We are indeed privileged to have Jim volunteer his time and expertise to restore the 18 pounder gun and limber for us. As he works on the gun and limber the very high standards he has shown with the coach are also evident but his vision to take things to another level should not be underestimated.
Whilst restoring the limber he suggested consideration be given to obtaining ammunition from the battlefields of World War I where the AIF fought.
Imagine when opening the limber you are not looking at an empty container or even one full of ammunition but you are actually looking at the history of the AIF. To achieve this he set about finding the ammunition. After his last visit to the UK he went to Belgium where he is collecting the ammunition from the various battlefields. This is not something we recommend the average tourist even contemplate. Only recently two people were killed by unexploded ordnance in Belgium and the Belgium authorities are very strict on these matters. The RAAHC is presently speaking with the authorities in Australia to obtain the necessary permits and clearances to import the ammunition. Our Chairman has also contacted the Australian Ambassador to Belgium to seek guidance on what is required to obtain collection and export authorization.
Success of the ammunition aspect of the project will add significantly to the importance of what we are trying to achieve. As Jim has said to us, each round would represent all those that took part in each of the battles. They will also be tangible reminders to every one of the areas where the AIF fought. In all there will be 24 rounds (capacity of the limber) each with a story of its own. We encourage everyone to assist with this project.
Encourage your friends to support it as it will recognize all those that served in the AIF.
Our thanks must go to Jim Frecklington for his volunteering his valuable time to this project. We congratulate him on his award of the MVO.