1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
|1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery|
|Active||1 May 1938 to Present|
|Part of||1st Mechanized Brigade|
|Motto||The South Yorks & Midland Gunners|
|Equipment||AS-90 self-propelled guns|
1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery is a regiment of the Royal Horse Artillery in the British Army. It currently serves in the armoured field artillery role, and is equipped with the AS-90 self-propelled gun. They are currently based in Assaye Barracks in Tidworth.
- 1938 – Although some of the Batteries had existed for 145 years, 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery were formed at Bulford Camp on 1 May 1938.
World War II
- 1939 – 1st RHA were part of 51st (Highland) Infantry Division, and fought at Saint Valery. The Regiment was captured after severe fighting, but some Batteries managed to escape after the Battle of Dunkirk. The Regiment reformed and was deployed to Northern Africa in late 1940.
- 1940 – The Regiment arrived with the Middle East Command in October 1940 and took a large part in Wavell's Campaign which opened on 9 December 1940. The most notable actions were those during the Siege of Tobruk and all the batteries fought during the fierce fighting just before El Alamein and then the First and Second Battles of El Alamein itself. After battle the Regiment was withdrawn to refit, and took no further part in the war in the Western Desert Campaign
1st RHA then joined 10 Armd Division in Aleppo and spent the next year training all over Syria, Palestine and the Suez Canal Zone. 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery then landed in Italy from Palestine in May 1944 at Taranto, and were in action south of Rome on 15 May 1944 and thereafter played a full part in the remainder of the Italian Campaign and finished the war in Italy
The regiment saw service as follows:
- 1945 – 1st RHA were stationed in Palestine after World War II, during the period of terrorist activity that led to the creation of the State of Israel.
- 1950 – 1st RHA returned to England as part of 6th Armoured Division at Salisbury Plain. They were formed because of the emerging threat from the Soviet Union
- 1952 – 1st RHA moved to Münster in West Germany, where they remained until 1958 as part of the 20th Armd Bde of 6th Armd Div
- 1958 – Moved to Hildesheim, where they were equipped with the M44 Self Propelled 155 mm Howitzer
- 1965 – 1st RHA deployed to Aden with three batteries (each split into three independent 2 gun sections), where they supported British battalions in the Radfan, and South Arabian battalions on the Yemeni border. The third battery was based at BP Camp in Little Aden, where they carried out internal security duties during the Aden Emergency. All three batteries rotated, and during 21 months in Aden, 1st RHA fired over 23,000 rounds in over 200 operations, supporting seven British and six Arab battalions, and suffered nearly 50 casualties.
Recent and current conflicts
Deployments continued as follows:
- 1969 – 1st RHA were the first Gunner regiment to be tasked on Operation Banner and deployed in November 1969. With a mobile force comprised with more Land Rovers and Radios than predecessors, it was able to respond more rapidly to troublespots.
- 1972 – 1st RHA moved to Northern Ireland to support 3 Inf Bde. E Battery deployed to the Long Kesh, The Chestnut Troop in Fermanagh, B Battery around Dungannon and the Radar Troop in County Down.
- 1974 – In February 1 RHA arrived in Belfast City Centre to take over from 19 Field Regt RA. They dealt with over 600 real and hoax Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb alerts of which approx 60 were real. B Battery lost Gunner Farrington during an IRA attack.
- 1976 – 1st RHA deployed on its fourth Northern Ireland tour, in Belfast City Centre.
Persian Gulf War
- 1990 – Elements of 1 RHA were attached to 40 Field Regiment RA to bring them up to war establishment for the duration of Op Granby
- 1992 – 1st RHA moved to Assaye Barracks in Tidworth in preparation for the AS-90 Self-propelled artillery.
- 1996 – 1st RHA deployed with IFOR to Bosnia
- 1998 – 1st RHA deployed with SFOR to Bosnia
- 1999 – 1st RHA (BBty tac group) deployed with the NATO led force in Kosovo
- 2000 - E Battery Royal Horse Artillery deployed to Kosovo (Podujevo) and Bosnia (Sanski Most) with 19 Regt RA as part of the first British Pan-Balkan Artillery Regiment.
- 2000 – The Chestnut Troop deployed to Sanski Most, Bosnia; whilst L/N Battery and elements of O/Hq Bty deployed to Kosovo
- 2002 – 1st RHA sent B Battery to Šipovo in Bosnia as the UK Artillery Battery; whist A Battery deployed with the QRL to Kosovo.
Operation TELIC in Iraq
- 2004 – 1st RHA deployed to Basra, Iraq on Operation Telic (Op TELIC 4) as part of 1st Mechanised Brigade. The Chestnut Troop initially supported the 1 Cheshire Battlegroup monitoring the city police. B Battery trained the regional police departments before providing protection Provincial Support and Liaison Team. E Battery trained the Border Police, and also had soldiers attached to the Danish contingent to the north of Basra.
The batteries are as follows:
- A Battery (The Chestnut Troop) – Equipped with AS-90 self-propelled gun and based at Assaye Barracks in Tidworth
- B Battery – Equipped with L118 105mm light gun and based at Assaye Barracks in Tidworth, gaining AS-90
- E Battery – Equipped with AS-90 self-propelled gun and based at Assaye Barracks in Tidworth
- L (Néry) Battery – OP(Observation Post) Battery, and based at Assaye Barracks in Tidworth
- O Battery (The Rocket Troop) – Headquarters Battery based at Assaye Barracks in Tidworth
- REME light aid detachment