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Breaking News Article
(June 2014)

Mr Jim Frecklington Awarded the Medal of the Member of the Royal Victorian Order

         

18 Pounder Gun Restorer Recognised by the Queen

Jim Frecklington who is restoring the 18 Pounder and limber has recently returned from the UK and Belgium. In the UK he was present for the official use of the Jubilee Coach, which he built, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for the State Opening of Parliament. He had seen the coach during the rehearsal the previous day but was not present when the Queen was using it.

Instead he had been allocated a seat in the Palace of Westminster to view the Opening Ceremony. The coach in the old School of Artillery transport compound where Jim had set up a workshop with the agreement of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. Jim would often visit the Museum volunteers and invited them to view his work. His attention to detail was incredible and his flair to take something several levels above average is astounding. The Jubilee Coach is not just another coach, the fittings is a reflection of the history of Britain. For further details you can visit the website where you can actually see what has been achieved.

A couple of days after the Ceremony Jim was invited to Windsor Castle where he had a private meeting with the Queen and Prince Philip. During the meeting the Queen awarded Jim with the medal of Member of the Royal Victorian Order, an award which is a personal gift of the Monarch.

18 Pounder Gun Restorer Recognised by the Queen

Photo: Member of the Royal Victorian Order awarded to Jim Frecklington

         

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.

         
         
         
 

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