From The Secretary's Desk

Hearty greetings to all members of the 2nd / 3rd LAA Regt Association and welcome to the Association's Annual General Meeting and Reunion Luncheon.

As has been the case for several years (since our web site was established), most enquires are received through our website or by email. The Association Research Officer David McDonald handles the more detailed responses. (Please refer to the Sentry's Log for some examples of enquires in this year's Take Post)

This past twelve months little correspondence has directly come across my desk apart from the odd phone call or email towards the end of the calendar year in 2020.

One such phone call was from Kate Houghton who had a copy of On Target given to her parents by former President and joint author Ron Bryant. The book, signed by all three of the joint authors - C.J.E Rae, A.L. Harris and R.K. Bryant - also contained a typed history letter from Ron. Further to some discussion, Kate donated this valuable and rare signed copy of On Targetto the Association for safe keeping, and for passing on to a descendant of an original service member of the Regiment. We are very grateful for this generous donation.

The Year in Review

I continue to receive phone calls from descendants of members of other anti-aircraft regiments seeking identification of former war veterans. These calls are usually received after family members have researched the Internet, and frequently reflect that:

                  . Most WW2 Associations have been wound up, or Regiment Associations have not existed.

                  . Very few Associations have a website, particularly Australian Anti-Aircraft Regiment Associations.

                  .  A Web search under "Anti-Aircraft" will invariably bring up our 2nd / 3rd web site.

Whilst we are unable to answer all these enquires, we do endeavour to provide sufficient information for them to be followed up by the enquirees. The repetitive nature of many enquires are now handled via our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) component of the Association's web site.

During the year 2020 / 2021 the Association was advised of the passing of the following original service members.

John Marshall                                                      (NX20486)                                    8th Battery                 

Dave Humphreys                                                 (VX35094)                                    7th Battery                  

Ian Barker                                                           (VX31735)                                    7th Battery                 

These are sad and regrettable events and we should be grateful that these men returned home to their families to live and lead long lives, and provide inspiration for future generations.

The passing of these veterans leaves the Association with only one surviving original member of the Regiment with whom we are in regular contact - out of 1,935 members who fought with the 2nd / 3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment during WW2. There are possibly another four surviving war veterans, but we have been unable to contact them, and have not received any information regarding their whereabouts or passing for several years.

Donations

The Association continues to receive donations from members, enabling us to continue to underwrite the cost of the AGM / Reunion, and undertake maintenance of our web site, produce Take Post and to fund any unscheduled technical up-grade to our site.

Thank you to all members who have made donations throughout the year, and in particular Dot Harris, Doreen Bryant, Dorothy Donelly, Trish Slattery and Anne Rae.

The Association is very grateful and appreciates all donations to enable the continuance of this wonderful Association in remembrance of the original members of the 2nd / 3rd A.L.A.A. Regiment.

2nd/3rd Website

The Association web site is working well. The number of spam emails has significantly reduced since the inclusion of RECAPTCHA requirement for the website in 2019. The remainder are dealt with by Treasurer Colin Bragg and Research Officer David McDonald who maintain a regular watch on day to day activities.

Website / server updates and security procedures are referred to Malcolm Romano from Designsense Web, for any necessary action.

Remembrance Group

The Remembrance Group continues to remain the around the same numbers, approximately 90 members, of whom 50 attended the 2019 AGM / Reunion Luncheon...... a very good attendance. In 2020 the Association AGM/Reunion was cancelled in April, due to the Government Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings and distancing measures for meetings in venues such as the RACV. These restrictions have now been eased, and we are now able to conduct our regular AGM / Reunion for 2021.

In 2019 we had two original service members, John Campbell and the late John Marshall, who thoroughly enjoyed AGM/ Reunion and Luncheon.

Please remember to advise myself or Colin Bragg (Treasurer) of any changes to your address, email and phone numbers, so we can keep in touch with further developments or events that maybe forthcoming later in the year. 

 

Shooting Through

Shooting Through is a book written by Katrina Kittel on Campo 106 escaped POW's after the Italian armistice. On Saturday 29th February, 2020 I attended Katrina's book launch at (ROTA) Tobruk House, Victoria Avenue, Albert Park in Melbourne on behalf of the 2nd/3rd and my father who was one of 90 POW's in this Campo 106. The launch was well attended, a bit like a writers festival panel.

