Honourable Artillery Company
|Honourable Artillery Company|
Crest and Motto of the Honourable Artillery Company
chartered 25 August 1537–
|Role||Surveillance and Target Acquisition|
|Part of||Theatre Troops|
|Motto||Arma pacis fulcra
(Latin: "Armed Strength for Peace")[note 1]
|March||Quick – The British Grenadiers
Slow – The Duke of York
Canter – Bonnie Dundee
Trot – The Keel Row
Walk – The Duchess of Kent
|Captain-General||Her Majesty The Queen|
|Colonel Commandant||General Sir Richard Barrons KCB, CBE|
|Lt. Col. Edward Heath
General Sir Richard O'Connor, KT, GCB, DSO, MC, ADC
|Tactical Recognition Flash||
Only worn by Corps of Drums
The Honourable Artillery Company was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1537 by King Henry VIII and is the second oldest military organisation in the world (behind the Vatican's Pontifical Swiss Guard). Today, it is a registered charity whose purpose is to attend to the "better defence of the realm". This purpose is primarily achieved by the support of the HAC Regiment and a detachment of Special Constabulary to the City of London Police.
Regiments, battalions and batteries of the Company have fought with distinction in both world wars and its current Regiment, which forms part of the British Army Reserve (formerly the Territorial Army), is the oldest surviving regiment in the British Army, and the second most senior in the Army Reserve.[note 2] Members of the Regiment and Specials are drawn, for the most part, from young men and women working in and around the City and Greater London. Those leaving the active units may become Veteran Members and remain within the fraternity of the Company, which they then serve in a variety of ways.
- 1 History
- 2 Current role and organisation
- 3 Operations
- 4 Soldier ranks
- 5 Dress
- 6 Battle honours
- 7 Colours
- 8 Squadron affiliations
- 9 City of London Police Special Constabulary
- 10 "The Company"
- 11 Notable members of the HAC
- 12 Affiliations
- 13 See also
- 14 Order of precedence
- 15 References
- 16 Further reading
- 17 External links
"The British Grenadiers", the official Regimental Quick March of the Honourable Artillery Company, performed by the United States Army Band Strings ensemble
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The HAC can trace its history back as far as 1087, but it received a Royal Charter from Henry VIII on 25 August 1537, when Letters Patent were received by the Overseers of the Fraternity or Guild of St George authorising them to establish a perpetual corporation for the defence of the realm to be known as the Fraternity or Guild of Artillery of Longbows, Crossbows and Handgonnes. This body was known by a variety of names until 1656, when it was first referred to as the Artillery Company. It was first referred to as the Honourable Artillery Company in 1685 and officially received the name from Queen Victoria in 1860. However, the Archers’ Company of the Honourable Artillery Company was retained into the late 19th century, though as a private club. Founded in 1781 by Sir Ashton Lever, it met at Archers’ Hall, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London. The Archers' Company remained a part of the regiment operated from 1784 to the late 1790s, along with Matross, Grenadier (established on 11 August 1686) and Light Infantry companies/divisions, with a Rifle or Jaeger Company introduced around 1803.
From its formation, the company trained at a site it had occupied at the Old Artillery Ground in Spitalfields and at The Merchant Taylors' Company Hall. In 1622, the company built its first Armoury House at the site of the Old Artillery Gardens.
In 1638, Sir Maurice Abbot granted the company use of lands at its current site south of Bunhill Fields Burial Ground on City Road, which in 1649 consisted of twelve acres enclosed by a brick wall and pale. In 1657, it sold its old Armoury House in Spitalfield to Master Gunner Richard Woolaston for £300. It was in this New Artillery Gardens that, on 28 October 1664, the body of men that would become The Royal Marines was first formed. James (later James II), the Duke of York and Albany, Lord High Admiral and brother of King Charles II, was Captain-General of Honourable Artillery Company at the time.
Until 1780, captains of the HAC trained the officers of the London Trained Bands.
The Company served in Broadgate during the Gordon Riots of 1780, and in gratitude for its role in restoring order to the City, the Corporation of London presented "two brass field-pieces", which led to the creation of an HAC Artillery Division. (These guns are on display in the entrance hall of Armoury House.)
In 1860, control of the Company moved from the Home Office to the War Office and, in 1889, a Royal Warrant gave the Secretary of State for War control of the Company's military affairs. In 1883, Queen Victoria decreed that the HAC took precedence next after the Regular Forces and therefore before the Militia and Yeomanry in consideration of its antiquity.
South Africa 1900–02
Members of the Company first served as a formed unit overseas in the South African War (1899–1902). Almost two hundred members served; the majority in the City Imperial Volunteers (CIV) as infantry, mounted infantry and in a Field Battery that was officered, and for the most part manned, by members of the Company.
Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907
In 1907, the Company became part of the newly formed Territorial Force with the passing of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act. The HAC Infantry was due to become part of the newly formed London Regiment as the "26th (County of London) Battalion", but instead managed to retain its own identity as the Honourable Artillery Company Infantry Battalion. The HAC also had its property and privileges protected by the Honourable Artillery Company Act 1908.
First World War
The HAC raised three infantry battalions and seven artillery batteries during the First World War.[further explanation needed] Second Lieutenants Reginald Leonard Haine and Alfred Oliver Pollard, of the 1st Battalion HAC, were awarded Victoria Crosses for their actions at Gavrelle in 1917. In total 1,600 men from the HAC were killed during the war.
