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The Anzac Centennial Gun Project

Home > Canberra > Memorials | Exhibitions | ANZAC Day
by Caroleann (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer living in Manly. I enjoy writing reviews for Weekend Notes. I enjoy the outdoors and anything to do with the water. My interests are travel, Live Theatre,The Ballet and Restaurants that serve delicious innovative food.
Anzac Memorial Gun will take pride of place in parade
On the 8th of April I was invited to attend a function hosted by Jim Frecklington for the launching of The Anzac Centennial Gun. It is an 18 pound field gun he has beautifully restored to commemorate The Anzacs. The restoration work was done in a workshop at North Head Manly. The Anzac Centennial Gun will take pride of place to lead the parade in Canberra on Anzac Day.

Jim told me his initiative to restore this gun was to honour 62,000 Australian men and women who were either killed or badly injured in the first world war. Jim has travelled to the battlefield on the western front to collect spent ammunition to honour the men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice. A image of the 18 pounder field model gun is found on every hundred dollar note printed in Australia.

Jim Frecklington (left) with a guest at the launch function of The Anzac Centennial 18 pound field gun he has restored for Anzac Day

With the one hundred year Anniversary of Gallipoli on the 25th of April this year, it is time for reflection for all the brave soldiers that went to war and the brave men and women who lost their lives with no reward for their sacrifice.

Front view of the Anzac Centennial Gun

On the barrel of the gun is a cover known as a Tampion, which has displayed on it The Rising Sun. This is The Australian Symbol worn on The Anzac Uniforms. When on display, The Anzac Centennial Gun Project is planned to assist raise funds to build a school in the village of Pozi'ers in France. This will be done as a memorial to those Anzacs who died there. It has been said that there has been more Australian blood spilt there per square metre than any other battle field where the Anzacs fought.

Jim Frecklington will be known by many for his amazing talent in building the Queens Royal Coaches which are kept in the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace. The skill and beauty of his craft is incredible and his eye for detail impeccable. It has been my privilage to know him for many years and see him in action as he has built the Queens Royal Coaches and also witness his restoration work on wonderful pieces like the Vickers Sons & Maxim gun, which dates back to 1915.

Jim Frecklington was born in Parkes as his family lived in Peak Hill close by. He traveled to England in his early twenties and is a former employee of the Royal Household. Jim was awarded the Royal Victorian Order by Her Majesty for his coach building services.

The 18 pound field gun dating back to 1915

The wheels you can view in the photos of the gun are an amazing work of fine craftmanship. The spokes and felloes are made out of wood. An iron tyre is fitted on the outside of the wheels. The photo below gives a good close up of the wheels. The Eighteen Pound Field Gun will be drawn by a six horse team. We understand a 18 pound field gun drawn by six horses has never been used in a Anzac Parade before.

Close up of the wheels of the restored 1915 gun

Will Davies a well known author and historian was a guest at Jim's fuction. He also takes tours to the Western Front and Gallipoli. He told the factual story of how the French village of Villers-Bretonneux was invaded by the Germans in April 1918 On April 4th 1,200 Australian soldiers retook the french town many dying in the battle. To this day the people of Villers-Bretonneux hold the Australian soldiers in high regard. There is evidence of this with many streets and buildings having been given Australian names. An example of this is Melbourne Street.

One hundred and thirty six thousand horses were taken out of Australia and sent to the battle fields. Only one returned alive whose name was Sandy. Sandy was put out to pasture and hopefully enjoyed many happy years in retirement.

This photograph shows the 1915 Ammunition Limber that has been remade to original specifications.

The photos you see here are on show in Jim's work shop. They are of course of The Royal Carriage and The Coat of Arms.

Photos of Jim Frecklington's Royal Carriage plus The Coat of Arms

His is a labour of love creating beautiful masterpieces with great historical significance that will be treasured for centuries. Jim Frecklington is truly a master of his craft sharing with the world his knowledge and amazing talent. The Coat of Arms was painted by Paula Church.
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When: Anzac Day
Phone: 02-9977-1086 for information about Anzac Memorial Gun
Where: Will take pride of place to lead The Anzac Parade in Canberra
Cost: Free to view in Anzac Parade Canberra
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