This book is also dedicated to the late Bill Rudd who died on the 29th October, 2019, whose POW experience parallels the authors father and many of the POW's on the run in Italy. Bill Rudd was an authority on POW history in Europe.

Shooting Through, is thoroughly researched and well written, presents a window into the soul and decision making of the POW's in their relationships with themselves, authorities and local Italians.

The book gave me an insight and better understanding of how my father and others survived as a POW, while trying to cross over the Alps / Italian border to freedom in Switzerland. My father never discussed his war experiences with family...... sworn to secrecy amongst the veterans, and he always kept it to himself.  

For orders, and signed copies of this book, email the author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. buy through online re-sellers listed here: https://www.echobooks.com.au/history/shooting-through/

Thank you and kind regards to all. Malcolm Wrigglesworth, Honorary Secretary.

From The Secretary's Desk

Welcome and greetings to all members and guests for the 2020, 2nd / 3rd ALAA Regiment Association AGM and Annual Luncheon at this excellent RACV venue.

As has been the case since we established our web site, most enquires are received through the website or by email. Association Research Officer David McDonald handles the more detailed responses. (Please refer to the Sentry's Log for some examples of enquiries in this year's Take Post)

This past twelve months very little correspondence has come across my desk apart from a couple of phone calls towards the end of the calendar year and early this year.

One such phone call was from Foster and Katherine Crooke asking whether we would like an article for Take Post relating to their two trips to World War Two sites in the islands of Papa New Guinea in May and December 2019.(We are pleased to include Foster and Katherine's story in this issue of Take Post)

The Year in Review

I continue to receive phone calls from descendants of members of the 2nd/3rd and other anti-aircraft Regiments seeking information regarding former war veterans. These calls are usually received after family members have searched the internet, and frequently reflect that:

                  . Most WW2 Associations have been wound up, or Regiment Associations have not existed.

                  . Very few Associations have a website, particularly Australian Anti-Aircraft Regiment Associations.

                  .  A Web search under "Anti-Aircraft" will invariably bring up our 2nd / 3rd web site.

Whilst we are unable to answer all these enquiries, we do endeavour to provide sufficient information for them to be followed up by the enquirees.

The Association Committee normally meets every six months, but due to elected committee members either being unavailable on specific dates, or touring overseas, these meetings did not proceed over the past twelve months. Committee contact for matters that need to be discussed have been via email or phone discussion, with any priority items needing to be proposed and accepted by the majority of Committee members. Future committee meetings will be planned well ahead, with one to be arranged after this year's AGM.

The Association has not been advised of the passing of any original service members since the 2019 AGM.

Our records indicate there are only four surviving original service members, of the 1,935 original service members of the 2nd / 3rd ALAA Regiment, that we are able to contact.

Similarly, our records indicate there are possibly another four original members we have been unable to contact for over two years, and about whom we have not received any information regarding their whereabouts or passing.

Donations

The Association continues to receive donations from members, enabling us to continue to underwrite the cost of the AGM / Reunion, to undertake maintenance of our web site, to produce Take Post and to fund any unscheduled technical up-grades to our web site.

Thank you to all members who have made donations throughout the year, and in particular Foster Crooke, Doreen Bryant, Trish Stattery and Dot Harris.

The Association is very grateful and appreciates all donations to enable the continuance of this wonderful Association in remembrance of the original members of the 2nd / 3rd L.A.A. Regiment.

2nd/3rd Website

The Association web site is working well. Since we included a RECAPTCHA requirement on the web site last year the number of spam emails has been significantly reduced. The remainder are dealt with by Treasurer Colin Bragg and Research Officer David McDonald who maintain a regular watch on day to day activities. Website / server updates and security procedures are referred to Malcolm Romano from Designsense Web, for any necessary action.

Thank you again in particular to its principal, Malcolm Romano. We are very appreciative of David McDonald, and Colin Bragg for making time available to oversee and attend to and eradicate corruptive software, and installing new and important articles for all the Remembrance Group and others to view.

Remembrance Group

The Remembrance Group continues to grow and currently numbers approximately over 90 members, of whom 50attended the 2019 AGM/ Reunion Luncheon.... a very good attendance.

