Secretary's Report 2015

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Category: History
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Profile of new Secretary - Malcolm Wrigglesworth

Malcolm was elected as the new secretary at 2014 AGM replacing Colin Bragg who has taken on the role as Treasurer.

Malcolm is the eldest son of the late William (Bill) Wrigglesworth  7th Battery of 2nd / 3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment. He has a younger brother Graeme Wrigglesworth who resides at Stratford in East Gippsland.

Malcolm is married to Margaret and they have three daughters, Sarah, Amy and Jane whom all live in Mooroolbark, since 1984 an outer Eastern suburb of Melbourne.

Malcolm was raised on a sheep and cattle grazing farm property of 600 acres 3 kilometres east of Stratford on the Airly Road, until the age of 16, where due to ill health of his father Bill Wrigglesworth the property was sold and the family moved into the town of Stratford in 1972.

After completing schooling at Sale Gippsland Grammar and a final year at Maffra High in 1972, Malcolm commenced a professional career in banking with formerly the Commercial Bank of Australia, (Now called Westpac) initially at  Sale, then transferred to Traralgon, Morwell and Melbourne and interstate within a 5 year period.

He has held a number of positions, progressing from teller, International Import and Exports,  Foreign Currency Document, to Legal Administration, commercial lending and Senior Management over career spading  24 years, with movements to a number of country suburban and interstate branches and later years at Head office in Collins Street, Melbourne.

In May, 1996 Malcolm took up the option of a retrenchment package from Westpac and in June later that year commenced a position with Apollo Gas Products, a family owned wholesale company in Bayswater North, progressing to position of Inventory stock controller dealing with Australian and mainly European suppliers of LPG gas components for the Automotive industry.

He is a lifelong member of the Melbourne Cricket Club, and supporter of Collingwood Football Club, and is actively involved as a tennis player twice a week and holds committee positions at Manchester Heights Tennis Club of Senior and Night convenor, over summer and winter seasons, held by Eastern Region District Tennis in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne and the Lilydale District Night Tennis Association.

Malcolm looks forward to being a valuable contributor to the 2nd / 3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Association as a descendent and continuing the commitment and dedication of past veterans and fellow committee descendants and office bearers.

Sentry’s Log - Take Post 2015, by David McDonald

As the Association’s Research Officer I have the pleasure of responding to a couple of request each month for information about the Regiment and its members. Many of these are quite straightforward, with descendants seeking information about their relative who served in the Regiment or in other anti-aircraft units. I am usually able to provide them with information about how to find out what they are looking for, particularly through accessing the person’s service record at the Australian Archives http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchScreens/BasicSearch.aspx and/or reviewing the relevant sections of the Regiment’s history, On Target http://www.antiaircraft.org.au/about-us/on-target/on-target . Pleasingly, a number of the enquirers have already accessed these resources before contacting the Association, and write seeking further details.

If you have accessed online service records at the National Archives website you will have seen that most of the contents are handwritten—and sometimes close to illegible—and all contain many abbreviations. Indeed, much of the service records’ contents convey little to today’s readers unless they can decipher those 70 year old abbreviations.

A useful source for interpreting the service record abbreviations is the National Archives web page ‘Common abbreviations found on service records’ at http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/explore/defence/abbreviations.aspx . Another is the Australian War Memorial’s online ‘Search for abbreviation or acronym’: https://www.awm.gov.au/glossary/ . Their Encyclopedia also helps: https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/ . Please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need further assistance in understanding the service records.

It was good to hear from Joan Chambers, the wife of Maj John Chambers (9 Bty), and her niece Cath Beaumont, both keen to gain access to copies of On Target. Having it available in full text at the Association’s website is a real boon! The strength and generosity of the ex-service movement is illustrated by the fact that Joan advertised in the DVA Vetaffairs newspaper http://www.dva.gov.au/about-dva/publications/vetaffairs seeking information on how she could obtain a copy of On Target. She received a number of responses, including a copy on disc and a (now rather valuable) printed copy!

Another welcome enquiry was from as far away as California, from where Sara-Jayne Kerr wrote inquiring about her grandfather Lt WE Kerr (8 Bty). The Association has been pleased to be in contact with Mary Gleeson, the daughter of the late Sig Terry Gleeson. Mary passed on to the Association Terry’s memoirs, excerpts from which are included in this issue of Take Post.

A number of researchers have been in contact. Sean Carwardine is researching the history of airfield defence and sought information on the role of AA units to complement his own knowledge, as a RAAF Airfield Defence serviceman, and his academic research.

We heard from Matt Teffer, a senior journalist, who is writing a feature-length screenplay. Part of the action takes place in Crete in 1941, with one of the key characters being a gunner in the Regiment’s 7 Battery, and another a fallschirmjaeger—a German paratrooper there.

Peter Dunn, who maintains the best website on Australia in WW II http://www.ozatwar.com , has been in touch about the structure (establishment) of WW II light anti-aircraft regiments. He advises that he found the information on this at our website to be particularly helpful. Michael Musumeci, who is researching WW II aeroplane crashes in Queensland, sought information about the American B26 bomber that crashed on take-off at Townsville in April 1943, very close to where the Regiment’s 9 Battery was encamped en route to Milne Bay.

We also heard from American WW II Gunnery Sergeant Dan Silkiss who is interested in some of vessels that conveyed 9 Battery to and from the SW Pacific theatre, particularly SS Karsik and MV Janssens. He wrote ‘We helped decommission [SS Karsik] in Adelaide. I was also in charge of the gun crew on the Janssens which was also decommissioned’. Images of these vessels are at the Australian War Memorial’s website, and of the SS Karsik at our website.

Andrew McPherson contacted the Association to advise that his father, D N (Norm) McPherson (9 Battery), passed away on 20 March 2015. He wrote that Norm was ‘An avid reader of “Take Post” and a proud member of 2/3 LAA’.