3rd Field Regiment RAA Association

ISSUE No.1/2003      FEBRUARY 2003

(President’s report)

Welcome to the first edition of Take Post for 2003.

Gunners Day on 3 November was again well organized and well attended. As 2002 was the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Al Alamein it was very pleasing to have as Reviewing Officer Lt. Col Roger Fitzhardinge, who served in that desert conflict. It was also good to see another CO Col George Earnshaw in attendance. For the first time in many years we also had our Colours on parade, with the BC Maj Scott Sullivan leading the guns and gunners of 7 Bty at the head of the parade.

On to this year, with our next major event being Anzac Day. There again will be a dawn service at HAP followed by a gun fire breakfast. This event was well attended last year and I encourage all members to make the effort as it is a good start to the day and you don’t have to fight the traffic at Kings park. We are also planning to have a bus available to transport us to and from the march in Perth.

We are attempting to re organize the order of march for the Perth parade and have all the gunners march as one, behind the Royal Australian Artillery Association banner. Unit formations will still march together identified with their own placards. This formation will allow gunners from any unit not represented in WA to join us. Hopefully this will also encourage the many gunners who march with other organizations to change camps. So if you haven’t marched for a while this is the year to get back into stride. Remember if you have a beret wear it or order one from Tom Arnautovic

Under the ever energetic direction of Gabby D’Uva plans for the construction of a permanent memorial at HAP for all the Gunner Units from WA are unfolding. A well constructed scale model will be on display on Anzac Day for comments and input.

Our web site (www.artillerywa.org.au) continues to grow and we now have an email address (info@artillerywa.org.au) for all correspondence. To cover the cost of this facility we are seeking expressions of interest from members who may wish to advertise their business or services on the web site. With the addition of the RAAHS information on The Leighton Battery Heritage Site, hits to the web site are increasing rapidly, not only from members but the general public. If you are interested send Tom an email.

We have been again invited by the BC to attend an LFX at Lancelin, the date is Sat 17 May.  Transport will be available to and from the range from Lancelin. It is basically a day trip but for those interested in sleeping over in the rain, on the ground, with the ticks, this can be arranged. Please contact Tom Arnautovic ASAP of interested.

I would like to welcome to WA the new Training Officer of 7 BTY Capt Michael Hartas. I trust your stay with us is long and rewarding.

I look forward to seeing you on Anzac Day

Peter Rowles


Leighton Battery Heritage Site

Meeting in CP

Ron Jaeger, Les Herbert, Jim Clements, Peter Rowles & John O'Brien
enjoying the "sausage sizzle"


Brigadier Richard (Dick) Lawler was educated at Katanning Senior High School and Aquinas College, Perth. He entered the Army as an Officer Cadet at the Officer Cadet School, Portsea and was allocated to the Royal Australian Artillery on graduation in June 1966.

After Corps training, Brigadier Lawler was posted to 4th Field Regiment and served With that unit on active service in South Vietnam as a Forward Observation Officer supporting rifle companies of the 7th and 2nd Battalions, The Royal Australian Regiment.

This was followed by postings to the 28th Commonwealth Brigade, Far East land Force at Terendak Garrison, Malaysia, as a gun position officer with 14th Light Regiment, Royal Artillery. He was promoted to lieutenant during this time. After the withdrawal of the British forces from the Far East in 1969 he was posted to 108th Field Battery (Independent) at Selarang Garrison, Singapore.

On return to Australia in September 1970 he was promoted to Captain and posted to the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion at Puckapunyal as a Training Company Second-In-Command. This was followed by a posting to Headquarters Puckapunyal Area as a Staff Captain (Accommodation and Works).
In 1972 he returned to regimental duty with 4th Field Regiment serving as Adjutant and Battery Commander. On promotion to Major in January 1977 he was posted as the Training Officer of 23rd Field Regiment. This was followed by an exchange posting as an instructor at the UK Royal School of Artillery, Larkhill from October 1977 to November 1979.

He attended the Australian Staff College in 1980. Following this Brigadier Lawler was posted to Headquarters Training Command in January 1981 and served as a Staff Officer Grade 2 in Doctrine Branch. His main responsibility was managing the production of publications in the Manual of Land Warfare Part Two for the Armoured, Artillery, Engineers and Aviation Corps.

On 12 May 1984 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and posted as Staff Officer Grade One (Operations) on the Divisional Artillery Headquarters Staff at Headquarters 1 st Division, Enoggera. His final appointment in the Australian Regular Army was as the Project Director of the AUSTACCS Testbed in Enoggera for phase two of that project throughout 1986 and 1987.

On 21 December 1987 he transferred to the part-time Army and was posted to the Reserve Command and Staff College: initially as a tactics instructor in 1988/89, then as Chief Instructor from 1990 to 1994. On 5 April 1994 he was promoted to Colonel and appointed as Director Army Personnel Agency?Perth. He was then appointed Commander 5th Training Group on 29 April 1996.

