Talk:Honourable Artillery Company

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My musings for today[edit]

Grounds / Site Section[edit]

Content to be added if anyone has the time:

  • Content on 'original' Gun Park incl who paid for it? sorry I don't remember- a veteran assoc. from within the Regt I believe?
  • The Vicarage (anyone know history of it?). Leading in to it and the Gun Pk being redeveloped and the leasing to Holmes place.

What (I think) this article isn't...[edit]

If I may be so bold...we should remember that this article is not primarily a recruiting tool: www.hac.org.uk does that job very well. If we start to go down that route we risk the article becoming biased and providing a rose-tinted view. I don't think its a problem currently but some content could be leaning that way. Just a thought (and of course if it gets that way I'm sure someone will edit it!). Feel free to tell me to wind my neck in... Dphavis 19:42, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Affiliations[edit]

If anyone has got access to them it would be good to add the veteran unit to Squadron Affiliations. I'm not sure where to find them having looked in the journal and old membership lists.

Well, here goes my understanding is this for where post 1947 subunits went...
1 Sqn was formed from:
HAC Bty RHA(V) which in turn was formed from:
A and B Bty 1st HAC, RHA
2 Sqn was formed from:
C Bty HAC (RHA) which in turn was previously part of 1st HAC, RHA
3 Sqn was formed from:
the Infantry Company / Battalion, so that's Grenadier, Yager, Lt Inf Coys
Sigs Sqn was formed from:
Somme, Cassino, Rhine Troops of 1, 2 and 3 Sqn respectively
Somewhere in the mix G Locating Bty fed into 1st HAC in 1961 but not sure where they put themselves, and 2nd HAC RHA disbanded in '55 - not sure where they went either... Also, this is how I think the restructuring went, not necessarily where the veterans trace their associations. Someone wiser than me please correct me! Dphavis

I'm pretty certain that the Yager and Lt Inf are affiliated to 2 Sqn (Hence the belt) and G Bty to 3 Sqn. If you get time 1 Sqn at least have their affiliations in the wall on or near their office, not sure about 2 and 3. I'm of the understanding that Grenadier Company is affiliated to 1 Sqn, hence the red stable belt. Not aware of any affiliations listed near the 1 Sqn office but will dopuble check. The place has been refurbished once or twice!Wolfbolt (talk) 23:23, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

HAC and its 'Special Forces' designation[edit]

In the big edit made 7-Dec-05, we have lost some important facts -- for example, all mention of four-man sabres has gone. All mention of the HAC's special forces designation and its links to 21 SAS has also been lost. Why?

Are those all verifiable facts? --Khendon 21:21, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, I was in the regiment from 1981-1984. I'm not sure I have any payslips remaining -- if I do, they show the Special Forces allowance. 'Sabre' was certainly the standard term then for the four-man patrol. (There seems to be some concern about the Official Secrets Act, but I do not see how a word -- 'sabre' -- can be in breach.) The links to 21 SAS are anecdotal and unlikely to be verifiable.

The point is that 1984 is now a long time ago and matters have changed a great deal since then - talking about "4 man sabres" is about 2 decades out of date.

The HAC is not and never has been SF, despite what some might like to believe and despite the anomaly that arose with pay because of the Corps Patrol Unit. There is a concern that potential recruits may use Wikipedia to research the regiment and that mentioning SF (without having to explain the very complex issues surrounding the CPU, the development of the role and command and control) would be misleading.

There appear to be forces at work wishing to suppress the fact that the HAC used to be (even if it isn't today) a 'Special Forces' regiment. Back in the 1980s, its role was Special Forces -- dig in your mexe on the edge of a wood on the eastern border of West Germany, in anticipation of Russian tanks crossing the River Weser, morse back to NATO artillery the positions of expensive East German and Russian kit, bug out behind enemy lines later, if you survived that long. 1, 2, 3 and the fledgling 4 Squadron all got special forces pay rates; the Gun Troop didn't. just because Tony Geraghty didn't mention the HAC in his books on the special forces doesn't mean the HAC wasn't thus designated. I believe this period is an important part of the HAC's history, and assuming it isn't still subject to the Official Secrets Act, it ought to be in Wikipedia. Amy Crescenzo 17:37, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Provide an authorotative, reliable, source and it can go in, appropriately contextualised and referenced. Although 'stay-behind' recce is questionable SF and the current Beyond FEBA ISTAR role certainly isn't.ALR 18:27, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Couple of things: HAC were paid the SF allowance up to the mid-90s, but are now on the "normal" pay scale. The squadrons still deploy 4 man sabres, but your chance of finding this referenced is pretty low given the secrecy that exists around the training.


