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The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery (RA) and colloquially known as "The Gunners", is the
artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications dur ...

artillery
arm of the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
. The Royal Regiment of Artillery comprises thirteen Regular Army
regiment A regiment is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...
s,
King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery is a ceremonial unit of the British Army The British Army is the principal of the , a part of the . , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 personnel. The mod ...

King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery
and five
Army Reserve A military reserve force is a military organization composed of citizen-soldiers of a country who combine a military role or career with a civilian career. They are not normally kept under arms Under arms describes a state of military readiness ...
regiments.


History


Formation to 1799

Artillery was used by the English army as early as the
Battle of Crécy A battle is an occurrence of combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or devic ...

Battle of Crécy
in 1346, while
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged fro ...

Henry VIII
established it as a semi-permanent function in the 16th century. Until the early 18th century, the majority of British regiments were raised for specific campaigns and disbanded on completion. An exception were gunners based at the
Tower of London The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle A castle is a type of structure built during the predominantly by the or royalty and by . Scholars debate the sc ...

Tower of London
,
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a port and island city status in the United Kingdom, city with Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority status in the ceremonial county of Hampshire, southern England. It is the most densely populated city in the Unit ...

Portsmouth
and other forts around Britain, who were controlled by the
Ordnance Office The Board of Ordnance was a British government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications dur ...

artillery
'traynes' that were organised as needed. These personnel responsible in peacetime for the forts with their ''garrison'' or
coastal artillery Coastal artillery is the branch of the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State ...
were the first regular artillerymen, organised in 1540 under the Master-General and Board of Ordnance, but paid directly by the
Exchequer In the civil service The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transi ...
. Aside from the Master Gunner of England, the detachments in each fort formed a ''District Establishment'' that included a ''Captain of Fort'', a Master-Gunner or Chief-Gunner, and a number of other ranks, including Gunners, Gunner's Mates, Quarter-Gunners, and Matroses. Their numbers were extremely small; as late as 1720, the total establishment for the whole of Britain was 41 master gunners and 178 gunner assistants. The regular artillerymen of the District Establishments were responsible for upkeep of the fort and maintenance of equipment, and would be brought up to strength in wartime with untrained personnel drafted in from the British Army or the Militia. The post of ''Captain of Fort'' was replaced (at least in England, if not in its colonies) with that of ''Governor'' following the
Restoration Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage * Restoration style Film and television * ''The Restoration'' (1909 film), a film by D.W. Griffith starr ...
. The coastal artillery was not part of the Royal Artillery as formed in 1716 with its two marching companies. The two coastal artillery companies at Gibraltar and Menorca were absorbed into the Royal Artillery in 1722, when the Royal Artillery assumed responsibility for regular coastal artillery outside of Britain. Although the Royal Artillery increasingly involved itself with the coastal artillery in Britain, also, the District Establishments remained independent until February 1771, when the Royal Artillery formed eight Invalid Companies (made up of personnel no longer fit for expeditionary service) into which they were absorbed (although the District Establishments would still rely on drafts of sailors, British Army soldiers, Militia infantrymen, or Volunteers to bring the batteries up to wartime strength until the formation of Militia Artillery and Volunteer Artillery in the 1850s). During the 18th century, the British regular military forces, including the Board of Ordnance's military corp (the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers and later the Royal Sappers and Miners) and the British Army (composed mostly of infantry and cavalry) became increasingly professional (various reserve, or ''local'', forces also existed, including: the Militia, or old Constitutional Force, normally made up of infantry units; the mounted Yeomanry; and Volunteer units of various types, normally raised only during wartime), particularly in the fields of artillery and engineering; Britain lagged behind others in this area, with
Vauban
Vauban
establishing the French ''Corps royal des ingénieurs militaires'' as far back as 1690. When
Marlborough Marlborough may refer to: Places United Kingdom * Marlborough, Wiltshire, England ** Marlborough College, public school * Malborough, village in Devon, England * Marlborough School, Woodstock in Oxfordshire, England * The Marlborough Science Acade ...