On 10 January 1998 he was promoted to Brigadier and assumed the appointment of Commander 13th Brigade until December 2000. He was appointed as the Colonel Commandant Western Region with effect 1 June 2001.

Brigadier Lawler is married and he and his wife Jude have three adult sons.



Our membership remains static at 121 members.  To increase our numbers, members are once again urged to be ambassadors for the Association and encourage old Gunner Mates to join up ( Ring Secretary Tom 93323309 or email info@artillerywa.org.au for application forms).

In our last Take Post we advised members that Berets and RAA badges were available and it was great to see the increased number of members wearing Berets at Gunners Day 2002.  We currently have 3 large and 3 medium berets still available at cost of $15 which includes RAA badge, please contact Secretary Tom to purchase.  Berets can also be purchased from Military surplus stores or from the Clothing Store at Karrakatta by providing name and regimental number and paying cash.  Lets have full compliment of members with Berets at this years Anzac Day Service.

Anzac Day 2003

Commences with a Dawn Service hosted by the Colonel Commandant and the BC 7 Field Battery RAA at Hobbs Artillery Park.  Form up time is 0530 hrs.  Please allow time to be cleared by security at the main Irwin Barracks entrance.

Following the Dawn Service members are invited to join  Battery personnel for a Gunner Breakfast. (last years was a hearty breakfast of sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, baked beans, toast, rum and coffee)

This year we will be hiring a bus to take members into Perth for the Anzac Day March and returning to Hobbs Artillery Park directly after the service. To cover hire costs a small fee will be charged for the bus trip.  Using a bus will certainly save parking and traffic congestion problems in Perth. Departure time will be 0800. For those wishing to book a seat on the bus please advise Secretary Tom 93323309 or email info@artillerywa.org.au

Following the Anzac Day March all members are invited to join Battery personnel for an afternoon of catching up with mates old and new in the drill hall at Hobbs Artillery Park. A light luncheon will be available at nominal cost.

So, plan your day from the Gunners Dawn Service, Gunner Breakfast, bus into Perth, March & Service and fellowship in the afternoon at Hobbs Artillery Park (HAP). If not able to attend the Dawn Service at HAP but intending to go to Anzac Day March consider parking your vehicle at HAP and bussing into Perth on our hire bus. Similarly if you are provided a lift into Perth and wish to join the bus for the trip back to HAP great,  but you must book a seat, so make sure you contact  Secretary Tom so you don't miss out. Email info@artillerywa.org.au

World War II Tunnels at Mosman Park One of the assets the RAA Historical Society looks after is the World War II tunnels at the Leighton Battery Heritage Site at Mosman Park.  Members can obtain information via the website www.artillerywa.org.au clicking on RAA Historical Society scroll to Leighton Battery Heritage Site and clicking to view information about the site. The site is open to the public at fee of $5 pp on the first Sunday of each Month 1000-1530 hrs. So if you have not visited take the opportunity to view the restorations and history of these coastal defence tunnels.  An opportunity is also available to become a volunteer guide at the tunnels.  Training is provided as a guide and tis a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the gunner heritage. Any one interested can ring Secretary Tom 93323309 or speak to any of the guides at the site on open day.

Tom Arnautovic OAM
Hon Secretary


3 Nov 2002

BC 7th Field Battery 3rd Field Regiment RAA Report

The Bty had a very busy and productive year in 2002, despite a number of equipment and ammunition issues that impacted on our ability to conduct live firing.  We were able to develop a number of areas within the Bty and, in particular, we worked very hard to overhaul a number of our administrative processes.  Unit specific SOP's were produced by WO2 Matt Sullivan and Unit Standing Orders were produced by CAPT Lachlan Burg.  These two documents will have a strong and ongoing impact on our training and they provide a framework for field and barracks activities that was previously somewhat lacking.  The hard work of the Bty Recruiting Cell, under SGT 'Vic' Morrow, started to show results in 2002, and this improvement is expected to continue in 2003 with SGT Rob Aitken serving as the full time Bty Recruiting SGT.

The coming year will see the Bty conduct five artillery live firing training weekends and an Annual Field Exercise (AFX) that concentrates purely on gunnery.  There will be an emphasis on basic principles and drills and our SOP's will be given a broad workout and reviewed at the years end.  It is expected that we will be regularly taking three guns into the field and we hope to be competitive for the Mt Schanck trophy in our assessment phase of the AFX.  We also hope to raise a detachment in Rockingham this year.  The Brigade expects to open a Multi User Depot (MUD) there towards the middle of the year and 7 Fd Bty will be recruiting solidly in the region - SGT Aitken will be one of the hardest working members of the Bty in 2003!

