|Royal Regiment of Artillery|
Royal Artillery Cap Badge
|Active||1716 – Present|
|Size||15 Regular regiments
7 Reserve regiments
|Garrison/HQ||Various: Larkhill (Regimental HQ), Catterick, Tidworth, Colchester, Hohne|
|Motto||Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt (Where Right And Glory Lead)
|March||British Grenadiers (Quick March) The Royal Artillery Slow March, colloquially known as The Duchess of Kent (Slow March; also March Past for Kings Troop RHA) The Keel Row (Trot Past) Bonnie Dundee (Gallop Past)|
|Brigadier NH Eeles (Director Royal Artillery)|
|Captain General||HM The Queen Elizabeth II|
|Master Gunner, St James's Park||General Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman|
|Tactical Recognition Flash|
|British Army arms and services|
|Royal Armoured Corps|
|Army Air Corps|
|Combat Support Arms|
|Royal Corps of Signals|
|Royal Army Chaplains Department|
|Royal Logistic Corps|
|Army Medical Services|
|Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers|
|Adjutant General's Corps|
|Small Arms School Corps|
|Royal Army Physical Training Corps|
|General Service Corps|
|Corps of Army Music|
- 1 History
- 2 The Royal Artillery today
- 3 Support to current operations
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Order of precedence
- 6 The Future of the Royal Artillery
- 7 Sporting and social
- 8 Museum
- 9 Affiliations
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The introduction of artillery into the English Army came as early as the Battle of Crécy in 1346 but was not a permanent body, Henry VIII recognised what artillery could achieve and created a semi-permanent body of artillery. The recognition of the need for a permanent body of artillery however, did not happen until 1716.
Before the 18th century, artillery 'traynes' were raised by royal warrant for specific campaigns and disbanded again when they were over. On 26 May 1716, however, by royal warrant of George I two regular companies of field artillery, each 100 men strong, were raised at Woolwich. The title "Royal Artillery" (RA) was first used in 1720. On 1 April 1722 the two companies were increased to four and grouped with independent artillery companies at Gibraltar and Minorca to form the Royal Regiment of Artillery, commanded by Colonel Albert Borgard. In 1741 the Royal Military Academy was formed in the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich (RWA) to provide training for RA and Royal Engineers (RE) officers. The regiment expanded rapidly and, by 1757, had 24 companies divided into two battalions, as well as a cadet company formed in 1741. During 1748, the presidential artilleries of Bengal, Madras and Bombay were formed. 1756 saw the creation of the Royal Irish Regiment of Artillery. In 1762 the Royal Artillery Band was formed at Minden. By 1771 there were 32 companies in four battalions, as well as two "invalid companies" comprising older and unfit men employed in garrison duties. During 1782, the regiment moved to the current Royal Artillery Barracks (front parade) on Woolwich Common. In January 1793, two troops of Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) were raised to provide fire support for the cavalry, augmented by two more in November 1793. All RHA personnel were mounted. The Royal Irish Artillery was absorbed into the RA in 1801. During 1805, the Royal Artillery moved to Woolwich Common. In 1819, the Rotunda was given to the regiment by the Prince Regent to celebrate end of the Napoleonic Wars. (It was originally built in St. James's Park as the outer casing of the tent in which the Prince Regent entertained the Allied sovereigns in 1814.) In 1832, the regimental mottoes were granted.
The regiment was under the control of the Board of Ordnance until the board was abolished in 1855. Thereafter the regiment came under the War Office along with the rest of the army. The School of Gunnery established at Shoeburyness, Essex in 1859. In 1862 the regiment absorbed the artillery of the British East India Company—21 horse batteries and 48 field batteries—which brought its strength up to 29 horse batteries, 73 field batteries and 88 heavy batteries.