Marlborough
was restored as
Master-General of the Ordnance The Master-General of the Ordnance (MGO) was a very senior British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Norther ...
in 1714, he initiated a series of reforms, which included splitting the existing Ordnance Service into artillery and sappers or engineers. This was approved and two permanent
companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surround ...
of field artillery were established in 1716, each 100 men strong; this became the "Royal Artillery" in 1720. These were increased to four companies and on 1 April 1722 grouped with independent artillery units at
Gibraltar ) , anthem = "God Save the Queen" , song = "Gibraltar Anthem" , image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg , map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe , map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green , mapsize = 290px , image_map2 = ...

Gibraltar
and
Menorca Menorca or Minorca (from la, Insula Minor, , smaller island, later ''Minorica'') is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. Its name derives from its size, contrasting it with nearby Mallorca. Its large ...

Menorca
to form the Royal Regiment of Artillery; the first commander was Colonel
Albert Borgard Albert Borgard (Danish: ''Albrecht Borgaard'' or ''Borregaard''; 10 November 1659 – 7 February 1751) was a Danish artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and p ...
, a Dane who served in the British army since 1698. Selection and promotion within the Royal Artillery was largely based on merit, rather than the commission purchase system used in the British Army (after 1855, in the cavalry and infantry of the British Army) until 1870 or the
Property qualification A property qualification is a clause or rule by which those without property (land), or those without property of a set appraised value, or those without income of a set value, are not enfranchised to vote in elections, to stand for election, to h ...
in the Militia. A cadet company was formed at the Royal Military Academy or RMA Woolwich in 1741; this trained artillery and engineering officers for the regiment, the
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
and the
Royal Irish Artillery The Royal Irish Artillery was an Irish regiment of the British army in the 18th century. It was formed in 1755 as The Artillery Company of Ireland. The name was changed in 1760 to The Royal Regiment of Irish Artillery. They were recruited all over ...
. In 1757, it split into two
battalion A battalion is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...

battalion
s, each of twelve companies; by 1780, it contained 32 companies in four battalions, two "invalid companies" used solely for garrison duties and the
Royal Artillery Band The Royal Artillery Band was the first official, and permanent British military band (and former symphony orchestra) originating in 1557, but granted official status in 1762. Consisting of woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments (and until 20 ...
, with a total strength of 5,241 men and officers. Originally based in the Royal Arsenal, beginning in 1770 the regiment was rehoused in the
Royal Artillery Barracks Woolwich Garrison, also referred to as Woolwich Station or Woolwich Barracks, is a garrison Garrison (various spellings) (from the French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is the collective term for any body of t ...
on Woolwich Common. A major innovation in 1793 was the establishment of the
Royal Horse Artillery The Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) was formed in 1793 as a distinct arm of the (commonly termed ) to provide support to the cavalry units of the . (Although the cavalry link remained part of its defining character, as early as the the RHA was s ...
, designed to provide mobile fire support for cavalry units. The same year saw the foundation of the Corps of Royal Artillery Drivers to provide transport for the artillery. Fixed
Coastal Artillery Coastal artillery is the branch of the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State ...
batteries were generally manned in peacetime by a handful of Royal Artillery personnel primarily responsible for maintenance, who were reinforced in wartime by drafts of infantrymen from the British Army or the Militia, or by temporarily-raised Volunteer Artillery corps. This was to remain the case through the Naploeonic Wars.


