Royal School of Artillery

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Royal School of Artillery
Royal Artillery Badge.jpg
Badge of the Royal Artillery
Active 1915 – Present
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Training
Role Artillery Training
Part of Army Recruiting and Training Division
Garrison/HQ Larkhill

The Royal School of Artillery (RSA), formerly the School of Instruction for Royal Horse and Field Artillery (Larkhill), is the principal training establishment for artillery warfare in the British Army. Established in 1915, it is located at Larkhill, Wiltshire, on the south edge of Salisbury Plain in the United Kingdom. The School is the primary training facility for Royal Artillery recruits, and is also home to the Gunnery Training Team.


Self propelled guns at Larkhill

The Royal School of Artillery was established in 1915 as the School of Instruction for Royal Horse and Field Artillery (Larkhill),[1] on land previously used for tented accommodation at Larkhill.[2] The 1,200-bed Fargo hospital, which was built to the West of the School, opened around the same time to tend for wounded soldiers returning from the First World War; it closed after the War and is now the main ammunition compound for the School.[1]

The Regiment's first School of Artillery had been established at Shoeburyness, Essex, in 1859. (In earlier times artillery teaching and practice had taken place near the Regiment's Royal Military Academy on Woolwich Common.) After the First World War, the Field Artillery and Horse Artillery elements from Shoeburyness were transferred to Larkhill; Shoeburyness, though, retained the Coast Artillery School of the Royal Garrison Artillery until 1940 (which moved to Llandudno for the duration of the war, and then to Plymouth).[3]

During the Second World War, the School was a hive of activity providing a significant proportion of the training for over one million gunners.[4]

The Officers' Mess and Quarters was built in 1936-41 and is a Grade II listed building.[5][6] Much of the rest of the camp was rebuilt in the 1960s; the School was redesignated the Royal School of Artillery in 1970.[2]


The School provides Phase 2 training for recruits to the Royal Artillery: this training includes gunnery, air defence, surveillance and signals. Trained officers and gunners are then posted to units worldwide, but return to the School for frequent refresher courses.[7] The School is also the home of the Gunnery Training Team, which provides a training consultancy service to the Royal Artillery and the wider Army.[8]

Horne Barracks, Larkhill


  1. ^ a b "42nd Battalion arrive at Larkhill Camp on the Salisbury Plain". Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Baggs, A.P.; Freeman, Jane; Stevenson, Janet H (1987). Crowley, D.A., ed. "Victoria County History – Wiltshire – Vol 15 pp93-105 – Parishes: Durrington". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "MOD Shoeburyness – Timeline". QinetiQ Group. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Royal Artillery: History, Museum & Associations". The British Army. 2012. Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  5. ^ Historic England. "Royal Artillery Officers' Mess and Quarters (1428799)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "Royal Artillery Officers' Mess". The British Army. 2011. Archived from the original on 13 May 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  7. ^ "Artillery". Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  8. ^ "Royal Artillery Phase 2 & 3 Training". Boot Camp Military Fitness Institute. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 


  • James, N D G, 1983, Gunners at Larkhill – a history of the Royal School of Artillery, Griesham Books, Salisbury, ISBN 0-946095-08-6

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