On 1 July 1899, the Royal Artillery was divided into three groups: the Royal Horse Artillery of 21 batteries and the Royal Field Artillery of 95 batteries comprised one group, while the coastal defence, mountain, siege and heavy batteries were split off into another group named the Royal Garrison Artillery of 91 companies. The third group continued to be titled simply Royal Artillery, and was responsible for ammunition storage and supply. Which branch a gunner belonged to was indicated by metal shoulder titles (R.A., R.F.A., R.H.A., or R.G.A.). The RFA and RHA also dressed as mounted men, whereas the RGA dressed like foot soldiers. In 1920 the rank of Bombardier was instituted in the Royal Artillery. The three sections effectively functioned as separate corps. This arrangement lasted until 1924, when the three amalgamated once more to became one regiment. In 1938, RA Brigades were renamed Regiments. During World War II there were over 1 million men serving in 960 gunner regiments. In 1947 the Riding Troop RHA was renamed The King's Troop RHA and, in 1951, the title of the regiment's colonel-in-chief became Captain General.
Before the Second World War, Royal Artillery recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m) tall. Men in mechanised units had to be at least 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall. They initially enlisted for six years with the colours and a further six years with the reserve or four years and eight years. They trained at the Royal Artillery Depot in Woolwich.
From its beginnings, the Royal Artillery has been based at Woolwich, in south-east London. In 2003 it was decided to move the headquarters to Larkhill on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire (the RA's training ground, where the Royal School of Artillery has been based since 1915). The last Royal Artillery troops left Woolwich Barracks in 2007; in 2012, however, the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery was relocated to Woolwich from their former headquarters in St John's Wood.
The Royal Artillery today
The Royal Artillery is equipped with a variety of equipment and performs a wide range of roles, including:
- Surveillance and Target Acquisition
- Commando and Airborne artillery
- Self Propelled Artillery
- Multiple Launch Rocket Systems
- Air defence
The Captain General of the regiment is Queen Elizabeth II. The post was previously known as Colonel-in-Chief until King George VI expressed the desire to be known as Captain General. The head of the regiment is the Master Gunner, St. James's Park.
The Royal Regiment of Artillery comprises both Regular (full-time) and Reserve (part-time) units. The current regiments of the Royal Artillery are:
Regular regiments of the Royal Horse Artillery
- King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery is a ceremonial unit equipped with 13 pounder guns for firing salutes, and is now located in Woolwich Garrison
- 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery – equipped with AS90 self-propelled artillery at Assaye Barracks in Tidworth
- 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (The Liverpool and Manchester Gunners) are equipped with the AS90 self-propelled artillery, based at Caen Barracks in Hohne, Germany.
- 7th (Parachute) Regiment Royal Horse Artillery – (The Airborne Gunners) Equipped with L118 105mm light gun and are currently part of 16th Air Assault Brigade based in Colchester
Regular regiments of the Royal Artillery
- 4th Regiment Royal Artillery – (The North East Gunners) are equipped with AS90 self-propelled artillery at Alanbrooke Barracks in Topcliffe
- 5th Regiment Royal Artillery – (The North, East & West Yorkshire Gunners) are equipped with Surveillance and Target Acquisition and based at Marne Barracks in Catterick, North Yorkshire
- 12th Regiment Royal Artillery – (The Lancashire and Cumbrian Gunners) are equipped with Starstreak HVM and are based at Baker Barracks, Thorney Island
- 14th Regiment Royal Artillery – are the Training and Support Regiment based at Stirling Barracks in Larkhill
- 16th Regiment Royal Artillery – (The London and Kent Gunners) are equipped with Rapier and are based at St George's Barracks North Luffenham, in Rutland
- 19th Regiment Royal Artillery – (The Highland Gunners) are equipped with AS90 self-propelled artillery at Assaye Barracks in Tidworth
- 26th Regiment Royal Artillery –– (The West Midland Gunners) are equipped with AS90 self-propelled artillery at Mansergh Barracks in Gütersloh
- 29th Commando Regiment Royal Artillery – (The Commando Gunners) are equipped with the L118 105mm light gun, and are currently part of 3 Commando Brigade, with most batteries based at the Royal Citadel in Plymouth with one battery (148 (Meiktila) Battery) based at RM Poole and 7 (Sphinx) Battery Royal Artillery Based at Royal Marines Base Condor in Arbroath.
