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Newsletter No. 110 June 2001


Routine Orders

Last Post

Mrs Winifred Louise Black Associate Life Member and wife of the late Derek Hugh Black.
Mrs Averill Jones Associate Life Member and wife of the late David Jones,
on 9th March in Wanganui.

New Members

Captain Robert Barker and John Nagle. Return to top

From the Editor

Destruction of New Zealand's Military Heritage

The above is the heading of an article copied from the October 2000 "Guns and Hunting" Magazine. It would appear that because a soldier stole a deactivated display weapon from an army mess orders were issued to remove all display weapons from such premises. (The weapon was recovered and the soldier punished.)

The article also stated that a similar demand was sent to RSA Clubs that may have army-donated weapons on display. It is also understood that some of the weapons recovered were forwarded to the Army Museum and the rest were destroyed.

The article continued. "Apparently any display weapons donated in the past to RSAs were still considered army property - whether these were a .303 rifle or a 25pdr gun. It is not known how many RSAs complied with the demand or how many items were subsequently seized".

I have only selected portions of the article that I believe are of interest or concern to our members. When a weapon is being used for criminal activities it is next to impossible to tell if it has been deactivated. For this reason some form of security should be used when they are on display. I understand there is now a requirement for display weapons to be held under the licence of a registered collector and some RSAs may find it difficult to comply with this regulation. Is the removal of these weapons a step too far? Has your RSA complied with the demand?

The New Zealand Armed Forces Memorial Project (NZAFMP)

Gary Morris and Donna Mills have started a project to record the names of all New Zealand service men and women, those who have returned to New Zealand and those who gave their lives. The information is to be made available by way of a Website and can be found at:
This is a mammoth protect there are over 30,000 names recorded of Kiwis who gave their lives in wars, 3000 of these in NZ alone. Donna and Gary are looking for help, in particular they are looking for volunteers to photograph and transcribe war graves and memorials in New Zealand and overseas or they would like existing photographs with notes on who where etc. If you can help their Email address is: [email protected]. Postal address is: PO Box 2284, South Dunedin, DUNEDIN.

The Modern Gun

The following paragraph is copied, with permission from the Royal Australian Artillery Association "GUNFIRE" news letter.
Guns are getting an increasing variety of additional devices. Some armies now have a Muzzle Velocity radar on every gun, dial sights are rapidly being replaced by on-board position finding and orienting devices and automatic laying, fully 'hands off' in some cases. Air Conditioning is considered essential for turreted guns in hot climates; ballistic calculations are starting to be done by on-board computers and sensors for barrel temperature and bad ram added. Some have laser range finders to compliment their day/night direct fire sights. This all needs power. Automated turret magazines are becoming normal in SP's and reducing detachment size is increasingly important in western armies.

One must ask the question "if all else fails can the modern gunner still use a slide rule"?

Edna Pearce

Edna Pearce was a police woman who was in charge of a group of Japanese women and children intems, in NZ, during WWII. The Japanese called her "Missu Pearce". Peter McCully wants to make a film about Edna Pearce and asks if any of our members can help with any information about her. Some of the action takes place on Whenuapai Airbase and the crash of the US Liberator there is part of the story. If you can help, Peter's Email address is: [email protected], or you can post any information to me to pass on to Peter.

Sons and Daughters in Touch (SDIT)

This is the name of a website, largely USA based, that may be of value to anyone trying to find out more about servicemen/wornen, for whatever reason. The site is used a lot by people trying to trace missing or deceased folk from the Vietnam War. The site also has many links to other sites that may be of interest to veterans and families. The site is at http://www.sdit org/.

Narrow Neck Camp Memorial Gateway Plaque

Red Potts is trying to trace the whereabouts of a plaque that was removed from the Memorial Gateway at Narrow Neck Camp, later Fort Cautley, laterHMNZS Tamaki and now Point Takapuna. DOC now administer the area and are willing to reinstate the plaque if it can be found. When the Navy took over the camp the gates were reorganised. At that time old gunners were understandably upset as the gates were a memorial to the thousands of gunners who served, during the war, in the old Northern District Training Camp prior to their posting overseas. With the opening of the old camp as an historical reserve it is becoming a popular place and it would be appropriate to restore the gates.

If any one can help, in any way, including the wording on the plaque, Red will he delighted to hear from you. His address is 4A North Avenue, Devonport, Phone 09 445 7549, Email [email protected].

Brian Jackson's Museum

This museum, in Devonport Auckland, is once again open to the public and now has a Venison Restaurant attached. There is a special deal for groups of ten or more which includes a Museum Visit followed by a visit to the Navy Museum then a meal at the Venison Restaurant. If you are interested ring Joseph Cameron on 09 446 3:236, Brian Jacksons Museum is a little different than a normal museum. It has variety of collections and has a lot of memorabilia that most people will be able to relate to.

Taupo Reunion and AGM 9, 10, 11 Nov

T'he Spa Hotel has not been sold and will be available again this year. We will have the same accommodation available as in the past. I am not sure what the costs will be, these will be notified in the September News Letter. If you wish to book early you can let me know your requirements now.

At the lime of printing several units of the Army Leave Centre at Acacia Bay were still available. The phone number for booking these is: 0800 111 823.