Last year we had one original service member, John Campbell, who thoroughly enjoyed the AGM/ Reunion and Luncheon.

Please remember to advise myself or Colin Bragg (Treasurer) of any changes to your address, email and phone numbers, so we can keep in touch with further developments or events that maybe forthcoming later in the year. 

Take Post

This year the production of Take Post will be in full colour, following on from the 2019 issue that featured the front and back pages in colour - a first since Take Post was produced in 1988. This year's "Take Post" feature articles are extracts from John Campbell's war diaries (thanks to Ian Campbell's transcription efforts) and Foster and Katherine Crooke trips to Papua New Guinea.

I would like to thank Colin Bragg for his tremendous effort and valuable time in sourcing wonderful articles that are headlight features in Take Post and in formulating and preparing this year's Take Post.Similarly, thank you to David McDonald for his "forensic" vetting to ensure dates, times, places, spelling and attribution are correct or added.

Shooting Through By Katrina Kittel

I attended the launch of Katrina Kittel's book "Shooting Through:Campo 106 Escaped POW's After the Italian Armistice"on behalf of the 2nd/3rd on the afternoon of Saturday 29 February at Tobruk House, Melbourne

The launch was a little like a writer's festival panel with Katrina on the panel with History Professor Peter Monteath of Flinders University and Cate Carrington of ABC Radio whose father was a PoW in Campo 106. The panel was moderated by Michelle Scott-Tucker, author of Elizabeth Macarthur.

The launch was introduced by Alistair Davidson, Secretary of the 2/24 Australian Infantry Battalion Association.

A total of 19 members of the 2nd/3rd escaped from Italian Camps to Switzerland between September and December 1943.

Both Professor Monteath and Cate Carrington had previously visited the sites of the rice farms in northern Italy where the PoWs were forced to work during their incarceration. They had also visited the Monte Moro Pass through which the escapees made their way to Switzerland.

Shooting Throughis available in book stores or may be ordered on-line.

Thank you and kind regards to all.

Malcolm Wrigglesworth, Honorary Secretary.

 

 

 

Welcome and hearty greetings to all members to the 2018, 2nd / 3rd LAA Regt Association AGM and the Regiments Annual Luncheon.

This is my fifth year as Secretary, and again the past 12 months flown quickly. For me personally last year has been rather full year with the marriage of my eldest daughter Sarah to Clyde Davidson in April, and the attending of three other nephew and nieces weddings. A planned trip to Palm Cove in Queensland for 10 days and the closure of the company I had worked for 22 years rounded up the end of the year for 2017. 

Towards the end of last year and in particularly early this year my thoughts have turn to the preparation of this year's AGM, annual reunion arrangements and Anzac Day March, and of course the preparation and production of "Take Post " and what information I have for the Secretary's report.

Regular contact and our twice a year 2nd / 3rd Committee meetings create plenty of thoughts, ideas and action plans either already in place or just needing a little attention to detail prior to implementation.

Well it turns out that Colin Bragg, the Association's Treasurer has accumulated through his various contacts enough articles, photos and information to produce another very well presented 'Take Post' newsletter for us this year.

From the Secretary's Desk

As has been in the case in recent years, most of the enquiries are received electronically through our website or direct to myself, Treasurer Colin Bragg or Association Research Officer David McDonald.

This year David McDonald has attended to a lot of the correspondence from members and relatives via email, webmail or telephone conversation, which makes the Secretary's job a lot easier.

On occasions, usually after Anzac Day, there have been phone calls or emails direct to myself regarding the 2nd/3rd or even the 2nd/ 4th, and so I will pass on some of these 'happenings'.

We heard from Foster Crooke and family, thanking the Committee for the great lunch and commenting that the 2017 issue of Take Post was excellent to read. Foster mentioned at our reunion that our online roll had an error with the spelling of a veteran's name. A check of ON TARGET and AUST ARCHIVES verified that there was a name incorrectly spelt - our web site alphabetical roll section has been amended. Thank you Foster.  Foster also mentioned that it might be worth while including the 2/4th at the 2nd/3rd's AGM/ Reunion.