In September 1914 the 1st Battalion followed the British Expeditionary Force to France and fought in the 1st Battle of Ypres. After the fighting at Ancre (1916) and the Arras (1917), it became an officer training battalion and provided demonstration platoons. Elements of the battalion were used to help quell the Étaples Mutiny. The 2nd Battalion HAC was raised in August 1914; it was in France by October 1916 and in action on 25 February 1917 at Bucquoy. They also fought at the Battle of Arras in May and the 3rd Battle of Ypres in October. In November 1917, the battalion moved to the Italian Front under the command of the then Lt Col Richard O’Connor. In the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, in October 1918, they led a force of Italians, Americans and British that compelled the garrison of the strategic island of Papadopoli (in the main channel of the River Piave) to surrender. For this remarkable feat of arms, the HAC was awarded two Distinguished Service Orders, five Military Crosses, three Distinguished Conduct Medals and 29 Military Medals.
Both A and B Batteries of the Honourable Artillery Company went to Suez in April 1915. In July, B Battery fought in the recapture of Sheikh Othman (key to the water supply to Aden) from the Turks as part of the Aden campaign. In February 1917, both batteries took part in the Palestine Campaign, were in action at the First and Second Battle of Gaza and entered Jerusalem in December 1917. In the German counterattack during the Second action of Es Salt on 1 May 1918, A Battery was forced to make a rapid withdrawal under heavy fire, which resulted in the loss of all its guns. Both A and B Batteries took part in the Battle of Megiddo in September. A third battery, the 309th (HAC) Siege Battery, went to France in April 1917 and saw action at the Battle of Messines and the Battle of Amiens.
In 1919 Lt-Col Edward Lisle Strutt commanded a detachment of HAC soldiers that escorted the family of Charles I, the last Austro-Hungarian Emperor-King, to safety in Switzerland in 1919, after having served as the family's protector at Eckartsau on the personal initiative of King George V. Strutt was also involved in a Hungarian Habsburg restoration bid in February 1921 and as a communication link between the Habsburg Imperial and Royal couple aboard the HMS Cardiff, on their way to exile in Madeira, and their children in Switzerland in November 1921.
Second World War
In 1939, the Infantry Battalion became 162 (HAC) Officer Cadet Training Unit, this was the Officer Training Unit of the Reconnaissance Corps. In 1942 101 RAC OCTU amalgamated with 162 Reconnaissance Corps OCTU to form 100 RAC OCTU based at The Royal Military College, Sandhurst. In addition, the company provided four regiments of artillery.
- The 11th (HAC) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery served in North Africa at the Battle of Knightsbridge with 25-pounder guns and, after re-equipping with the M7 Priest self-propelled gun, in the Second Battle of El Alamein. The regiment's guns were the first guns ashore in the invasion of Sicily; then they took part in the Allied invasion of Italy and the Italian Campaign.
- The 12th (HAC) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery took part in the Operation Torch landings and were in action at Thala in February 1943, where they halted a German advance following the Battle of the Kasserine Pass. After re-equipping with Priests, they too moved on to Italy in March 1944 and fought at Monte Cassino.
- The 13th (HAC) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery (equipped with Sexton self-propelled guns) fought in Normandy, the Netherlands and across the Rhine into Germany as part of 11th Armoured Division.
- The 86th (HAC) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment took part in the defence of the Capital during the London Blitz. The regiment was the first heavy AA unit ashore after D-Day and they operated in the anti-aircraft and ground support roles across north-west Europe, including the defence of Antwerp against a V-1 flying bomb barrage.
Over seven hundred members of the Company lost their lives during the Second World War.
In 1947, the Company was reorganised into:
- an Infantry Battalion
- a Royal Horse Artillery Regiment of self-propelled Artillery
- a regiment of mobile heavy Anti-Aircraft Artillery (disbanded 1955)
- a Locating Battery (disbanded 1961)
In 1973, the Regiment was again reorganised; it was given the role of providing 'Stay Behind' Observation Posts (OPs) for the British Army of the Rhine as one of the three Territorial Army units making up the Corps Patrol Unit (with 21 and 23 SAS). The new structure was:
- Three patrol squadrons (1, 2 & 3) – a fourth patrol squadron was formed for a short period in the 1980s
- HQ Squadron, including Training Wing and Medical Wing
- The Gun Troop (a battery of six 25 pounder guns and not part of the OP role)
- Corps of Drums
In 1992, the signals troops that had been integrated into the patrol squadrons were brought together to form the Signal Squadron; they were subsequently re-integrated with the patrol squadrons in 2010.
Also in 1992, on Salisbury Plain, the HAC was the last British Army unit to fire the twenty-five pounder in the field, as the Gun Troop retrained onto the 105mm Light Gun. The 25 pounder continued to be fired ceremonially until replaced by the Light Gun.
In 1996, the first formed unit of the Regiment to be mobilised for active service since the second world war was called up for Operation Resolute with the NATO IFOR in Bosnia. Since this time, the Regiment has always had soldiers on operational service overseas.
The Regiment participated in the celebration of HM The Queen's Golden Jubilee on 4 June 2002 by firing a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London, and by providing a Guard of Honour (including the Regimental Band and the Massed Corps of Drums of the 1st Bn Grenadier Guards and the HAC) at St Paul's Cathedral. In December of that year, the Captain General visited and dined with the company to commemorate her Golden Jubilee as Captain General.
In 2005, the guns were withdrawn from Gun Troop and the Troop was renamed Liaison Troop (L Tp) with the role of providing liaison officer parties. The majority of L Tp deployed to Iraq over winter 2006/7. The ceremonial Light Guns were retained by the Regiment to fire salutes at the Tower of London.
In 2006, the HAC was the first major unit of the Territorial Army to convert to the Bowman communications system. When Bowman was withdrawn from the Territorial Army in 2008/9, it was one of the few units to retain the equipment.
From 2007 to 2012, one of the patrol squadrons (3 Sqn) was redesignated as the Training Squadron and took on the role of Regiment's Training Wing.