Deployment and Procedure for a Survey Troop R.A. (Continued from NL 109)

Appendix (1) General Hints for Survey Parties.

  1. When results (if any) are handed to the Calculating Bombardier always assert in a loud voice with a confident manner, that the results are absolutely correct. Failure to do this may breed distrust in the Calculating Bombardier's heart and cause him to order his gunner to recompute results that will lead to more observations.
  2. If the RSO wants to site a BP in an area under fire and wastage of gunners has been high other possibilities may be considered:
    1. Tell the RSO that no Trigs can be observed from there.
    2. Use psychic co-ords, and promise the RSO he will get a BP Card tomorrow.
    3. Smash your instrument.
  3. Always carry double rations and thermette in the truck. If in doubt the rule should always be - boil up.
  4. To conserve field books always use the backs of envelops or the insides of cigarette packs. Similarly, to conserve pencils go on the assumption that someone else is bound to have one.

APPENDIX (2) Methods of Computing for a Result.

  1. Resection ( in order of suitability)
    1. Drummond's Dilemma (Major Drummond was OC):This is a trial and error method. It works by the fact the greater the error the more the trial. Average computing time: Quiet sunny day, three to four hours. Heavy shell fire, one minute. Accuracy of fix: + or - .001 metres and + or - .01 seconds.
    2. Phychic Circle or R-R's Assumption. (R-R was Captain Rutter-Russell). By this method some co-ords are assumed to be correct. Thus the BP is assumed correct. Average computing time: Quiet sunny day, three to four hours. Heavy shell fire 10 seconds. Accuracy of fix: Probably 1000metres and 10degrees.
    3. Semi-drastic Method: Not recommended for field use as tracing paper is perishable and:
      gets holes jabbed in it,
      has toilet uses, shaving etc, or,
      is illegible.
  2. Intersection: A fix by intersection is used only when the RSO locates a BP behind the front line The computation is based on the assumption that two straight lines may or may not meet. If the lines do not meet, a fix should be obtained by R-R's assumption. If the lines do meet the computation should be done by the Sergeant, who will then send a gunner to erect a BP in place. Accuracy of fix: unknown due to enemy action. Wastage of gunners high also because of enemy action.
  3. Subtense Base: This is a quick method of obtaining distance other than by direct chaining. Thus a line that may take 10 minutes by direct chaining may be worked out by a skilled party of four in five hours using the Subtense Base.
  4. Traverse: In quick traverse work Bearing and Distance should be estimated for each leg. But exact corrections for sag, slope temperature and hangover should be made, also allowance fo deflection of the plumb bob. Results should be obtained to the nearest 1000th of a metre.

To be continued. Return to top

Gunners Day 2001

The lunch time gathering at the Birkenhead RSA was attended by the following: Des & Bunty O'Connor, Jim & Ruby Ross, Vic & Audrey Meyle, Bill & Joyce Powrie, Allan & Elsie Boyd, Iris Boyter, Joan Transom, Joan Wilson, Eric Bickerton, Wally Ruffell, Yogi Young and John Rout.

Roger Newth organised a function in the Lower Hutt Memorial RSA. Excluding rank- the following Old Comrades attended: Doug Adams, Blackie and Shirley Burns, Owen Dance, Dennis Dwane, Con Flinkenberg, Leroy Forrester, David Hughes and partner, Denise Lupo and son, Roger and Lois Newth, Mal Nowill, Lindsay Skinner, Ron and Jo Turner who brought along Bob and Allison Burns, Roger and Jean Wylde.
Roger reports that a few more turned up this year and is hopeful the numbers will continue to in the future.

135 Gunners, attached personnel and partners sat down to the Gunners Day Dinner in the Papakura RSA. Once again it was a huge success well organised by Jeff Waters, Grant Box and the rest of their committee. Too many names to mention who attended however, on the top table were Bill Cooper who was the Dining President, General Ron Hassett, Brigadier Ray Andrews, WOI Paul Galloway, Eric Bickerton and the Papakura RSA President Jack Bunt. It was good to see Allan and Elsie Boyd back again after a couple years away.

Matt Crawley reports that 31 Gunners and partners turned up to the Gunners Day Luncheon at Tauranga RSA. Among those who attended were Graham & Janine Birch, Lloyd Coker & Fay Riddell, Matt Crawley & Rita Moore, Mike & Elva Dakin, Bert & Shirley Dyson, Hugh Gibson & Helen Saffill, Keith & Betty Giles, Ron Greaves, Eileen Rutledge, Tim & Marie Kirk, Doug & Carolyn Moore (Tauranga RSA President), Ben & Doreen Relf, Alistair Ross, Lin & Pauline Smith, Tom & Jessie Verran and Gordon & Nora Weaver from Auckland. Graham Birch proposed the toast to the Regiment and Gordon Weaver to absent friends.


The website address is . We're getting about 2500 visitors a week to the website, and one of them has asked "When did Japanese aircraft overfly Auckland and did a Jap submarine enter the harbour? Did an American aircraft explode on the Hobsonville airfield during takeoff?" If you can help with the answers tell the Secretary or the Webmaster. Don't miss upcoming articles from Wally Ruffell (equipments) and John Masters (Borneo). If you want to add your own work to the website, don't hesitate to contact the Webmaster on ph 06 327 8831, or mail Catherine Rivers, RD3, Marton.

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