1800-1899

The regiment was involved in all major campaigns of the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
; in 1804, naval artillery was transferred to the
Royal Marine Artillery The history of the Royal Marines began on 28 October 1664 with the formation of the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot soon becoming known as the Admiral's Regiment. During the War of the Spanish Succession the most historic achie ...
, while the
Royal Irish Artillery The Royal Irish Artillery was an Irish regiment of the British army in the 18th century. It was formed in 1755 as The Artillery Company of Ireland. The name was changed in 1760 to The Royal Regiment of Irish Artillery. They were recruited all over ...
lost its separate status in 1810 after the 1800 Union. This period also saw development of the
Congreve rocket The Congreve rocket was a type of rocket artillery Rocket artillery is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artill ...
; based on an existing Indian design, these were the first solid-fuel projectiles used by the British army and two rocket troops were established in 1814. Their use in the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
is referenced in the line "rocket's red glare" which appears in
the Star-Spangled Banner "The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics come from the "Defence of Fort M'Henry", a poem written on September 14, 1814, by 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bo ...
. After , Europe was at peace until the 1853
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russian Empire, Russia lost to an alliance of Second French Empire, France, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, ...
. The Militia, which had been a paper tiger since the end of the Napoleonic Wars, was re-organised under the Militia Act of 1852 in response to the threat of invasion by France, changing it from a conscripted force to one made up of volunteers who engaged for terms of service. The force continued to be a reserve tasked with home defence, embodied for annual training, and for the duration of wars or emergencies.''The Militia Artillery 1852-1909'', by Norman EH Litchfield. The Sherwood Press (Nottingham) Ltd. 1987 The Militia had been principally an infantry force to this date, but Militia Artillery units were added from this point, and some existing Militia Infantry regiments were converted to coastal artillery. The role of the Militia Artillery was to man coastal defences and fortifications in wartime, relieving the Royal Artillery (RA) for active service. The Royal Artillery (and also of the Royal Engineers, Royal Sappers and Miners, the Commissariat Department, and various barracks, ordnance stores, and transport departments) was transferred to the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
when the Board of Ordnance was abolished in 1855 (the administrative branches of the Board were absorbed by the
War Office The War Office This article contains text from this source, which is available under th Open Government Licence v3.0 © Crown copyright was a Departments of the British Government, Department of the British Government responsible for the adminis ...
) and the War Office School of Gunnery established in
Shoeburyness Shoeburyness (; also called Shoebury) is a town in southeast Essex Essex () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD ...
in 1859. When the
British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
was dissolved in 1862, its artillery function was absorbed by the Royal Artillery, giving it a total strength of 29 horse batteries, 73 field batteries and 88 heavy batteries. Military expenditure estimates for 1872 list the regimental strength as a total of 34,943 men and officers, including those in India. Although the Militia and the Volunteer Force remained separate forces, during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century they were re-organised through a succession of reforms, and increasingly integrated with the British Army. In 1882, the Militia Artillery units lost their individual identities, becoming numbered brigades organised within Royal Artillery territorial divisions (two brigades of horse artillery, four brigades of field artillery and eleven territorial divisions of garrison artillery). In 1889 the number of divisions was reduced to three, and the Militia Artillery brigades were renamed again, mostly regaining some variation of their original territorial names. Prior to 1882, each Militia Artillery unit in the United Kingdom wore a unique badge. Between 1882 and 1889, Militia Artillery brigades wore a divisional badge based on that of the Royal Artillery, except that the lower scroll and upper scroll, which on the Royal Artillery badge were inscribed "Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt" and "Ubique" (which indicated the regular Royal Artillery, like the Royal Engineers, served everywhere), were respectively inscribed with the name of the territorial division name (by example, North Irish Division) and left blank or covered in a spray of laurel (as the Militia and Volunteer Force were both home defence forces, the members of which could not be sent abroad on expedition without their consents). From 1889 to 1902, the lower scroll was inscribed with the name of the unit (by example, Antrim Artillery) and the upper scroll left blank or covered in a spray of laurel. Grenade badges, whether worn as a collar badge or elsewhere, lacked the scroll inscribed "Ubique" that was part of the regular Royal Artillery version. Militia Artillery units were made up of Militia officers and other ranks, with a Permanent Staff made up of seconded Royal Artillery officers and senior other ranks, including a single officer acting as both Commandant and Adjutant (where a suitably qualified Militia officer was unavailable to serve as Commandant), or only as Adjutant where the Commandant was a Militia officer. Units from the Royal Engineers and Royal Artillery were in Australia, even after Federation.