In 2014 the Regiment was re-roled and re-organised into a single STA Patrol Squadron ( 1 (Special OP) Sqn - paired with 4/73 (Special OP) Bty) and two STA Squadrons equipped with the Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar for weapon locating (2 & 3 Sqns, paired with P and 53 Btys in 5 Regt RA).Follow this link to the 4/73 Bty page on the Army website, which includes a video of STA Patrol training.
Current role and organisation
The HAC Regiment is a unit of the Army Reserve based just north of the City of London, providing a squadron of STA patrols and two squadrons of Light ISTAR detachments. An STA Patrol comprises of a team of four/six specialist soldiers, the role of STA Patrols is to conduct high risk static covert surveillance at long range and in close proximity to the enemy. The patrols are trained and equipped both to collect highly granular information and intelligence and to deliver joint effects at range; be they kinetic (all patrols contain personnel trained in the delivery of precision and indirect fires) or non-kinetic. A pre-requisite of service in the Patrols is successful completion of the STA Patrol Course and qualification as a Special Observer. Training emphasises mental and physical resilience and a high premium is placed on well developed self-reliance and self-discipline. Patrols are trained with a variety of skills to mitigate the dangers of operating in a high risk environment and/or isolated circumstances. Unlike most Army Reserve units, who are only required to train at up to sub-unit (company or squadron) level, the HAC is required to train as a regiment.
The HAC has a ceremonial role in providing guards of honour at the Guildhall in the City of London during state visits and, since 1924 (when the Royal Artillery ceased to be stationed at the Tower), has provided the saluting battery at the Tower of London for state occasions. Due to the demanding requirements of their role, the HAC is privileged to be one of only a small number of Army Reserve units with responsibility for the carrying out portions of Phase 1 (recruits) and 2 training of its own soldiers 'in house'. The recruits course comprises six HAC-only weekends, followed by a two week camp with other reserve soldiers at an Army Training Unit (usually Pirbright).
The HAC is not part of the Royal Regiment of Artillery; being a separate regiment with its own uniform, insignia and colours, its Permanent Staff Instructors are drawn from across the British Armed Forces. The regiment forms part of 1st Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade.
The sub units of the HAC are:
- STA Squadrons, each Squadron is about 80 soldiers strong:
- 1 (Special OP) Sqn. A Squadron of Surveillance and Target Acquisition patrols.
- 2 & 3 Sqn. Squadrons which provide the manpower for the Light ISTAR detachments.
- Headquarters Squadron.
- The Corps of Drums. Inherited from the infantry battalion and still wearing the grenade beret badge, Foot Guards belt, beret badge backing and tactical recognition flash. As with an infantry battalion corps of drums, the drummers are 'soldiers first' and regularly deploy soldiers on operations as well as fulfilling their ceremonial role. The Corps of Drums form part of HQ Squadron and are a separate entity from the Band who are primarily musicians.
- The Medical Wing, commanded by the Surgeon Major who is a Royal Army Medical Corps officer, provides medical support to the Regiment for peacetime training and on deployment. Combat Medical Technicians within the Medical Wing undergo additional specialist medical training with the Defence Medical Services.
- Air Assault Gun Troop, a Troop of Light Gun detachments trained to operate the 105mm Light Gun.
- CIS Troop, a troop to provide Communications Information Systems capability to the HAC and other units within 1ISR.
The Regiment has had individuals or sub-units on active service at all times since 1996; with the personnel serving in a wide variety of roles in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Commitments included the deployment of patrols to Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq; independent sub-units to Operation Telic 4 and 5 in Iraq and L Troop to Operation Telic 9; as well as individual and group reinforcements to other infantry and artillery units. In recent times, the rate of deployment, generally in groups of 10, has speeded up dramatically. These groups are divided between operating and maintaining anti-mortar systems and other high technology equipment and forming part of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF).
On Tuesday 4 December 2007, Trooper Jack Sadler who was serving with the BRF was killed when his vehicle was hit by a blast north of Sangin, in Helmand province. Two other soldiers were injured in the attack. In 2008, the Runner-up for the Cobra Trophy for Volunteer Reservist of the year was Trooper Adam Cocks of 2 Squadron HAC, who was severely injured in Afghanistan when his vehicle struck a mine. While recuperating at Headley Court rehabilitation centre, he and a friend came up with the idea of a rugby match at Twickenham to help raise money for the charity Help for Heroes.
The non-commissioned ranks of the HAC are as follows
- Lance Corporal
- Lance Sergeant
- Colour Sergeant
- Warrant Officer Class 2
- Warrant Officer Class 1 (there are no WO1 posts for reserves in the HAC, however HAC soldiers can achieve this rank on Extra Regimental Employment)
In 1830, King William IV ordered that the uniform of the HAC should be based on that of the Grenadier Guards, except that where the Grenadiers wear gold, the HAC were to wear silver. This tradition is continued today by the wearing of the silver coloured grenade in the forage cap similar to the brass one of the Grenadiers, and the buttons and lace on HAC dress uniforms being silver coloured instead of gold. The Corps of Drums wear the Household Division's blue red blue TRF.
The HAC wear the same khaki beret as the Footguards, but with the HAC's own cap badge ("short arms") in white metal on a black backing. Officers and Warrant Officers wear an embroidered cloth version of the same badge. The Corps of Drums and Regimental Band wear the HAC infantry grenade on a blue red blue backing, which is superficially identical to that of the Grenadier Guards.
From July 2008, members of 4/73 (Sphinx) Special OP Battery, the HAC's regular 'sister' unit, adopted the khaki beret to mark their close working relationship.
On the forage cap, the HAC infantry grenade (white metal) is worn by junior ranks of all subunits of the regiment. Sergeants and Warrant Officers wear a different version of the grenade, which has the letters HAC in brass on the ball of the grenade.