- 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery – are equipped with Surveillance and Target Acquisition and Unmanned Air Vehicles and are based in Roberts Barracks in Larkhill
- 39th Regiment Royal Artillery – (The Welsh Gunners) are equipped with MLRS and GMLRS and are based at Newcastle upon Tyne; their recruiting area is Wales.
- 40th Regiment Royal Artillery – (The Lowland Gunners) are equipped with L118 105mm light gun at Thiepval Barracks in Lisburn, Northern Ireland
- 47th Regiment Royal Artillery – (The Hampshire and Sussex Gunners) – are equipped with Unmanned Air Vehicles and are based at Baker Barracks, Thorney Island
- Honourable Artillery Company (Surveillance and Target Acquisition) (London) (Not part of the Royal Regiment of Artillery).
- 100th (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery (Armoured/Field/Airborne Artillery)
- 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery (STA & MLRS)
- 103rd (Lancashire Artillery Volunteers) Regiment Royal Artillery (Field Artillery) (Lancashire Artillery Volunteers Band)
- 104th Regiment Royal Artillery (Surveillance and Target Acquisition – Unmanned Air Vehicles)
- 105th Regiment Royal Artillery 'The Scottish & Ulster Gunners' (Field Artillery)
- 106th (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery (Air Defence Artillery)
The Royal Regiment of Artillery is unique in that it has sub-units that often move between regiments, or are placed into suspended animation. See List of Royal Artillery Batteries.
Support to current operations
5th Regiment Royal Artillery deploys a battery on operations operating and supporting all Base ISTAR equipment and LCMR radar.
The Royal Artillery is equipped with two main weapons in the air defence mission;
- Rapier FSC – Rapier is the standard Low Level Air Defence (LLAD) weapon in the British Army. In the Royal Artillery, it equips 16 Regiment. No Army Reserve unit will be armed with Rapier.
- Starstreak HVM – Starstreak is a continuation of the Blowpipe and Javelin series. In the RA it can be used as a shoulder-launched weapon, in the Lightweight Multiple Launcher (LML) or mounted on a Stormer armoured vehicle. The weapon equips 12 Regiment and two batteries of 106 Regiment RA(V) by Army 2020.
In the support mission, the Royal Artillery has three types of weapon;
- MLRS – the Multiple Launch Rocket System equips the "heavy" regiments of the Royal Artillery, 39 Regiment and 101(V) Regiment.
- AS-90 – the AS-90 is a self-propelled gun that equips five field regiments, 1 RHA, 3 RHA, 4 Regiment, 19 Regiment and 26 Regiment.
- Light gun – the Light Gun is a 105 mm gun used in the close support mission in support of light or specialist forces. It equips three Regular regiments, 7 (Para) RHA, 29 (Commando) Regt RA and 40 Regiment RA, as well as three Army Reserve regiments – 100 Regt RA, 103 Regt RA and 105 Regt RA.
Surveillance and target acquisition
- MAMBA and ASP – the Mobile Artillery Monitoring Battlefield Asset (MAMBA) and Advanced Sound ranging Program (ASP) are the main pieces of equipment used in the battlefield surveillance mission by 5th Regiment RA & 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery.
- Hermes 450 UAV (due to be replaced by the Watchkeeper WK450 UAV), operated by 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery
- Desert Hawk UAV – the Desert Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is a smaller, more discreet vehicle. Also operated by 32, 47, and 104(V) Regiment.