1900 to present day

On 1 July 1899, the Royal Artillery was divided into three groups: the Royal Horse Artillery of 21 batteries and the
Royal Field Artillery The Royal Field Artillery (RFA) of the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,0 ...
of 95 batteries composed one group, while the coastal defence, mountain, siege and heavy batteries were split off into another group named the
Royal Garrison Artillery The Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) was formed in 1899 as a distinct arm of the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises ...
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. Following the separation of the regular garrison companies into the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1899, the Militia Artillery units were re-titled accordingly in 1902 (by example, ''The Antrim Royal Garrison Artillery (Militia)'', which would usually be rendered ''Antrim R.G.A (M)''). The badge adopted was the same as that of the regular Royal Regiment of Artillery, from that point including the "ubique" and "Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt" scrolls, with a letter "M" fixed at the bottom of the gun badge, and on the body of the grenade on the grenade badge (also with the "ubique" scroll), whether worn on the collar or on a cap. Alternately, Ubique was replaced on scrolls with the name of the city, county or colony for which the unit was named. When the Volunteer Force and the Yeomanry in the United Kingdom (including the Volunteer Artillery) were merged to create the
Territorial Force The Territorial Force was a part-time volunteer component of the British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known a ...
in 1908, the Militia was re-designated the
Special Reserve The Special Reserve was established on 1 April 1908 with the function of maintaining a reservoir of manpower for the British Army and training replacement drafts in times of war. Its formation was part of the Haldane Reforms, military reforms imp ...
. At the same time, plans were made to convert all of the Royal Garrison Artillery (Militia) units to Special Reserve Royal Field Artillery, but all Home units other than The Antrim Royal Garrison Artillery (Militia) (converted in 1956 to ''74 (Antrim Artillery) Engineer Regiment (V)'') were instead disbanded (although Militia Artillery units remained in some of the colonies, and these were not re-designated as Special Reserve; The most notable of these was the
Bermuda Militia Artillery The Bermuda Militia Artillery was a unit of part-time soldiers organised in 1895 as a reserve for the Royal Garrison Artillery detachment of the British Army, Regular Army Bermuda Garrison, garrison in Bermuda. Militia Artillery units of the Unite ...
, which, like the
Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps The Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC) was created in 1894 as an all-white people, white, racial segregation, racially segregated reserve for the British Army, Regular Army infantry component of the Bermuda Garrison. Renamed the ''Bermuda Rifle ...
, formed part of the
garrison Garrison (from the French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is the collective term for any body of troop A troop is a military sub-subunit Sub-subunit or sub-sub-unit is a subordinated element below platoon lev ...
of the important ''Imperial Fortress'' colony of Bermuda). The remainder of the Special Reserve was re-designated as the Militia again after the First World War and permanently suspended. The Territorial Force was renamed the Territorial Army. The division of the Royal Regiment of Artillery lasted until 1924, when the RFA, RHA, and RGA amalgamated once more to become one regiment. In 1938, RA Brigades were renamed regiments. During the
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
there were over 1 million men serving in 960 gunner regiments. In 1947 the Riding Troop RHA was renamed the
King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery is a ceremonial unit of the British Army The British Army is the principal of the , a part of the . , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 personnel. The mod ...
and, in 1951, the title of the regiment's colonel-in-chief became Captain General. When The Queen first visited the Troop after her accession, it was expected that it would become "The Queen's Troop", but Her Majesty announced that in honour of her father's decision it would remain "The King's Troop". The
Royal Horse Artillery The Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) was formed in 1793 as a distinct arm of the (commonly termed ) to provide support to the cavalry units of the . (Although the cavalry link remained part of its defining character, as early as the the RHA was s ...
, which has separate traditions, uniforms and insignia, still retains a distinct identity within the regiment. Before World War II, Royal Artillery recruits were required to be at least tall. Men in mechanised units had to be at least 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 Woolwich () is a district in southeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydros ...
, in south-east London. In 2003 it was decided to move the headquarters to
Larkhill Larkhill is a garrison town in the civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and co ...
on
Salisbury Plain , the most famous antiquity on Salisbury Plain Salisbury Plain is a chalk Chalk is a soft, white, porous, sedimentary carbonate rock, a form of limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate rock, carbonate sedimentary rock. It ...
in Wiltshire (the RA's training ground, where the
Royal School of Artillery The Royal School of Artillery (RSA) 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 ...
has been based since 1915). In 2012, however, the
King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery is a ceremonial unit of the British Army, quartered at Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich. It is a mounted unit and all of its soldiers are trained to care for and drive teams of six horses pulling each o ...