Toni Boyce, daughter of Clifford John Cullen wrote in June 2017 advising that she has had a stroke and finds it hard to get around much. In 2015, Toni and Clifford Cullen travelled to PNG, they had a wonderful trip, where Clifford was surrounded by families, whose people he had fought with in the war. They just wanted to say thank you and shake his hand. They travelled to three airstrips, even though they were covered in grass, he knew where they were. Toni has some photos of him at the Memorial surrounded by these local people. During the year, the NSW Vets Association contacted Toni, and they have placed a plaque in Rookwood Cemetery in the Wall of Remembrance for our fallen heroes, and also a plaque in the Woy Woy Memorial Gardens. 

The Year in Review

On a couple of occasions I have received telephone calls or emails from family members who no longer have a need to hold onto photo memorabilia. The Association is always receptive to obtaining such memorabilia depicting our 2nd / 3rd LAA war veterans.

 Alan Read’s daughter, Vivienne and family have recently sorted through Alan's papers and books.  There are quite a few books related to WW II, some related to the Regiment, others more general.  And there are somespare books related to the mission to El Alamein that heparticipated in.  Would you be in a position to take these and if not, can you suggest who I might contact who would be interested? No hesitation to this offer, and subsequently received two cardboard cartons full of books, calendars, and other interesting memorabilia and information on the 2nd/4th LAAA Regiments from Bushy Read's family, who kindly donated his war memorabilia to the 2nd/ 3rd LAAA for our safe keeping.  Thank you Vivienne for this generous gift.

Throughout the year, we received the advice of the passing of original service members.

We learnt of the passing of the following servicemen:-

John Hilliard                  (VX270684)                  8th Battery

These are sad and regrettable events and we should be grateful that these men returned home to their families to live and lead long lives, and provide inspiration for the future generations.

Colin advised there were only 13 original war veterans remaining out of the 2nd / 3rd LAA Regt. This has now been reduced to 12, with John Hilliard's passing.

Nominal Rolls

A digitised version is available on our website. (www.antiaircraft.org.au). The AWM was very grateful to receive the original books, as they have few originals of this kind. We are extremely pleased that they have accepted these extremely important rolls of the Regiment's history, which will be cared for and available for future generations.

The Association's Original Nominal Rolls, that Anne Rae passed onto David McDonald (Research Officer) carefully packaged, have been donated to the AWM in Canberra for commemoration, preservation and to provide public access to the information contained therein.  The many months wait till the offer is assessed, was expedited on the authority AWM senior officer, and a printed 'Deed of Gift' legal document was signed by David McDonald on behalf of our Association.  The Roll is now the property of the AWM, to be retained there, and preserved there, in perpetuity. They will provide a hyperlink from the AWM catalogue entry for the roll to our website. The establishment of a database by Colin Bragg, from the roll will be hyperlinked, so members of the public will be able to access the roll's contents. Fabulous outcome - makes everything we do worthwhile. Big thank you to David McDonald for being such a wonderful Ambassador for our Association.

The Original 'Deed of Gift' signed is in the possession of the current Secretary...Malcolm Wrigglesworth for safe-keeping.

Colin had previously photocopied the Original Honour Roll as a record for ourselves when he held the position of Honorary Secretary.

75th Anniversary Battle Of Milne Bay

Both Anne and Ian Rae were incredibly fortunate to be selected to travel to Milne Bay. Thales Australia, with the support of the Australian War Memorial, organised a battlefield tour of Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea late August last year, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle. Anne and Ian will share this moving experience at this year's AGM and Reunion Lunch and have prepared an article for Take Post. Two troops of the 9th Battery were involved in the defence of Milne Bay. A Remembrance member, Clive Wawn from Geelong, was also on this trip. Clive's father was a Kitty hawk pilot at Milne bay in 1942, and he often used to talk about the anti-aircraft people with great affection.

There were three other nominations and enquires for this trip from the Remembrance Group, but unfortunately the subcommittee had the unenviable task of nominating only two as per the criteria requirements and restraints of Chief Security officer, at Thales Australia. I do hope that those who nominated and missed out on this opportunity do have the chance to perhaps visit Milne Bay themselves at a later stage.

 Proposed Merger of 2nd/ 4th and 2nd / 3rd Aust L.A.A Regt. Association

 Since our committee meeting held in October, 2016 there had been no further information or progress in obtaining membership details from the 2nd / 4th or whether the group had considered our suggestions in regard to a proposed merger of both Regiments.

