burke;
  • Between the Wars (1920-1939), Arthur Burke;
  • Second World War (1939-1942), Con Lucey;
  • Post World War 2 (1948-1950), Con Lucey;
  • National Service (1951-1959), David Burgess, Gerry Keates and Nigel Stevens;
  • Pentropic Division (1960-1964),
  • John Duncan; Vietnam (1965-1972), Rob Collins; and
  • Post Vietnam (1973-1988), Rex Kirkham.

1988 saw the end of Artillery at Kelvin Grove. During the eras there is also coverage of the Artillery Band which, in 1988, moved to Gallipoli Barracks at Enoggera with this information being obtained from former Band Master WO1 David Kindness.

 

All the above, plus an Artillery Background, was edited and published by our Colonel Commandant Northern Region and Co-author, Arthur Burke, with Rex Kirkham being the instigator of the idea of a book thought necessary to cover those historical eras. Besides the guns and other equipment used by the units Command Postings have also been included.

 

The book is of 50 pages with a solid cover in colour with 8 of those pages devoted to illustrations of guns, gunners and special occasions. There is also a detailed map of former Artillery Barracks superimposed with the present layout of the Village.

 

While copies of the book are still available download an Order Form, and send your $6.50 cheque or money order made out and addressed to [as at Nov 2011]:

 

COL A Burke OAM
7 Aspley Court
ASPLEY QLD 4034

 

By the way, if you’re ever around the Kelvin Grove area, make sure you have a look at the wonderful development of the Village and see all the heritage listed barracks that have been retained.