King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery
was relocated to Woolwich from their former headquarters in
St John's Wood St John's Wood is a district in the City of Westminster, London, lying 2.5 miles (4 km) northwest of Charing Cross. Traditionally the northern part of the Civil Parish#Ancient Parishes, ancient parish and Metropolitan Borough of St Maryleb ...
.


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/Unmanned Air Systems *
Commando Royal Marines from 40 Commando on patrol in the Sangin">40_Commando.html" ;"title="Royal Marines from 40 Commando">Royal Marines from 40 Commando on patrol in the Sangin area of Afghanistan are pictured A commando (etymologically derive ...

Commando
and
Airborne Airborne or Airborn may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * Airborne (1962 film), ''Airborne'' (1962 film), a 1962 American film directed by James Landis * Airborne (1993 film), ''Airborne'' (1993 film), a comedy–drama film * Air ...
artillery *
Self-Propelled Artillery Self-propelled artillery (also called locomotive artillery) is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery dev ...
* Multiple Launch Rocket Systems *
Air defence Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is the battlespace Battle-space is a term used to signify a unified military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goal ...
The
Captain General Captain general (and its literal equivalent in several languages) is a high military rank of general officer grade, and a Governor, gubernatorial title. History The term "Captain General" started to appear in the 14th century, with the meaning of ...
of the regiment is
Queen Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mo ...
. The post was previously known as Colonel-in-Chief until
King George VI George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death in 1952. He was concurrently the last Emp ...
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 Royal Regiment of Artillery is unusual in that it has sub-units that often move between regiments, or are placed into suspended animation. See List of Royal Artillery Batteries.


Regular Army

The Royal Regiment of Artillery comprises one ceremonial troop and 13 Regular Army
regiment A regiment is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...
s, and are designated by a number and the name Royal Artillery (RA) or
Royal Horse Artillery The Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) was formed in 1793 as a distinct arm of the (commonly termed ) to provide support to the cavalry units of the . (Although the cavalry link remained part of its defining character, as early as the the RHA was s ...
(RHA):
Regular regiments of the Royal Horse Artillery *The
King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery is a ceremonial unit of the British Army, quartered at Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich. It is a mounted unit and all of its soldiers are trained to care for and drive teams of six horses pulling each o ...

