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Photo:- Peter Dunn

The 155mm M1917A1 "Long Tom" gun in front of the Big Gun Butcher at Springwood


Photo:- Peter Dunn

Though it has been erected to look a bit like an anti-aircraft 
gun it was actually used by the "Letter Batteries"


The Logan City Council web site describes the "Big Gun" at 2922 Logan Road, Springwood, as a 155mm field gun which had a range of almost 30kms. It indicates that some of these guns were placed in strategic positions such as Moreton Island and the mouth of the Brisbane River.

Bernie Smallwood purchased five of these guns in 1958. Four were cut up for scrap, but one was kept and could be seen in Bernie's wrecking yard at Springwood as you drove to the Gold Coast. Bruno Laspina started “The Big Gun Fruit Mart” in 1972 near Bernie Smallwood's original wrecker’s yard. The 7 ton gun was hoisted onto the roof of the fruit mart. The complex was redeveloped in about 2004 and the gun is now positioned on its own special stand sitting high for all to see.

The 155mm M1917A1 "Long Tom" gun was a semi-mobile gun. It had a maximum range of 18.28 kms and could fire either a 96 pound high explosive round or a 109 pound armour piercing round.

I have heard another story that suggests that the "Big Gun" on Logan Road is one of the guns from the Forts at Magnetic Island. I have never been able to confirm this. 

Chris Peters had heard that the "Big Gun" near the intersection with Kingston Road, used to be one of about 12 anti-aircraft guns positioned on top of Mount Gravatt during the war years. There were never any anti-aircraft guns on Mount Gravatt. There was only ever searchlights on top of Mount Gravatt.


The Sydney Morning Herald of 29 August 1947 reports that an
auction was held at Moorebank near Sydney on 28 August 1947
where eleven 155 guns sold along with a variety of other guns.


Was the "Big Gun" at Springwood
from Magnetic Island?

Or elsewhere?



I'd like to thank Ray Denning (now deceased), then President of the Mt. Gravatt District Historical Association for his assistance with this home page. I'd also like to thank Chris Peters from Charters Towers for his assistance with this home page.

I'd also like to thank Haydn Neal, Mrs Bainbridge and Russell Miller for their assistance with this web page.


Can anyone help me with more information?


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©  Peter Dunn 2006


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This page first produced 11 September 2005

This page last updated 19 December 2014