Officers wear an embroidered silver grenade on their forage caps in No 1 Dress (Infantry) and on the Service Dress forage cap but when in No 1 Dress (Gunner) they wear the HAC Artillery cap badge. The latter is similar to that of the Royal Artillery but with "HAC" and "Arma Pacis Fulcra" replacing "Ubique" and "Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt".
In Full Dress (normally only worn by the Band and Corps of Drums), the Bearskin is worn without a plume.
Badges of rank
In No 2 dress, Soldiers wear the larger Foot Guards badges of rank and qualification. Lance Corporals wear two chevrons and Lance Sergeants three. In Full Dress and Number 1 dress, WO2's wear a large colour badge of the same pattern as the Grenadier Guards, but in silver rather than gold.
Officers' crowns and stars are of the same pattern as those of the Grenadiers (Order of the Garter), woven for combat uniforms but in silver for Service and Barrack Dress.
Each Squadron wears a different stable belt:
- HQ Sqn and Band – red and blue edged with narrow yellow stripes
- 1 Sqn – red
- 2 Sqn – green (Identical to that worn by The Rifles)
- 3 Sqn – blue
- L troop – blue with a narrow yellow stripe (Identical to that worn by the Royal Horse Artillery)
- Corps of Drums – blue red blue (Identical to that worn by the Foot Guards)
In 1906, King Edward VII gave the HAC the distinction of a special ribbon for the Volunteer Decoration and Volunteer Long Service Medal. The ribbon, based on The King's personal colours (in turn taken from the Royal Standard), is red and blue edged with narrow yellow stripes. This ribbon has been carried forward to subsequent Territorial long service medals awarded to HAC members.
Each year the Captain General awards a prize to the member of the Regiment who is deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to the Regiment. Holders of this prize, known as the King's or Queen's Prize wear a badge incorporating the Captain General's cypher and the year of award on Numbers 1, 2 and 10 (Mess) Dress.
B Battery HAC supported the 10th Hussars during the Second World War and, in 1972, the Captain General approved the Battery wearing a 10th Hussar button as the top button on Numbers 1, 2 and 10 dress. This privilege is carried on by 2 Sqn following the 1973 re-organisation.
The Regiment's soldiers, with the exception of the Corps of Drums, do not wear TRFs (Tactical recognition flashs), even when its members are attached to other units.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms of the company is a Shield of Arms, helm, mantling and crest with as supporters a Pikeman and a Musketeer and the motto 'Arma Pacis Fulcra', Unlike other regiments of the British Army, the HAC is incorporated and is therefore eligible to bear and use a Coat of arms. It is believed to date from circa 1615 and the coat of arms appears on a military manual published in 1629.
- South Africa 1900–02.
- The Great War (3 Bns and 7 Btys): Ypres 1915 '17, Somme 1916 '18, Ancre Heights, Ancre 1916, Arras 1917 '18, Scarpe 1917 '18, Arleux, Bullecourt, Pilckem, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Amiens, Albert 1918, Bapaume 1918, Drocourt-Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Épèhy, St. Quentin Canal, Cambrai 1918, Selle, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914–18, Piave, Vittorio Veneto, Italy 1917–18, Rafah, Egypt 1915–17, Gaza, El Mughar, Jerusalem, Jordan, Megiddo, Sharon, Damascus, Palestine 1917–18, Aden.
- The Second World War: Bourguébus Ridge, Antwerp, Le Havre, Rhine, North-West Europe 1944–45, Knightsbridge, El Alamein, El Hamma, Sbiba, Thala, Tunis, North Africa 1941–43, Sicily 1943, Cassino II, Coriano, Senio, Italy 1944–45.
The battle honours listed were awarded for services of both infantry and artillery units of the HAC. Those in bold are borne on the Colours.
The HAC is unique within the British Army in having two types of Colours. The HAC has its ceremonial Guns (which are considered Colours in Artillery regiments), but also carries a stand of traditional Colours of the Infantry. These Colours follow the pattern of line infantry regiments: the Queen's Colour being a version of the Union Flag, the Regimental Colour being blue with the HAC Coat of Arms in the centre.
The last four occasions that new Colours have been presented to the Regiment were in 1928 by Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), and in 1955, 1980 and on 18 May 2007 by HM Queen Elizabeth II, the regiment's Captain General.
The 1928 Colours are now on display in the Medal Room at Armoury House.
Each of 1, 2 and 3 Squadrons is affiliated to several of the historic sub-units of the HAC and carries on their traditions, hence 2 Squadron wearing the 10th Hussar Button. For example:
- 1 Squadron is affiliated to A Battery, No 1 Company and the Grenadier Company
- 2 Squadron is affiliated to B Battery, No 3 Company, No 4 Company and the Yager Company.
- 3 Squadron is affiliated to 2nd Regiment HAC, C Battery, G Locating Battery, Headquarters, Support and Light Companies.
City of London Police Special Constabulary
In 1919, following a decision to increase the strength of the Metropolitan Police Reserve Force, the Home Secretary approached the HAC to form a Division of Special Constabulary. Some 150 members, mostly Great War veterans, rallied to the call and joined the Division, forming the HAC Detachment. At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Detachment was integrated into G Division of the Metropolitan Police and then later with Islington Division. Following reorganisation, the Detachment is now part of the City of London Police Special Constabulary, its administrative base is Armoury House.
In 2010, the Ferrers Trophy was awarded to Special Constable Patrick Rarden of the detachment for using his banking skills and experience to help train colleagues and provide invaluable assistance to solve fraud cases. The award is given annually to police volunteers for exceptional dedication and innovation.
The detachment retains the Detachment's unique identity by wearing the HAC Regimental Titles in addition to their Divisional identification. They are considered an 'Active' unit of the HAC as is the Regiment and continue the HAC's tradition of keeping order within the City of London.