The Committee did agree to write to Peter Davidson with an invitation to join us at our AGM/Reunion on the 22nd April, 2017 at the RACV.

As there had been no subsequent response from our initial contact, Peter Davidson, our Committee agreed to not proceed with this recommendation, and no further action is proposed to be taken by the Committee, on behalf of the Association.

Donations

The Association has again received donations from members, which enables us to continue to do what we do, to provide for unscheduled technical maintenance of our web site and to underwrite the cost of the AGM / Reunion Lunch.

I would like to thank all members who have made donations throughout the year, and in particular Foster Crooke, Doreen Bryant, Midge Donelly and Dot Harris.

The Association is very grateful and appreciates all donations to enable the continuance of this wonderful Association in remembrance of the original members of the 2nd / 3rd L.A.A. Regiment.

2nd/3rd Website

An updated Rats of Tobruk list (courtesy of Owen Carlton) has been posted to the web site under Regiment Members, an article relating to the POW Adoption Fund, originally provided to Colin by David, has been added to the POW link of the web site, and Joomla has been updated, along with two extension updates.

Web site fairly quiet, and working well. Some spam and emails on site, creating some work to be handled over the past 12 months by Malcolm Romano who has continually kept an eye on the Association web site. Any alterations or amendments that need to be attended to are usually corresponded with David McDonald or Colin Bragg.

Remembrance Group

The Remembrance Group continues to grow and currently numbers approximately over 90 members, of whom 43 attended the 2017 AGM and Reunion Luncheon. This year we had an original, John Campbell who thoroughly enjoyed the AGM/ Reunion Luncheon. John provided the Remembrance Group with an insight into his war action and escapades. His informative talks and discussions always provide the Remembrance Group with a great deal of knowledge of what the Regiment and the Battery's within the Regiment, withstood during WW2.

The Remembrance Group number who attended the 2017 AGM and Reunion Luncheon was satisfying, as early on in April, acceptance numbers were looking to be down considerably compared to previous years.

As mentioned above, the Committee and widows of past originals were pleased with the attendance - those who attended thoroughly enjoyed a well presented and entertaining AGM / Reunion.

Please remember to advise myself or Colin Bragg (Treasurer) of any changes to your address, email and phone numbers, so we can keep in touch with further developments or events that maybe forthcoming later in the year. 

Welcome and hearty greetings to all members for the 2019 2nd / 3rd LAA Regt Association AGM and the Regiments Annual Luncheon.

For me personally it has been a rather full year, with casual work two or three days a week, holidays to Palm Cove in Queensland and Merrijig near Mansfield in January, plus planning our overseas trip in May 2019.    

Since January my thoughts have turned to the preparation of this year's AGM, annual reunion arrangements, the Anzac Day March, and sourcing information / articles for Take Post, plus of course what information I have for the Secretary's Report.

Regular contact twice a year with the 2nd / 3rd committee meetings created plenty of thoughts, ideas and action plans that are already in place, or to be implemented for the future of the Association.

This year correspondence enquires received from members and relatives are received electronically through our website, emails, or a telephone call have been redirected to the Association Research Officer David McDonald for a more detailed response. Some examples of these email enquires received from members and interested persons are included in this year's "Take Post" under Sentry's Log.  This redirecting of enquiries via email, webmail or telephone conversation, has certainly made the Secretary's role a lot easier.

Some of these 'happenings' that have come across my desk are as follows:-

In May 2018 we received correspondence from Alastair Dowling, son of Robert (Bob) Graeme Dowling VX32345 (9th Battery). Alastair was going through a collection of photos from his Dad's time in the Middle East and Milne Bay, and scanning the best photos with names of Regiment members written on the reverse. Two photos have comments written by his mother in later years. The Association thanked Alastair for the photographs, which have been uploaded to our website. Alastair mentioned that he enjoys reading Take Post, and also that his father was a great friend of Cec Rae. More recently, and as a member of Melbourne Legacy, Alastair knew former President, the late Ron Bryant and Committee member, the late Les Harris, as fellow Legatees.

