A proud day for former gunner

Photo: Ken Murphy with battery commander Major Jack Bagwill, right, and Battery Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class Two Chris Saetta, following the presentation of the Queen’s Banner at Robertson Barracks.


In a reunion bridging decades of service, Ken Murphy, a distinguished veteran of the 101st Battery, 8th/12th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, recently paid his old unit a long overdue visit.

101 Battery recently transitioned from conventional gunnery to become a light littoral battery specialising in reconnaissance. However, the battery remains proud of its legacy.

Mr Murphy, a former Warrant Officer Class Two, served with 101 Battery during its contribution to the Malayan Emergency from 1959 to 1961.

During its time in Malaya, 101 Battery conducted a number of tasks as an eight-gun field battery of two troops, and a light battery of six mortars.

The battery supported the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, the 1/3 East Anglicans and carried out ambushes with the 13th/18th Hussars. 101 Battery even became part of the British 26 Field Royal Artillery, playing a crucial role in quelling insurgent activities.

These stories, among others, are captured in the battery’s history room – a collection of photos, shell casings and roll books.

Amid the artefacts, Mr Murphy shared recollections of his service in Malaya and Vietnam, painting a story of mateship and good soldiering, and said the essence of his pride during his tenure with 101 Battery laid with the men with whom he served.

‘The best thing about the 101st Battery was the men,’ Mr Murphy said. ‘Their courage, camaraderie and unwavering commitment to each other defined our legacy.’

On a tour of the battery, Mr Murphy was shown modern equipment, including a Zodiac small inflatable boat, and surveillance reconnaissance vehicles.

He also visited his detachment’s old weapon, the M2A2 – a far cry from the littoral reconnaissance equipment that defines 101 Battery today.

During his day with serving members, he handed over the Queen’s Banner, which he served under during the Malayan Emergency.

‘The 101st Battery stands as a testament to the valour of those who served before and now,’ he said. ‘The Battery is in safe hands. The legacy of the great men I served with has carried on. I am very proud of you all.’


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