As well as the Territorial Army Regiment and Specials (the "Active Units"), the HAC exists as a separate charitable organisation—often colloquially referred to as "The Company" or "The House". The Company owns Armoury House and the Regiment's current grounds and, in addition to supporting the Active Unit, provides the basis for a very active social calendar.
There are two distinct classes of member of the Company. The first, Regimental Members, are those who are currently serving or who have previously served in the HAC Regiment or Special Constabulary. The second, Members, must have served at least two years in Regular or three years in Volunteer units of the Crown or in the Police. Some members are people who have reached senior rank (for example Major General The Duke of Westminster) and they provide some 17% of the overall membership of the Company.
Since 1633, the Company has been governed by a Court of Assistants, like many of the City Livery Companies. The first Annual General Court for which a record can be found was held in 1660. In the early part of the 17th century, the Court of Aldermen of the City of London appointed the chief officers and paid the professional soldiers who trained members of the Company. The Lord Mayor and Aldermen are honorary members of the Court of Assistants.
There are two civilian ceremonial organisations that are part of the HAC as distinct from the 'Active Units' of the Regiment and the Specials:
Pikemen and Musketeers
The Pikemen and Musketeers (formed 1925, given a Royal Warrant 1955) are made up of veteran members of the Active Unit. They are the personal bodyguard of the Lord Mayor of the City of London and form his Guard on ceremonial occasions.
The Light Cavalry Troop (formed 1979, granted Royal Warrant 2004) is open to both Regimental and Non-Regimental members of the Company. They escort the Lady Mayoress, and particularly provide her 'Travelling Escort' at the Lord Mayor's Show, both mounted and dismounted elements of the Light Cavalry also supply guards at polo matches at Smith's Lawn Windsor during the summer months.
From 1538 to 1658, the HAC occupied and trained at the Old Artillery Ground in Spitalfields on the site of the outer precinct of the dissolved Priory and Hospital of St Mary Spital. In 1658, following disputes over use of the Ground with the Gunners of the Tower, it moved to its current site south of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground continuing to the south as far as Chiswell St. This area is described in a map of the area of 1677 as the 'New Artillery Garden' and has variously been referred to as the Artillery Ground and the Artillery Garden. This current site now falls in the London Borough of Islington, and is just north of the City of London, the main entrance being in City Road.
Armoury House stands at the north of these grounds, and is the home of the HAC. It was built to replace a smaller 17th-century armoury; the central portion being completed in 1735 to designs by Thomas Stibbs financed in part by a gift of £500 from King George I. Subscriptions were also received from members of the Company and from the Court of Lieutenancy for the City of London. The building cost £1,690, which included the price of the furniture.
In 1802, a distinctive flag tower was added to the roof. The East and West Wings were built in 1828, replacing much smaller buildings on either side of Armoury House. A cottage, originally for the Sergeant Major, was built against the West Wing in 1850.
1862 saw the completion of a Victorian drill hall attached to the rear. The Albert Room, as it was called, featured an iron trussed roof and was named in honour of the then recently deceased Prince Albert.
Finsbury Barracks is the Regiment's Headquarters and is leased by London RFCA from the HAC itself. Completed in 1857, it was designed by the architect Joseph Jennings and built in Kentish Ragstone. An extension, faced in striped stone and granite, linking Finsbury Barracks to Armoury House was designed by Arnold & Boston and added in 1994. Finsbury Barracks was also refurbished in the same year and was re-opened by the Captain General in 1996.
The HAC Shooting Lodge / "Bisley Hut"
Built in 1928 on land leased from the National Rifle Association at Bisley and replacing the original hut on the site. The building was funded by donations, including some in memory of the fallen of the First World War. it is a two-storey building with an oak-panelled dining room on the ground floor and sleeping accommodation on the first. In 2011, the HAC disposed of the Lodge and returned it to the National Rifle Association.
In 1999, the Company acquired the Welsh Pencelli Estate near Brecon as an area that could be used by the Regiment for military and adventure training. The historic estate lies in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park and comprises approximately 14,000 acres (57 km²) of hill land.
Notable members of the HAC
|1657||Major General Philip Skippon|
|1702||Prince George of Denmark and Norway, Duke of Cumberland|
|1837||Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex|
|1843||Prince Albert, the Prince Consort|
|24 July 1863||Edward VII|
|7 May 1910||George V|
|1 February 1936||Edward VIII|
|10 December 1936||George VI|
|6 February 1952||Elizabeth II|
- Colonel Commandants
- Colonel the Earl of Denbigh (1903–1933)
- Colonel the Viscount Galway (1933–1935)
- Colonel the Earl Fortescue (1935–1943)
- Field Marshal Viscount Gort (1943–1946)
- Field Marshal Alan Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke (1946–1954)
- Major General Sir Julian Gascoigne (1954–1959)
- General Sir Richard Goodbody (1959–1966)
- General Sir Rodney Moore (1966–1976)
- General Sir Victor FitzGeorge-Balfour (1976–1984)
- General Sir Richard Trant (1984–1992)
- General Sir Michael Wilkes (1992–1998)
- General Sir Alexander Harley (1998–2003)
- General Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman (2003–2010)
- Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner (2010–2013)
- Lieutenant General Sir Richard Barrons (2013–Present)
- Major Tom Addington, an outstanding all-rounder: sportsman, Commando, paratrooper and horse gunner, he was awarded an MC in the Netherlands.
- Jock Airlie (Seton), Association Football Player
- Kevin Alderton, holder of the blind speed ski world record
- Bertram Archer GC OBE ERD**, awarded GC for work on bomb disposal in the war. Member of the HAC before joining Royal Engineers.
