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Hobart Legacy

Legacy House, 159 Macquarie Street, Hobart TAS 7000

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Angelsea Barracks Sergeants Mess Cannon

Events - Hobart Legacy

‘The Anglesea Barracks Sergeant’s Mess in Hobart is the on-again, off-again custodian of a small wooden cannon that has a remarkable history. The HMAS Wagga Petty Officer’s Mess first presented the wooden cannon to the Mess in 1956 and the presentation commenced a tradition where the cannon would be liberated from the Mess for a fee which would go to Legacy. At times the cannon has been absent for many years, being taken around the world and even transferred to other ships for the return trip to Anglesea. The Anglesea Cannon has circumnavigated the globe aboard USS Missouri and been taken underwater on HMAS Ovens; however, it was a trip under the North Pole in 1985 that saw the cannon into enter into military history. The cannon was aboard USS Aspro, a nuclear submarine, on its voyage under the North Pole. During the voyage, Aspro carried out an historical rendezvous with another nuclear submarine, the USS Queenfish, under the ice and the cannon was transferred to USS Queenfish during that time. As each liberation and transfer has taken place, small plaques have been added to the base, with additional wooded bases being added as more space was needed. The current bottom base is made from part of the decking of USS Missouri. Not all the liberations were by the Navy, with the Australian Army’s “Red Berets‟ Parachute Display team, an NZ MP unit and a RAAF unit possessing the cannon at some stage. HMAS Westralia took the cannon to war on a tour of duty in the Persian Gulf in 1991. The cannon was later taken into Kuwait before being returned to Australia. The cannon was taken to the Antarctic in 1995 and also did a tour of duty into East Timor aboard HMAS Anzac in 1999’. (Le Grognard, The Military History Society of Australia, June 2011)

For news of the cannon at sea and its return to Anglesea Barracks Sergeants Mess click here.

The Anglesea Barracks Sergeants Mess Cannon is currently in transit to Antarctica (2017).


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