A Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery
|'A' Battery, Royal Australian Artillery|
|Active||1 August 1871 – present|
|Size||1 Artillery Battery|
|Part of||7th Brigade|
'A' Field Battery is an artillery battery of the Australian Army. The unit has been in existence since 1871, having originally been raised as part of the New South Wales colonial defence force. Today it is part of the 1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, attached to the 7th Brigade based at Enoggera, Queensland. It was previously an airborne unit, but no longer maintains that role.
Formation and early history
'A' Field Battery was originally formed as 'A' Field Battery, New South Wales Artillery. The battery served in the Sudan Campaign but saw only limited action as the war was near its end when it arrived. In 1899 the battery was renamed A Battery, Royal Australian Artillery and departed for the Second Boer War on 30 December, 1899. During the war, the battery was involved in several important actions, such as playing an important role in the capture of the Boer commander de Wet's artillery pieces. 'A' Battery lost one man killed in action, two died of disease, and 45 men returned to Australia due to illness. For its service in South Africa, A Battery was presented a Kings Banner, and is believed to be the only Commonwealth artillery unit to have been honoured in this way.
First World War
Following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the battery was among the first units of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) to leave Australia. Following a period of training and preparation in Egypt with the rest of the AIF, the unit served with distinction at Gallipoli (where only one gun was able to be brought to shore) and in France and Belgium on the Western Front.
Following the war, the battery provided the personal escort and saluting battery during the Prince of Wales visit to Australia 1919. During the Prince's visit, in acknowledgement of the battery's service in South Africa and during the First World War, the battery was granted the right to wear the white lanyard on the left shoulder. As a result, the battery is the only unit of the Royal Australian Artillery to do this.
Second World War
During the period between the wars, the battery undertook several changes in name, eventually being designated A Field Battery Royal Australian Artillery Regiment. At the outbreak of the Second World War A Field Battery were deployed at the School of Artillery and at Holsworthy Barracks, preventing their deployment to the Middle-East and North Africa. However, in July 1943 A Field Battery was re-designated yet again, as the 2nd Mountain Battery, and arrived in New Guinea in September that year. The battery served in New Guinea from 1943–1944.
Service since 1945
Following the end of the war, and returning to its original name, the Battery was part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan. It saw service during the Malayan Emergency, the Indonesian Confrontation and in Vietnam. In late 1987 the Battery assumed the role of parachute deployable artillery for the Airborne Battle Group, and has had personnel serve in non-artillery roles in East Timor / (Timor Leste), as well as deploying in artillery roles to Afghanistan and Iraq.
'A' Field Battery is currently equipped with M777A2 155mm Howitzers. These guns have currently not seen operational service with the Australian Army.
1871–1899 — 'A' Battery, New South Wales Artillery
1899–1910 — 'A' Battery, Royal Australian Artillery
1910–1927 — No. 1 Battery, Australian Field Artillery (Permanent)
1927–1930 — 1st Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery
1930–1936 — 1st Field Cadre, Royal Australian Artillery
1936–1939 — 1st Field Cadre, Australian Artillery Regiment
1939–1943 — 'A' Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery Regiment
1943–1946 — 2nd Mountain Battery
1946–1949 — 'A' Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery Regiment
1949–1957 — 'A' Field Battery, 1st Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery
1957–1959 — 'A' Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery Regiment (independent)
1959–1965 — 'A' Field Battery, 1st Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery
1965–1966 — 'A' Field Battery, 45th Light Regiment, Royal Artillery
1966–1967 — 'A' Field Battery, 6th Light Regiment, Royal Artillery
1967–1969 — 'A' Field Battery, 19 Composite Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery
1969–1974 — 'A' Field Battery, 12th Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery
1974–2000 — 'A' Field Battery, 8th/12th Medium Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery
2000–2010 — 'A' Field Battery, 4th Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery
2011–Present — 'A' Battery, 1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery
- "AWM Unit Information — A Battery, RAA, Second Boer War". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 2009-05-20.
- Armour, Brian. "A Short History of 'A' Field Battery, RAA". Department of Defence. Archived from the original on 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2009-05-20.
- "The History of 'A' Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery". 'A' Field Battery Association. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2009-05-20.
- Cubis, Richmond (1978). A History of 'A' Battery NSW Artillery (1871–1899), Royal Australian Artillery (1899–1971). Sydney: Elizabethan Press.