- Air Vice-Marshal Sir Cecil Boucher KBE CB DFC started his service career as a trumpeter in the Honourable Artillery Company.
- Prince Rupert of the Rhine
- George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle
- Gregory Barker, MP
- Robert Henry Cain VC
- Erskine Childers, joined City Imperial Volunteers 1898, RN commission in 1914
- Patrick Delaforce, Military historian and author
- James Gray, MP
- Charles Greenwood, HAC before joining regular artillery, earned MC at Monte Cassino
- Reginald Leonard Haine VC, MC*
- Sir Edward Heath KG, former Prime Minister
- Adrian Hill, Artist and author
- Robert Keayne – founder of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts
- John Patrick Kenneally VC
- Maj Gen Simon Lalor CB TD, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff for Reserves and Cadets (UK's senior serving Reservist), 2007–2010
- John Laurie, Shakespearean and TV actor.
- LGen Andrew Leslie OMM, MSC, MSM, CD, former Chief of Land Staff, Canadian Forces
- Nigel Bruce, Soldier and Actor.
- Major David Liddell MC
- Ronald Light, defendant in the Green Bicycle Case
- Vincenzo Lunardi
- Sir Clive Martin OBE TD DL, former Lord Mayor of the City of London
- General Sir Richard O'Connor, KT, GCB, DSO, MC, ADC
- Richard Owen was an English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist.
- Samuel Pepys (1633–1703) – diarist
- Sir Christopher Michael Wren – Architect, scientist and a founder of the Royal Society
- Alfred Oliver Pollard VC, MC*, DCM
- Kenneth Powell, Olympic hurdler
- Edward John Amoore, Olympic Gold and Bronze medalist for shooting at 1908 Olympics
- Hugh Pritchard (Olympic biathlete 2002 games)
- David Reindorp, Clergyman
- Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester
- Andrew Selous MP (b. 1962)
- Lord Francis Seymour
- Patrick Shovelton, one of Whitehall's most formidable international negotiators
- John Talbot, awarded the MC in Normandy in 1944.
- Colonel Orde Wingate, son of Maj. Gen. Orde Wingate
- Basil Williams, historian
In 1995 six public schools (Eton, Harrow, Marlborough, Radley, Rugby and Wellington) became affiliated to the Company. The rationale behind these affiliations is to facilitate communication with the schools and to inform students of the opportunities available to them within the HAC.
The HAC established a Cadet Battalion in 1942 during the Second World War which continued until 1958. During the War and until 1948 members of the Cadet Battalion fired salutes and provided guards of honour whilst members of the HAC were away on active service. In 2012 the HAC sponsored and helped establish a cadet unit at the City of London Academy Islington.
- Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts
- Honourable Artillery Company Museum
- Transvaal Horse Artillery
Order of precedence
Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers
|Order of Precedence||Succeeded by
- A loose translation, more literally "Arms (hold the) balance of peace"
- Reserve units take precedence after regular units
- "TAQ". MoD. 12 Jan. Check date values in:
- "Text of The Queen's speech at the presentation of colours to the Honourable Artillery Company". 18 May 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007. "Since I last presented new colours to the Company in 1980, the Regiment has served with distinction on exercises and operations around the world, and most recently in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. Facilities sited in the Company's grounds also played a key role in the aftermath of the London bombings of 2005."
- "Service dinner:Honourable Artillery Company". The Times (London). 28 April 2010.
- "Mass. corps votes in first female members". "The Ancient and Honorables is the third-oldest military organization in the world, just a few decades behind the Honourable Artillery Company of London and the Vatican's Pontifical Swiss Guard."
- "Letters Confirming The Date of Formation And Precedence of the Regiment". Monmouth Castle Museum.
- Nevill, Ralph (1909). British military prints. pp. xxxiv.
- Anthony Higmore (1804). The History of the Honourable Artillery Company of the City of London. p. 123.
- Justine Taylor, Archivist, Honourable Artillery Company, Armoury House, London, 2009
- Anthony Higmore (1804). The History of the Honourable Artillery Company of the City of London. p. 64.
- Anthony Higmore (1804). The History of the Honourable Artillery Company of the City of London. p. 80.
- Royal Marines History – Origins
- "ARMY—THE QUEEN'S REGULATIONS— THE HONOURABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY". Hansard. 27 March 1888.
- "THE HONOURABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY AND THE ROYAL NAVAL VOLUNTEERS—PRECEDENCE AT REVIEWS". Hansard. 7 July 1887.
- Williams, Basil; Childers, Erskine, ed. (1903). The H.A.C. in South Africa : a record of the services rendered in the South African War by members of the Honourable Artillery Company. London: Smith, Elder & co. p. 1.
- Williams, Basil; Childers, Erskine, ed. (1903). The H.A.C. in South Africa : a record of the services rendered in the South African War by members of the Honourable Artillery Company. London: Smith, Elder & co. p. 2.
- List of units of the British Army Territorial Force 1908
- Kingham, WR (1919). London Gunners. Naval & Military Press. ISBN 1-84342-658-7.
- Walker, G Gould (1954). The Honourable Artillery Company 1537–1947. Gale & Polden Ltd. p. 379. (pp. 243–249)
- G Gould Walker, pp. 255–257
- Davies, Peter (4 November 2008). "Britain's oldest regiment hails a great Italian victory 90 years on". London: The Times. Retrieved 4 May 2010. "When the pikemen and musketeers of the London-based Honourable Artillery Company parade before the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, in the town square of Vittorio Veneto in northeastern Italy today they will do so as a grateful acknowledgement by the Italian authorities of a remarkable British contribution to Italy's final victory over the forces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the First World War."
- General Sir Martin Farndale (1988). History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. The Forgotten Fronts and the Home Base, 1914–1918. Royal Artillery Institution. p. 357. ISBN 1-870114-05-1.