I received a phone call in September, from Geoff Exton requesting information on his wife's grandfather G.J. Potter, VX20920, 7th Battery, POW Italy. Passed contact details onto David McDonald our Research Officer in Canberra whom provided Geoff with more information on Gnr G.J Potter. Amazingly, Geoff lives in Kinglake, not too far from where I live in Mooroolbark.

Early this year, Mathew Langley Son of (Bert) H.C. Langley VX148044 contacted the Association via email requesting that he would like to try and continue to connect with his father's service history. I advised that he would be most welcome to the Remembrance Association, and provided information on our yearly AGM/ Reunion and membership / subscription and website details. Bert Langley was also great mates with T.D. Dusting VX147399 of the regiment.

Foster and Katherine Crooke emailed informing me that they are intending to take a week's trip to New Guinea, in May, seeing Kokoda Trail, Gona and Buna. Milne Bay was included, but proving too difficult to visit. Foster has some army records of his father, but are hard to interpret. I sent an email back to Foster providing David McDonald's (Our Research Officer) contact details.

Bruce Stewart contacted the Association informing us that he had a near mint copy " On Target" and asking whether we would be prepared to purchase it. On behalf of the Association I replied we did not need to purchase his copy of "On Target" as the Regimental History is available for viewing and/or down loading on our website.                  

The Year in Review

Throughout the year I have received phone calls requesting identification of former war veterans from descendants of members of other anti-aircraft regiments. These calls are usually after researching on the website. This most likely a reflection on the fact that:

  • Most WW2 Associations have been wound up, or an Association never existed.
  • Very fewAssociations have a web site, particularly Australian Anti-Aircraft Regiment Associations.

 A Web search entering "Anti-Aircraft" will invariably bring up our 2nd / 3rd web site.

Whilst we are unable to answer all these enquiries, we do endeavour to provide sufficient information for them to be followed up by the enquiree.

Throughout the year, we were advised of the passing of the following original Service members of the Regiment:

Edward. J. Wellsted                  (VX21937)                    9th Battery                Passed away early April, 2018

Allen. G. Martin                         (VX109471)                  9th Battery                Passed away in June, 2018

W.E. (Bill) Schack                  (VX25412)                       8th Battery                Passed away on 20th January, 2019

Donations

The Association has again received donations from members, which enables us to continue to underwrite the cost of the AGM, undertake regular maintenance of our web site, produce Take Post and to fund any unscheduled technical maintenance of our web site.

I would like to thank all members who have made donations throughout the year, and in particular Dot Harris, Foster Crooke, Doreen Bryant and Tish Slattery.

The Association is very grateful and appreciates all donations to enable the continuance of this wonderful Association in remembrance of the original members of the Regiment.

Banner Repairs

The Association was fortunate in having Graeme and Matt Heddle undertake the repair of the Regiment's banner. Materials and labour were sourced from Geelong City businesses to enable repairs to the original 2nd/3rd banner. Fortunately, Matt and Graeme were able to locate the special golden ropes and tassels to be attached to the ropes in a local hardware store, which agreed to supply the materials for a very good price. A local upholsterer undertook the actual repair of the banner. Main repairs related to repairing the holes where the material was wearing thin, and the rod openings where the rods slide through the banner, and re-sewing loose and temporary hand stitching. The original Banner has not been altered in anyway, but is significantly stronger.

2nd/3rd Website

The Association web site is working well. We receive a lot of spam emails on the site, which is dealt with by Treasurer Colin Bragg and Research Officer David McDonald who maintain a regular watch  on day to day activities. Technical issues such as Joomla updates, website / server updates  and website security procedures are referred to Malcolm Romano from Designsense Web.

Remembrance Group

The Remembrance Group continues to grow and currently numbers approximately over 90 members, of whom 53attended the 2018 AGM / Reunion Luncheon.... very good attendance. Last year we had two original Service members, John Campbell and John Marshall, who thoroughly enjoyed the AGM/ Reunion Luncheon. John Campbell provided the Remembrance Group with an in site into his war action and escapades. His informative talks, discussions, always provide the Remembrance Group with a great deal of knowledge as to what the Regiment and the Batteries within the Regiment, withstood during WW2.

Please remember to advise myself or Colin Bragg (Treasurer) of any changes to your address, email and phone numbers, so we can keep in touch with further developments or events that maybe forthcoming later in the year. 