The key personnel at the Bty have changed a little in 2003.  We have a new Training Officer; he is CAPT Michael Hartas and he has already settled in well at the Bty and into Perth.  He is married to Bree and they are both looking forward to an enjoyable time in the West for the next couple of years.  CAPT Paul Sofield has returned to the Bty as the BK and it is worth mentioning here that he was the recipient of a Prince of Wales Award in 2002.  WO2 Sullivan is still working hard as the SMIG and even harder as the acting BSM.  WO2 Col Turner is still the BQMS and keeping me on the straight and narrow.  WO2 Ian Hodgkins has also returned to the Bty after a stint at WAUR and is the BG.  We also have a new Chief Clerk, SGT Stephen Phillips, who has quickly jumped into improving our administrative processes.  I will say the Bty is in good hands this year with this staff and their motivation and professionalism is already having a noticeable impact.

There are a number of issues that have the potential to negatively effect training this year.  The matter of Lancelin Range as an artillery training area is still not fully resolved.  Our ability to service the guns has improved but is still not where we would like it to be.  We also continue to have manning issues, exacerbated by the growing number of trade courses required by Bty members to be fully qualified.  Regardless of these matters, morale is high, attendance is good and the training is interesting and challenging.  2003 should be a very good year for the Bty and I look forward to giving you regular updates in throughout the coming months.

Scott Sullivan MAJ BC
26 Feb 03



Setting the Record Straight - Pages from the Defence History of Rottnest
Date: 21 - 22 June  2003        Times:   Depart for Rottnest  10:00 AM  21 June
Return from Rottnest 4:00 PM 22 June

A weekend seminar presented by the Defence Heritage Committee of the National Trust of Australia (WA) in cooperation with the Rottnest Island Authority. Presentations will examine issues associated with internment, coast defence, aboriginal imprisonment, women and war, warders and keepers and Imperial strategy. Seminar package will include return transportation, most meals, conference dinner, accommodation in Governor's Circle - Kingstown Barracks and behind the scenes tours and briefings.
There will be a limited number of places available for this seminar. Please record your interest now to receive the registration package which will be distributed in mid-March.
Contact: Zoe at National Trust of Australia (WA)
Phone: (08) 9321 6088    Fax: (08) 9324 1571
Email: trust@ntwa.com.au  URL: http://www.ntwa.com.au


Artillery Memorial
Hobbs Artillery Park
Concept Model

 View from NW
 Looking East
 View from SW
Click on thumbnail to view larger image.
Model prepared by Gaby D'Uva

The Memorial which is yet to be fully endorsed by different Committees including the Army Office will be a focal point to reflect on past members.

The Memorial will be built from limestone on a concrete plinth. About 7 m in length on a slight arc, 1.5 m high, with raked edges.

It will have the Artillery Crest, lettering and plaques naming WA Arty Units that saw action overseas. If project gets green light, hopefully it will be erected by Anzac Day 2004.

Public comments can be submitted to Secretary RAA Association, PO Box 881, Claremont, WA 6910 or by email info@artillerywa.org.au


Warning Orders


Dawn Service 
Hobbs Artillery Park Karrakatta

Gunner Breakfast afterwards

Gunner Bus * departing Karrakatta to Perth 0800 hrs

Perth City March & Service 

Gunner Bus * Perth back to Karrakatta

Fellowship at Hobbs Artillery Park
1230 hrs

* Small levy per person for bus trip (cost TBC depending upon No’s)

Forward RSVP to PO Box 881 Claremont WA 6910 or email to 
     info@artillerywa.org.au or ring Tom 9332 3309

Membership for the year 2002 to 2003 is now due. 
Fees  still  $10.00
Post to 
PO Box 881 Claremont WA 6910


Committee Contacts:

President  Peter Rowles W 9359 1280 H9246 3941
Vice President Ron Jager W 9420 2231 H9457 2166
Secretary Tom Arnautovic W9430 3428 H9332 3309
Treasurer Gabby D'Uva Mob 0407476425 H93001937
Committee Ray Bird W9380 9388 H9446 5520
Committee Ted Barton H9479 6382
Editor Peter Farrell H9246 1367
Committee Ken Hepworth Mob 0419907356 H9294 2275
Committee / Web John O’Brien W9273 7157 H9339 8615

Membership fee is $10 pa.

Hon Secretary
3 Fd Regt RAA Association
PO Box 881

Telephone + 61 8 93323309
email:  info@artillerywa.org.au

Members are requested to advise Secretary of contact name & addresses of former 3rd Fd Regt personnel and application for membership kits will be forwarded direct.


‘TAKE POST’ is published by 3rd Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery Association as a service to members. Any articles or editorial comment should be submitted to the Editor:

Peter Farrell
3rd Fd Regt RAA Association
email: peterfar@bigpond.net.au