- G Gould Walker, pp. 249–254
- G Gould Walker, p. 258
- Gordon Brook-Shepherd, Uncrowned Emperor – The Life and Times of Otto von Habsburg, Hambledon Continuum, London 2003. ISBN 1-85285-549-5.
- Gordon Brook-Shepherd, The Last Habsburg, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1968. ISBN 0-297-17650-1.
- Brook-Shepherd, Uncrowned Emperor.
- The British Reconnaissance Corps in World War II. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "History of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- G Gould Walker pp. 281–289
- G Gould Walker pp. 289–299
- Delaforce, Patrick (1993). The Black Bull. Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-3183-3.Patrick Delaforce served with the regiment through this campaign
- G Gould Walker pp. 304–9
- HAC Museum display
- "Court Circular". Buckingham Palace. 4 June 2002. Retrieved 28 December 2007. "A Guard of Honour of the Honourable Artillery Company, with the Band of the Company, and the Massed Corps of Drums of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards and the Honourable Artillery Company, under the command of Major Simon Garrett, with the Mounted Bands and a Dismounted Detachment of the Household Cavalry were formed up outside the Great West Door."
- "Court Circular". Buckingham Palace. 11 December 2002. Retrieved 28 December 2007. "The Queen was entertained to Lunch at Armoury House, City Road, London EC1, this afternoon by the Honourable Artillery Company to celebrate Her Majesty's Fifty Years as Captain General."
- TAQ (Ministry of Defence). December 2008.
- "Royal Artillery Individual Training Regulations" (PDF). June 2004. p. page 30. Archived from the original on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2007. "The one exception to this is the HAC who are mandated to train at the regimental level"
- Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) – Squadrons Retrieved 24 June 2011
- Coughlan, Tom (26 December 2007). "UK troops prepare for Christmas in Afghanistan". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 December 2007. "A highly paid investment banker for Credit Suisse in civilian life, Trooper Kelly is one of several soldiers from the City of London-based unit to give up a year of handsomely remunerated work in the Square Mile for training and deployment in Helmand."
- Margarette, Driscoll (12 December 10, 2010). "Pinstripe Army at two o'colck". Sunday Times. pp. New Review 8 Check date values in:
- "Trooper Jack Sadler killed in Afghanistan". Ministry of Defence. 5 December 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2007.
- "Trooper Jack Sadler Repatriation Ceremony". YouTube.
- "Military news in brief". London: The Times. 21 March 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2010. "The Cobra Trophy Runner-up for 2008 is Trooper Adam Cocks, 2nd Squadron Honourable Artillery Company, who was severely injured in Afghanistan when his vehicle struck a mine. While recuperating at Headley Court rehabilitation centre, in Surrey, he and a friend came up with the idea of a rugby match at Twickenham to help to raise money for the charity Help for Heroes."
- "Yorkshire Gunners honoured for Service in Iraq and Afghanistan". Ministry of Defence. 3 July 2008. "Earlier in the day, in what marks a historic change in the history of one of the Batteries from the Regiment – 4/73 (Sphinx) Battery, the traditional dark blue beret of the Royal Artillery was replaced with a khaki-coloured beret. The change came about as a result of the Battery working closely, in times of war, with the Honourable Artillery Company, who have a close association with the Household Division. The khaki beret is the colour beret that the Household Division wear and so to mark this close working relationship the beret has been changed."
- Regimental Customs Traditions and History, An Aide Memoire. The Honourable Artillery Company. 2010.
- "Court Circular". Buckingham Palace. 18 May 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007. "The Queen, Captain General, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, this morning presented new Colours to The Honourable Artillery Company at Armoury House, City Road, London EC1."
- "Some questions you might ask about the HAC and Special Constables". Honourable Artillery Company.
- "Special Constables' duties". City of London Police.
- "City of London Police Special Constabulary". Honourable Artillery Company.
- "Crime-fighting volunteers recognised". National Policing Improvement Agency. 17 Jun 10. "Ferrers Trophy overall winner – Special Constable Patrick Rarden of City of London Police. Patrick has used his banking skills and experience to help train colleagues and provide invaluable assistance to solve fraud cases. He has also established a new charity called "Waste Not, Want Not" to help feed rough sleepers." Check date values in:
- "Extract from the Central Register of Charities maintained by the Charity Commission for England and Wales". Retrieved 28 December 2007.
- "HAC Members". HAC Website. "There are two broad classes of memberships available in the HAC, Regimental and Non-Regimental. Regimental Members are either reserve soldiers in the Active Unit of the HAC or Veteran members who have ended their active soldiering, but still enjoy the many benefits of belonging to this unique organisation. Non-Regimental members will have served for at least 2 years in Regular or 3 years in Volunteer units of any of the Armed Services of the Crown or in the Police. They must be proposed and seconded by Regimental members."
- "HAC Journal Article, Spring 2006". Light Cavalry Website. "And, of course, a new member of the Company and recruit to the Light Cavalry, Major-General the Duke of Westminster."
- HAC Financial Statements and Report of the Court of Assistants for the year ended 31 October 2007
- "Court Circular". Windsor Castle. 20 April 2004. Retrieved 28 December 2007. "The Queen this morning visited the Light Cavalry of the Honourable Artillery Company in Windsor Great Park and was received by General Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman (Colonel Commandant). Her Majesty subsequently took the Royal Salute and granted a Royal Warrant to the Light Cavalry."
- "IRA terror victim speaks out against Peter King". 7 January 2011. "The 1990 bombing occurred when Parker was at the 21st birthday of a friend at the hall of the Honourable Artillery Company in London, a space frequently rented out for social events."