Opening of a Exhibition at the Shrine

On the 10th August I had the opportunity to represent the Association at the opening of an exhibition at the Shrine of Remembrance titled "Resistance - Australians and the European Underground 1939-45. This exhibition is open from the 3rd August 2018 until the 4th August 2019.

A full report was by President Anne Rae was included in our 2018 Mid Term Report emailed to the Remembrance Group in November last year.

Please take this opportunity to visit this exhibition, especially those members whose fathers were POWs who were associated with the partisans.

For me personally this was a very emotional and proud occasion and I am amazed at these brave veterans' survival skills. The family stories of survival of our fathers during this horrendous period of WW2 in Europe, discussed by family of veterans involved with the resistance whom were on the run in the northern provinces of Italy was astounding.

Take Post

This year's Take Post newsletter is in colour for the first time.

I would like to thank Colin Bragg for his tremendous effort and valuable time in obtaining wonderful interviews with veterans and formulating and preparing this newsletter. David McDonald for his overall vetting and ensuring that articles in this edition of Take Post are correctly authenticated with dates, times and places, and any spelling mistakes or phrases are corrected.

Welcome and hearty greetings to all members to the 2017 2nd / 3rd LAA Regt Association AGM and the Regiments Annual Luncheon.

This is my third year as Secretary, and again this year has flown quickly. For me personally last year has been rather eventful, with the hospitalisation midyear and passing of my mother Betty Wrigglesworth, in  early October 2016. Betty was the wife of  deceased Veteran W.A. Wrigglesworth of the 7th Battery. She often attended our AGM and Annual Luncheon up until last year when due to health reasons was unable to attend. Mum enjoyed these luncheons and catching up and renewing friendship formed with war widows and remembrance members over many years.

Towards the end of last year and in particularly early this year my thoughts have turn to the preparation of this year's AGM, annual reunion arrangements and Anzac Day March, and of course the preparation and production of "Take Post " and what information I have for the Secretary's report.

Well it turns out that Colin Bragg, the Association's Treasurer has accumulated through his  various contacts enough articles, photo's and information to produce another well presented 'Take Post' newsletter for us this year.

From the Secretary's Desk

As has been in the case in recent years, most of the enquires are received electronically through our website or direct to myself, Treasurer Colin Bragg or Association's Research Officer David McDonald.

This year a lot of the correspondence from members and relatives has been attended to by David McDonald via email, webmail or telephone conversation, which has made the Secretary's job a lot easier.

On occasions  usually after Anzac day, there has been via a phone call or email direct to myself, enquires regarding the 2nd/3rd or even the 2nd/ 4th, and so I will pass on some of these  'happenings'.

We heard from Alison Shieldsto advise a change of address and telephone number, and also to mention that will not be attending last year's Anzac Luncheon, but hopefully will get there in 2017.

Best wishes for both the lunch and Anzac March.

When I return home from 2nd/3rd's L.A.A. Anzac day march last year, in Melbourne, I had a message on the phone from Joshua Thomas eldest grandchild descendent of John Alexin Confait VX44338 requesting information on the remembrance group and how he could be involved in representing his grandfather at up and coming Anzac day events, meeting other people or relatives who served with this regiment. Information has been past on via myself on a return phone call and also from David McDonald the Association's Research Officer.

Annette Hyde emailed to inform the remembrance group that her Dad Laurie Brown was in the 7th Battery, and that she is a descendant member. In 2016 Annette is off on a cruise which when ended will allow her to fly to Crete to spend some time looking around at areas where her father was stationed etc. Annette has The On Target book, so has some background information, however requested that we advise her of some must see spots that would be helpful.

David McDonald the Associations (Research Officer) has provided such helpful information to Annette.

Annette also mentioned to say that her mother Shirley Brown has had a stroke and is now residing in a nursing home.  There is no need to send mail, as Annette can print off "Take Post" for her mother. That's the beauty of the Associations web site.

The committee received a congratulations letter from Doreen Bryant which was written soon after ANZAC day 2016

Here is a extract of Doreen's letter:-

            It is high time I put typewriter to paper and dropped you a line to compliment you and the committee on the excellent effort at last Saturday's A.G.M. and luncheon. It was so well planned with interesting interludes to keep us all on our toes.          The effort you all put into the event - such planning and attention to detail. Matthew with his presentation - I, for one, had never given much thought to the intricacies of what a service person has to wear/carry, and young Emma with her air warden act - so good.

