Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery

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Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery
1st (South Midland) Brigade, RFA (TF)
76th (Gloucestershire) AA Regiment, RA (TA)
266th (GVA) Battery, Royal Artillery
Active 22 November 1859–Present
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Size Regiment then Battery
peacetime HQ Bristol
Equipment L118 light gun

266 (Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery) Battery Royal Artillery is a British Territorial Army Royal Artillery battery.


Volunteer Artillery 1859-1908[edit]

On 22 November 1859 the Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery was formed, making its headquarters at the Artillery Ground, Whiteladies Rd. Clifton, Bristol.

By 1880 the batteries were consolidated as the 1st Gloucestershire (Gloucester and Somerset) Volunteer Artillery, with headquarters in Bristol and batteries as follows:

  • Numbers 1- 6 Bristol
  • Number 7 Newnham
  • Number 8 Gloucester
  • Number 9 Clevedon

By 1908 a total of twelve batteries had been raised.[1]

On the formation of the Territorial Force in 1908 it became the 1st (South Midland) Brigade[a] RFA (TF).

World War I[edit]

1st (South Midland) Brigade RFA (TF) was renamed in 1915 to the 240th Brigade RFA (TF), under which it served throughout the First World War.

Inter War Years[edit]

The brigade was reconstituted on 7 February 1920 as 1st South Midland Brigade, RFA. It incorporated the Berkshire Royal Horse Artillery as one of its batteries. Later, it was redesignated as 66th (South Midland) Brigade, RFA (TF) and renamed in 1924 as the 66th (South Midland) Field Regiment RA (TA).[4]

World War II[edit]

The unit was again renamed in 1938 as the 76th (Gloucestershire) AA Regiment, RA (TA) which it served during the Second World War.[5]


The unit was reformed in 1947 as 266 (Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA (TA).[6]

In more recent times the battery has served as a reinforcement unit for BAOR supplying observation post teams, as the Territorial Army battery supporting 7 Para RHA and as the Territorial Army battery supporting 29 Commando Regiment.[b] It was one of the batteries of 100th (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery.

Under Army 2020 plans, 266th Battery re-roled to Mini Unmanned Air Systems was assigned to 104th Regiment Royal Artillery.[9]


  1. ^ The basic organic unit of the Royal Artillery was, and is, the Battery.[2] When grouped together they formed brigades, in the same way that infantry battalions or cavalry regiments were grouped together in brigades. At the outbreak of World War I, a field artillery brigade of headquarters (4 officers, 37 other ranks), three batteries (5 and 193 each), and a brigade ammunition column (4 and 154)[3] had a total strength just under 800 so was broadly comparable to an infantry battalion (just over 1,000) or a cavalry regiment (about 550). Like an infantry battalion, an artillery brigade was usually commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel. Artillery brigades were redesignated as regiments in 1938. Note that the battery strength refers to a battery of six guns; a four-gun battery would be about two thirds of this.
  2. ^ The Romford based 289th Parachute Troop, Royal Artillery formed part of the battery from 1999 to 2007.[7][8]


  1. ^ Litchfield, Norman E H, and Westlake, R, 1982. The Volunteer Artillery 1859-1908, The Sherwood Press, Nottingham. P86
  2. ^ "The Royal Artillery". Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom). Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Baker, Chris. "What was an artillery brigade?". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Frederick 1984, p. 518
  5. ^ Barton, Derek. "76 (Gloucestershire) Heavy AA Regiment RA(TA)". The Royal Artillery 1939-45. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  6. ^ A. Young. "Territorial Army - Royal Artillery » 266 - 288 Regiments 1947-67". British Army units from 1945 on. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  7. ^ 289 Parachute Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery (T.A.) 1956-1999 at by T.F.Mills at the Wayback Machine (archived 16 August 2007)
  8. ^ A D O’Neill Captain PSAO 201 Bty RA(V). "A letter from Captain O’Neill". Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "Summary of Army 2020 Reserve Structure and Basing Changes" (PDF). 3 July 2013. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 


  • Anderson, Tim (2013). The Bristol Gunners: The History of the Gloucestershire Volunteer Artillery. London: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1493667819. 
  • Becke, Major A.F. (1936). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 2A. The Territorial Force Mounted Divisions and the 1st-Line Territorial Force Divisions (42–56). London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 1-871167-12-4. 
  • Becke, Major A.F. (1937). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 2B. The 2nd-Line Territorial Force Divisions (57th–69th) with The Home-Service Divisions (71st–73rd) and 74th and 75th Divisions. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 1-871167-00-0. 
  • Bellis, Malcolm A. (1995). Regiments of the British Army 1939–1945 (Artillery). London: Military Press International. ISBN 0-85420-110-6. 
  • Frederick, J.B.M. (1984). Lineage Book of British Land Forces 1660–1978. Wakefield, Yorkshire: Microform Academic Publishers. ISBN 1-85117-009-X. 
  • Joslen, Lt-Col H.F. (1990) [1st. Pub. HMSO:1960]. Orders of Battle, Second World War, 1939–1945. London: London Stamp Exchange. ISBN 0-948130-03-2. 
  • Litchfield, Norman E H, and Westlake, R, 1982. The Volunteer Artillery 1859-1908, The Sherwood Press, Nottingham. ISBN 0-9508205-0-4

External links[edit]