- "Honourable Artillery Company Pavilion". "A half-timbered Tudor style shooting lodge, with tiled roof and leaded windows. Familiarly known as the Bisley Hut, the shooting lodge was funded by donations, including some in memory of the fallen. These include a donation from the architect B de C Jackson in memory of his brother Martin killed in action in 1916 and donations from widows and female relatives. The Journal of the Honourable Artillery Company records that 'two members have endowed cubicles in memory of a friend or relation who gave his life'. Inside, the fireplace was donated in memory of Dermot O'Brien who was killed in 1917 and the panelling was donated in memory of Captain Tatham who was killed in 1914."
- Goold Walker, Major G. Honourable Artillery Company 1537–1987. p. 262.
- The London Gazette: . 3 March 1933. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 1 February 1935. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 6 August 1943. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 13 September 1946. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 27 August 1954. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 14 July 1959. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 30 September 1966. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 3 August 1976. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- "Obituaries – General Sir Richard Trant". London: The Daily Telegraph. 20 October 2007. Retrieved 22 October 2007.
- The London Gazette: . 9 June 1992. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 29 June 1998. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 1 July 2003. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 11 May 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- The London Gazette: . 18 June 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- "Major Tom Addington". The daily Telegraph. 1 December 2011. "Major Tom Addington, who has died aged 92, was an outstanding all-rounder: sportsman, Commando, paratrooper and horse gunner, he was awarded an MC in the Netherlands. In the winter of 1944–45, Addington was a battery captain with 13th Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) Royal Horse Artillery (RHA)"
- "Tributes paid to 'wonderful' Jock". "He played for Celtic between 1942 and 1947, including a goal from 25 yards on his debut at Parkhead, and featured in four Old Firm' games. However, his appearances were few and faw between after he was conscripted to the Honourable Artillery Company..."
- "Where's Kev?". Ski XClub of Great Britain. "Blind daredevil Kevin Alderton, sponsored by the Ski Club of Great Britain, has set the first ever Blind Speed Ski World Record at the 'Flying Kilometre' in Les Arcs, France, with a remarkable speed of 100.94mph, in 2.21 seconds, over a distance of 1 kilometre!"
- Page 62, 5 March 1915 Edition, The War Illustrated A WW1 Pictorial Record of the Conflict of the Nations, Edited By J A Hammerton
- "At the Trough".
- "Obituary". London: The Daily Telegraph. 4 September 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2010. "Young Charles was educated at Haileybury before working for a firm of stock jobbers in the City. He then had a spell with Unilever. He joined the Honourable Artillery Company in 1936 and the Supplementary Reserve in 1939 as a gunner officer."
- "LGen AB Leslie OMM, MSC, MSM, CD".
- "Obituaries – Major David Liddell". London: The Daily Telegraph. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2008. "In 1937 he joined Chandler Hargreaves Whittall & Co, Lloyds brokers, and enlisted in the Honourable Artillery Company. On the outbreak of war Liddell transferred to the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)."
- "Vincenzo Lunardi – First man to navigate the skies over England".
- "Private Papers Collection at the Honourable Artillery Company".
- The London Gazette: . 21 September 1917. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
- Darwin By Adrian Desmond. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "Oympians at War".
- "Supplement to the London Gazette". Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- "Hugh Pritchard Biathlete.co.uk". Retrieved 2 January 2008.
- Page 4, Regimental Fire, A History of the HAC in World war II, Author: Brigadier RF Johnson
- "Patrick Shovelton". The Daily Telegraph. 29 March 2012. "A scholar at both Charterhouse and Keble College, Oxford, Shovelton joined up on graduating in 1940. He served in the Royal Artillery and the Honourable Artillery Company, then in 1945 was appointed deputy assistant adjutant-general at the War Office."
- "John Talbot – Obituary". London: The daily Telegraph. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2010. "In this action Corporal Sidney "Basher" Bates won a posthumous Victoria Cross. Talbot's own comrades remember his imperturbability – "unshakeable even in the most alarming situations" – a valuable quality in war. The citation for the award of an MC paid tribute to the skill and courage with which he pushed forward with his signallers and broke up a series of determined counter-attacks."
- Piper, Leonard (2006). The Tragedy of Erskine Childers. London: Hambledon Continuum. pp. 39–42. ISBN 1-84725-020-3.
- Pg 144, Honourable Artillery Company Journal, Vol 89, No 483, Autumn 2012
- "Cadet scheme helps inner city school".
- Goold Walker, G The Honourable Artillery Company, 1537–1947 2nd edition (Aldershot: Gale and Polden, 1954)
- Goold Walker, G The Honourable Artillery Company, 1537–1987 3rd edition (London: Honourable Artillery Company, 1986)
- Bluett, Antony A Gunner's Crusade: The Campaign in the Desert, Palestine & Syria as Experienced by the Honourable Artillery Company During the Great War Leonaur Ltd
- Wood, Jake Among You: The Extraordinary True Story of a Soldier Broken by War Mainstream Publishing (17 January 2013)
- Pollard, AO Fire-eater. The Memoirs of a VC Naval & Military Press Ltd (20 June 2006)
- Nash, NS, Valour in the Trenches!: 'Bombo' Pollard VC MC* DCM HAC in The Great War Pen & Sword Military (20 October 2011)
- Trebich, Willy Broken Swastika, Futura Publications Limited
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Honourable Artillery Company.|
- The "Company" website
- The Light Cavalry HAC website
- The HAC Pikemen & Musketeers
- Newsreel showing the Earl of Athlone inspecting the HAC Horse Artillery in 1932.
- Newsreel of the Queen presenting new HAC Colours in 1955. The final part of the clip demonstrates the unique regimental custom of toasting or cheering a member of the Company with "Regimental Fire".
- Newsreel of HAC infantry on exercise and of the Pikemen in 1958