I do not think the HAC was ever part of the CPU. Having spent quite a lot of time in HQRA in a division and corps in the late 70s early 80s, I can say without fear of informed contradiction that the role was that of 'Stay-behind OP', target acquisition and engagement for artillery, or more specifically the 175mm M107s. Basically a Sqn was assigned to each division and provided a liaison det at div HQ. Once MLRS was on the horizon two regular army troops were formed in the designated regts for exactly the same role. There is a reason that the qualification badge is the NATO symbol for an artillery OP (basic SD chaps), and IIRC this badge was introduced when the two regular troops were merged into a batter.110.32.236.165 (talk) 07:49, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

RA or not RA?[edit]

The HAC, although sharing many traditions with the Royal Artillery, does not form part of the Royal Artillery's order of battle in an administrative sense. Although the RA is an "Arm", it is also an adminstrative regiment with its own cap badge. The HAC should be likened to the Household Cavalry Regiment; neither the Life Guards nor the Blues and Royals are part of the Royal Armoured Corps in an administrative sense, but operationally the Household Cavalry Regiment is simply another FR Regiment. Hammersfan 09/05/07, 12.39 BST

Hmmm, I still think I'm right :-)[edit]

I'm not sure of your level of authority on this (I hope you're not the CO...) and I don't want to cause offence but I feel I do know my stuff reasonably well and am pretty current with it: I think we're nearly on the same page with this anyway but just needs clarification for the "lay" reader and I'm still not sure we have it sufficiently clear. In my experience, the HAC absolutely is under the administrative control of RA: Pay bands, promotion qualifications, course accreditation, deployments all come under RA. The job title of the Patrol soldier is "Gunner Special Observer, RA" (NB abbreviated to Spec Obs, not Spec Ops!). Also, whilst this was a while back (ie pre FTRS), I know a man (!) who went on ops from the HAC with a regular Infantry unit but had to be enlisted as RA then attached to the Inf because of this structure (he has a medal to prove it engraved Gnr X, RA despite never having been a gunner or an RA regiment per se). I think the confusion has come about because even quasi officially the HAC is recognised as being "different" and if you say something often enough and confidently enough other people think it's true, as I think is what's happened on the MOD RA website you referenced. The Royal (Regiment of) Artillery (despite it's name) is not a Regiment (it doesn't have a CO - I think it has a "Director"): It is made up of individual RA and RHA regiments with their own number (eg 5 RA, 9 RA, 7 RHA) who happen to share the same cap badge but who all have their own different roles, customs and traditions. The RA forms an umbrella over all of them (HAC included) for 'administration'. The way we have it at the moment is generally ok I think, but I still don't think it's accurate to say the HAC doesn't come under the RA's order of battle - maybe we need to simply avoid that term! Dphavis 14:26, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Age of Regiment[edit]

Apologies for butting in, but the article on the Coldstream Guards says

Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards, is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division.

It is the oldest regiment in the Army in continuous active service.

I wondered how this squared with the similar-sounding claim for the HAC

Scunner3 11:10, 24 August 2007 (UTC)


Coldstream Guards has now been corrected Blackshod 11:43, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Artillery and Heavy Artillery[edit]

Maybe the article should make it more clear that the original artillery of the HAC was not heavy artillery but light artillery: bows and arrows, crossbows and guns. I think in the early days it was the 'Gunners of the Tower' who had charge of heavy artillery. Confusing I know...Colin4C 19:24, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Arw edits[edit]

I've reverted Arw's edits (on this page and the Lt Cav page) as:

1. The last couple of HAC membeship lists which I've consulted simply don't support the contention that most members (as in a majority) have reached Senior (I reckon a good definition is Flag/General/Air/ACPO Rank) in the RN, Army, RAF or Police.

2. Arw (or the 'Senior member iof the HAC' on whose behalf he has claimed to be writing) seems to want this page to act as a publicity piece for HAC and Light Cav membership - that is not the role of Wikipedea. They can do that if they wish on their own website.

3. He keeps for reasons I'm not sure of, deleting a reference to and quote from the Light Cav's own website that he claims is not correct - surly they are best placed to set out their own membership criteria and that it the best reference.Blackshod (talk) 19:39, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Given Arw's further revision I've done a bit more quantative research and gone through 10 random pages of the 2004 membership list - the first one that came to hand. I found 3 members of General rank - hardly 'many' and none of eqivalent rank from the other services. If you drop your sights a bit there are a couple of Colonels and 5 or 6 Lt-Cols.Blackshod (talk) 19:24, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

'The' Honourable Artillery Company[edit]

Queen's Regulations is quite clear on the use of the definite article in the name see THE QUEEN'S REGULATIONS FOR THE ARMY 1975 (Amendment No 30)Paragraph 8.001

