Field gun a mov­ing tar­get

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - FRONT PAGE - Lau­ren Pi­lat

THE her­itage-listed World War II field gun in South Perth has a new home af­ter more than 50 years on An­gelo Street.

The quick-fir­ing 25pounder How­itzer Mark I gun was moved on Fri­day from out­side the old RSL build­ing to a ded­i­cated site at Ernest John­ston Re­serve.

The relic was shifted to its new home about 1km away by crane fol­low­ing the RSL’s move to the John McGrath Pav­il­ion this year.

It was built in 1942 and used by the Bri­tish Com­mon­wealth dur­ing World War II. It was the UK’s pri­mary ar­tillery field piece un­til the 1960s.

City of South Perth Mayor Sue Do­herty said the RSL bought the gun from the army, which was sell­ing sur­plus war stock, in 1961 for 75 pounds, which equates to about $2930 in to­day’s money.

South Perth RSL pres­i­dent Justin Re­gan said get­ting the weapon to Perth was a mon­u­men­tal feat, with the then-mem­bers mak­ing the more than three-hour drive to the Nun­garin Ord­nance De­pot to col­lect it.

Mr Re­gan said the mem­bers hooked the gun up to a tow truck, stop­ping at ev­ery wa­ter­hole on the jour­ney back.

The de­com­mis­sioned gun was placed on An­gelo Street in April 1962 as a me­mo­rial to the World War II gun­ners who lost their lives dur­ing con­flict.

Ac­cord­ing to the RSL, the gun was not ini­tially se­cured and un­til a brace was fixed to the gun, lo­cal youths would re­lease the brakes and roll it on to the road to the an­noy­ance of lo­cal po­lice.

It is listed on the City of South Perth’s Mu­nic­i­pal Her­itage list and was re­stored in 2010.

It is now a fixed fea­ture of the new RSL build­ing on Sandgate Street. Plans for the old RSL build­ing site and the field gun are un­der re­view by the City.

Pic­ture: David Baylis­mu­ni­ d486536

The her­itage-listed World War II gun out­side the old South Perth RSL branch on the cor­ner of An­gelo and An­stey streets in South Perth.

An Aus­tralian 25-pounder Field Gun How­itzer Mark I in use dur­ing World War II at El Alamein, Egypt, in July 1942.

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