- 13 pounder - the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery retains six operational First World War-era QF 13 pounders for use as state saluting guns
Order of precedence
Royal Armoured Corps
|Order of Precedence||Succeeded by
Corps of Royal Engineers
When on parade with its guns the Royal Horse Artillery takes precedence over all Army units.
The Future of the Royal Artillery
- 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
- 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
- 4th Regiment Royal Artillery
- 5th Regiment Royal Artillery
- 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
- 12th Regiment Royal Artillery
- 16th Regiment Royal Artillery
- 19th Regiment Royal Artillery
- 26th Regiment Royal Artillery
- 29th Commando Regiment Royal Artillery
- 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery
- 47th Regiment Royal Artillery
- The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery
Due to the disbanding of the 39th RA, It has been noted that six AS-90 batteries and one GMLRS battery will form the three artillery regiments support the three Reaction Force Brigades. 1 RHA has already announced that it will be one of those artillery regiments.
It has been said that the RA may lose its M2270 GLMRS in the future.
1 RHA, 3 RHA, 4 RA, 19 RA 26 RA and the Army Reserve units, 101 RA and 105 RA will be grouped together under the 1st Artillery Brigade. 12th and 16th RA will continue to be under the joint Army-RAF unit, Joint Ground Based Air Defence.[not in citation given (See discussion.)] 5 RA, along with 104 RA, will be under the 1 Intelligence and Surveillance Brigade.
A list of Army Reserve (formerly Territorial Army) units has recently been published. 100th (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery will be suspended in animation.
101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery will be fully re-roled to GMLRS. 106th (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery will entirely be re-roled to Starstreak missiles, on Stormer vehicles or LML.
The Regimental family supports a wide range of social and sporting activities including - in addition to football, rugby, cricket, sailing etc. - the RA Hunt and a Point-to-Point racecourse. The Regimental magazine, "Gunner" is published monthly and the RA Journal (with a more academic flavour) twice a year. The RA Association has branches across the UK and some internationally.
- Canada – Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
- Australia – Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery
- New Zealand – Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery
- India – Regiment of Artillery
- Pakistan – Regiment of Artillery
- Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka Artillery
- Singapore – Singapore Volunteer Artillery
- Malta – Armed Forces of Malta
- Malaysia – Rejimen Artileri Diraja
- Gibraltar – The Royal Gibraltar Regiment
- South Africa – South African Artillery Corps
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Royal Artillery.|
- Royal Artillery Mounted Band
- Royal Artillery Band
- Royal Artillery Memorial
- Royal Artillery Barracks
- Royal School of Artillery
- Firepower – The Royal Artillery Museum
- Bermuda Militia Artillery
- Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
- Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery
- Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery
- 79th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery
- Manx Regiment
- History and Traditions of the Royal Artillery
- Woolwich Common in Garden and Landscape Guide
- The Royal Artillery has the motto and battle honour Ubique ("Everywhere"), granted by William IV in 1833. The subsidiary motto is Quo fas et gloria ducunt ("Where right and glory lead"). Both mottoes are shared with the Royal Engineers, due to the shared Board of Ordnance history.
- Royal Artillery History
- War Office, His Majesty's Army, 1938
- King's Troop moves to its 'spiritual home' in Woolwich at BBC News, 7 February 2012. Accessed 8 February 2012
- 39 Regt RA – British Army website
- Although the Honourable Artillery Company currently has an artillery role, it is a separate regiment in its own right, with its own colours, uniforms and traditions
- Transforming the British Army
- "UK Royal Artillery rolls out new structure". Janes.com. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- "Operations & Training - British Army Website". Army.mod.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- About IHS Jane's
- Regular Army Basing Matrix
- Army 2020 Report
- Summary of Army 2020 Reserve Structure and Basing Changes, pages 4-6
- Summary of Army 2020 Reserve Structure and Basing Changes, pages 3,5
- Graham C A L DSO psc, Brig Gen The Story of the Royal Regiment of Artillery RA Institution, Woolwich 1939