            I also found David McDonald's talk about the Australian involvement in Assyria most enlightening, I don't think I ever knew about that either. Well there are many other things I could note - the effort put into "Take Post"- excellent - the             "Welcome Committee" as we entered plus the running of the Association throughout the year.

            Well done and my thanks and congratulations to all of you. The "boys" would be proud of you.

Ian Curtis emailed to advise that he is the grandson of Sgt RR Curtis (Deceased) NX20298 and to inform the association that his Grandmother Mrs Esme Curtis had passed away on the 5th July, 2016 at Gosford hospital. As the regiment still corresponded with his grandmother he felt it important to advise us of her passing.

Kim Taunt telephoned and also followed up with a email to say that he had photo's that may be of interest to the 2nd / 3rd LAA 7th Battery. Kim also contacted our Research Officer David McDonald for photo's to be included on our Website.

The Year in Review

On a couple of occasions I have received telephone calls or emails from family members who no longer have a need to hold onto photo memorabilia. The Association is always receptive to obtaining such memorabilia depicting our 2nd / 3rd LAA war veterans. 

Throughout the year, we received the advice of the passing of original service members.

We learnt of the passing of the following servicemen:-

Philip Hurst                  (VX5862)                                    8th Battery

These are sad and regrettable events and we should be grateful that these men returned home to their families to live and lead long lives, and provide inspiration for the future generations.                 

 2nd/ 4th and 2nd / 3rd Discussion

In July committee members, Malcolm, Colin, Ann and Anne Rae met with Peter Davidson after contacting David McDonald about a possible joint activities / merger with the 2nd/ 3rd. Peter has an interest in the 2nd/ 4th ALAA Regiment Association as his father was a member. At this meeting it was explain to him, that we would determine if there were any areas of common interest, which we would take back to our committee. Any changing the nature or objects of our 2nd/3rd Association would need to be made at an AGM by all members through a change in our constitution.

A small number of members of the 2/4th association decided to disband it in 2015, as there were only a few original members remaining, and associations funds were subsequently given to charity. A number of descendants marched behind their banner last year 2016, ANZAC day march and met as they have in past years, after the march, for their reunion. A number are keen to continue and don't wish to have the their Association disappear.

Suggestions from David Macdonald and ourselves where discussed with Peter, and a follow up letter was sent via our 2nd / 3rd LAA President to Peter clarifying our suggestions, and recent discussions for Peter to discuss within his 2nd /4th Association with a reply and / or advice to ourselves if they intend to take this any further. At our committee meeting held in October, 2016 there had been no further information or progress in obtaining membership details and what the 2nd / 4th group think of our suggestions. (Please see Presidents report details and update information)

Donations

The Association has again received donations from members, which enables us to continue to do what we do, and to provide for unscheduled technical maintenance of our web site.

Donations also allow us to keep the Association up and running and provide support  funding for the AGM and Luncheon.

I would like to thank all members who have made donations throughout the year, and in particular Foster Crooke, Daniel Wanders, Trish Slattery and her sisters Georgia and Sally, Lynne Chitts, John Hillard and Rosemary Weatherly.

The Association is very grateful and appreciates all donations to enable the continuance of this wonderful Association in remembrance of the original members of the 2nd / 3rd LAA.

2nd/3rd Website

Over the past 12 months Malcolm Romano has continually kept an eye on the Association web site, and any alterations or amendments that need to be attended to are usually corresponded with David McDonald or Colin Bragg.

Remembrance Group

The Remembrance Group continues to grow and currently numbers approximately over 100 members, of whom 48 attended the 2016 AGM and Reunion Luncheon. This year unfortunately we did not have any originals, due to other commitments on the same day or unwell at the time of the AGM / Reunion.

A very satisfying number, as early on in April, acceptance numbers were down compared to previous years.

As mention above, the committee and widows of past originals were very pleased with the attendance who thoroughly enjoyed a well presented and entertaining reunion.

Please remember to advise myself or Colin Bragg (Treasurer) of any changes to your address, email and phone numbers, so we can keep in touch with further developments or events that maybe forthcoming later in the year.