Corps or Regiment

  • Household Cavalry
  • Royal Horse Artillery (a).
  • Royal Armoured Corps.
  • Royal Regiment of Artillery (Royal Horse Artillery excepted).
  • Corps of Royal Engineers.
  • Royal Corps of Signals.
  • Regiments of Foot Guards.
  • Regiments of Infantry (b),
  • Special Air Service Regiment.
  • Army Air Corps.
  • Special Reconnaissance Regiment
  • Royal Army Chaplains' Department.
  • The Royal Logistic Corps.
  • Royal Army Medical Corps.
  • Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
  • Adjutant General's Corps.
  • Royal Army Veterinary Corps.
  • Small Arms School Corps.
  • Royal Army Dental Corps.
  • Intelligence Corps.
  • Army Physical Training Corps.
  • General Service Corps.
  • Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps.
  • Corps of Army Music.
  • The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) (Territorial Army).
  • The Honourable Artillery Company (Territorial Army).
  • Territorial Army (c).
  • The Royal Gibraltar Regiment.
  • The Bermuda Regiment —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.6.135.47 (talk) 18:35, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Queen's Regulations[edit]

The list you refer to above merely shows the order of precedence of corps and regiments in the Army. It is not, and does not purport to be, the definitive authority document on the correct way to name each regiment. Errors and omissions do creep in written documents of this type, especially ones with up to 30 amendments.

The table below shows that differences CAN and DO occur and that Queen's Regulations do not define the name of a Regiment but the other way round. Queen's Regulations should reflect the correct name of a Regiment as used by thr Regiment itself over hundreds of years of history.

Queen's Regulations British Army Website Link
Household Cavalry The Household Cavalry http://www.army.mod.uk/armoured/regiments/1627.aspx
Royal Armoured Corps The Royal Armoured Corps http://www.army.mod.uk/armoured/armoured.aspx
Royal Tank Regiment The First Royal Tank Regiment http://www.army.mod.uk/armoured/regiments/1stRoyalTankRegiment.aspx
Royal Tank Regiment The Second Royal Tank Regiment http://www.army.mod.uk/armoured/regiments/1637.aspx
Royal Regiment of Artillery The Royal Artillery http://www.army.mod.uk/artillery/artillery.aspx
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Royal Regiment of Fusiliers http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regiments/3476.aspx
The Royal Logistic Corps Royal Logistic Corps http://www.army.mod.uk/rlc/logistic.aspx
Intelligence Corps The Intelligence Corps http://www.army.mod.uk/intelligence/intelligence.aspx
The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) http://www.army.mod.uk/royalengineers/territorial/847.aspx
The Honourable Artillery Company Honourable Artillery Company http://www.army.mod.uk/artillery/units/10503.aspx

Are you still saying that the Queen's Regulations are beyond reproach and cannot contain any typographical errors or ommissions?

Should every regiment that is not titled exactly as listed in Queen's Regulations immediately change its name and re-write its history?

The name of the HAC is what it is because of hundreds of years of history, and the traditions, customs and practice that comes with it; not because of an entry in Queen's Regulations which is about something completely different from what Regiments are named.

Sods Opera (talk) 01:33, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Honourable Artillery Company[edit]

Here are some verifiable examples of the correct use of the Regiment's name. There is not a "The" to be seen.

I could also show you our Colours, Drum Major's cross-belt, and brass belt buckles, all of which also show our name without the "The".

Where the name is used in a fixed and permanent way, such as a name plaque, or on the Drums or Colours, then that gives an irrefutable indication of the correct name Honourable Artillery Company.

After watching this article going from The HAC to HAC, the photographic evidence is proof that the rgiments name should be Honourable Artillery Company. --Jim Sweeney (talk) 07:59, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
After more of an edit war can interested editors see here [1] the regimental shield does not have THE on it.--Jim Sweeney (talk) 16:32, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Jim I don't know that company supplying those shields and they are certainly not the approved shields sold by the PRI shop. However, the official ones nevertheless do not have "The" ... not sure why IP address man is trying to re-write history!

Sods Opera (talk) 21:41, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

City Specials[edit]

Brookesward has repeatedly put a link to a City of London HAC Special winning the Ferrers cup. Assuming he is winner (or knows him)is not good enough reason for inclusion. This is NOT notable for a City Special to win an annual award given every year to the Special Constabularies of the UK. I believe article would benefit from removal of this paragraph and also identical piece on City of London Police page. (Cziltang mexico)

Agree. I removed it once but it seems to have reappeared.--Charles (talk) 09:13, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Disagree IIRC there are, relative to the country as a whole, very few HAC specials and this is a national award therefore it is notable that one of them picked it up. The citation is also of significance as it illustates the sort of work that they do - rather different from the 'community policing' fetes and football matches normally assocated with Specials. By the way I neither know the awardee nor am him. Brookesward (talk) 10:27, 4 January 2011 (UTC)


I agree with Charles. Your entry is not relevant. Ian Miller's MBE only gets a footnote.--Cziltang mexico (talk) 17:41, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Quick march audio file[edit]

Why is the string version of the quick march here instead of a proper quick march? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 115.66.138.166 (talk) 11:14, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Jargon[edit]

"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."

Is it possible for this to be translated into layman's English? It seems that parts of this article are still written as if they are extracts from a recruiting pamphlet. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DannyF (talkcontribs) 19:31, 17 May 2014 (UTC)