Recent discussions on certain Facebook pages have suggested there’s doubt over the birthdate of Australia’s oldest, continuously-serving full-time military unit – A Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery.
FILE PHOTO (July 2010): Warrant Officer Class 2 Brett Donaldson, ‘A’ Field Battery, supervises a Danish soldier firing a Heckler and Koch grenade machine gun during a range practice at Forward Operating Base Budwan, Helmand Province Afghanistan. Photo by Corporal Raymond Vance.
These kinds of discussions can get heated in some circles and CONTACT was asked to look into whether or not there was any official doubt over the long-held and annually celebrated A Field Battery birthday – 1 August 1871.
A Defence spokesman told us there actually is some doubt and Army History Unit is looking into it.
CONTACT: Is there some conjecture over the official birthdate of A Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery?
DEFENCE: “Defence can confirm that the Australian Army, through the Royal Australian Artillery Corps and the Australian Army History Unit, has received a draft report that questions ‘A’ Field Battery’s lineage and therefore its unit’s birthday.
CONTACT: Is Army History Unit looking at a possible correction to the date and/or year A Field Battery was raised?
DEFENCE: “Army is considering the research provided in the report, and has identified that there is a need to further interrogate primary-source archival material.”
CONTACT: If the official date is corrected, is there any likelihood of a change to the official birthdate?
DEFENCE: “Army has no plans to change ‘A’ Field Battery’s anniversary.”
CONTACT: Speculation is that one Keith Glyde is researching this issue, possibly at Army History Unit’s behest. Care to comment or confirm?
DEFENCE: The Australian Army History Unit has not requested research by Keith Glyde, nor has any research been conducted at the Australian Army History Unit’s behest.
For the record, A Field Battery, raised on 1 August 1871, is Australia’s oldest, continuously-serving, full-time military unit.
But, 16 Field Battery is Australia’s oldest, continuously serving reserve unit, raised 11 years earlier, on 6 June 1860.
One caveat to this, however, is that 16 Field Battery was reduced in size to a troop in 2013, and amalgamated with Adelaide-based 48 Field Battery to form the 6th/13th Light Battery.
Sourced from Wikipedia