King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery
– a ceremonial unit equipped with 13 pounder guns for firing salutes. Now located in Woolwich Garrison, London. *
1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery is a regiment A regiment is a military unit. Its role and size varies markedly, depending on the country, military service, service and/or a administrative corps, specialisation. In Middle Ages, Mediæ ...
– equipped with
AS90 The AS-90 ("Artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive ...
self-propelled artillery Self-propelled artillery (also called locomotive artillery) is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery dev ...
and
MLRS A multiple rocket launcher (MRL) or multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) is a type of rocket artillery Rocket artillery is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far bey ...
at Assaye Barracks in
Tidworth Tidworth is a garrison, garrison town and Civil parishes in England, civil parish in south-east Wiltshire, England, on the eastern edge of Salisbury Plain. Lying on both sides of the A338 road, A338 about north of the A303 road, A303 primary ro ...
. The Regiment will move to Larkhill barracks by 2020. * 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery – (The Liverpool and Manchester Gunners) are equipped with L118 105mm light gun based at Albemarle Barracks outside
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne ( , ), often simply Newcastle, is the largest city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedi ...
. * 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery – (The Airborne Gunners) are equipped with L118 105mm light gun and are currently part of
16th Air Assault Brigade 16 Air Assault Brigade (16 Air Asslt Bde) is a formation of the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular ...
based in
Colchester Colchester () is a historic market town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in the county of Essex, in the East of England. Colchester occupies the site of what was Camulodunum, the first Colonia (Roman), major Roman ci ...
. Regular regiments of the Royal Artillery * 4 Regiment Royal Artillery – (The North East Gunners) are equipped with L118 105mm light gun at Alanbrooke Barracks in Topcliffe. * 5 Regiment Royal Artillery – (The North, East & West Yorkshire Gunners) are equipped with Surveillance and Target Acquisition assets and are based at Marne Barracks in
Catterick, North Yorkshire Catterick is a village, civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or ...
. * 12 Regiment Royal Artillery – (The Lancashire and Cumbrian Gunners) are an air defence unit equipped with Starstreak HVM and are based at Baker Barracks, Thorney Island. *
14 Regiment Royal Artillery 14th Regiment Royal Artillery is a training regiment within the Royal Artillery The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery (RA) and colloquially known as "The Gunners", is the artillery Artillery is a cla ...
– are the Training and Support Regiment based at Stirling Barracks in
Larkhill Larkhill is a garrison town in the civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and co ...
. * 16 Regiment Royal Artillery – (The London and Kent Gunners) are an air defence unit equipped with Sky Sabre and are based at Baker Barracks, Thorney Island. * 19 Regiment Royal Artillery – (The Highland Gunners) are equipped with
AS90 The AS-90 ("Artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive ...
self-propelled artillery Self-propelled artillery (also called locomotive artillery) is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery dev ...
and
MLRS A multiple rocket launcher (MRL) or multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) is a type of rocket artillery Rocket artillery is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far bey ...
at Assaye Barracks in
Tidworth Tidworth is a garrison, garrison town and Civil parishes in England, civil parish in south-east Wiltshire, England, on the eastern edge of Salisbury Plain. Lying on both sides of the A338 road, A338 about north of the A303 road, A303 primary ro ...
. They are expected to move to Larkhill Barracks by 2020. * 26 Regiment Royal Artillery –– (The West Midland Gunners) are equipped with
AS90 The AS-90 ("Artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive ...
self-propelled artillery Self-propelled artillery (also called locomotive artillery) is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery dev ...
and
MLRS A multiple rocket launcher (MRL) or multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) is a type of rocket artillery Rocket artillery is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far bey ...
at Mansergh Barracks, Guttersloh, Germany. They are expected to move to Larkhill barracks as a dedicated MLRS Regiment by 2021. *29th Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery – (The Commando Gunners) are equipped with the L118 105mm light gun, and are currently part of 3 Commando Brigade. Most batteries are currently based at the Royal Citadel, Plymouth, with one battery (148 (Meiktila) Battery Royal Artillery, 148 (Meiktila) Battery) based at RM Poole and 7 (Sphinx) Battery based at RM Condor, Arbroath. *32nd Regiment Royal Artillery, 32 Regiment Royal Artillery – (The Wessex Gunners) are equipped with Unmanned Air Vehicles and are based in Roberts Barracks in
Larkhill Larkhill is a garrison town in the civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and co ...
. *47th Regiment Royal Artillery, 47 Regiment Royal Artillery – (The Hampshire and Sussex Gunners) – are equipped with the Thales Watchkeeper WK450 and are based in Horne Barracks in
Larkhill Larkhill is a garrison town in the civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and co ...
.


Army Reserve

*National Reserve Headquarters, Royal Artillery - Watchkeeper and specialist pool *101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery, 101 (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery – MLRS *103rd (Lancashire Artillery Volunteers) Regiment Royal Artillery, 103 (Lancashire Artillery Volunteers) Regiment Royal Artillery – equipped with L118 light gun. *104th Regiment Royal Artillery, 104 Regiment Royal Artillery – equipped with the L118 light gun *105th (Scottish and Ulster) Regiment Royal Artillery, 105 Regiment Royal Artillery 'The Scottish & Ulster Gunners' – equipped with the L118 light gun. *106th (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery, 106 (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery – Air defence.


Equipment


Air defence

The Royal Artillery utilises three air defence weapons: *Rapier missile, Rapier FSC – Rapier is a Short Range Air Defence weapon (SHORAD) that is operated by 16th Regiment and is being replaced by Sky Sabre. *Sky Sabre - as of 2021 being introduced with the 7th air defence group to replace Rapier. *Starstreak missile, Starstreak HVM – Starstreak HVM is a Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) system that is a continuation of the Blowpipe missile, Blowpipe and Javelin surface-to-air missile, Javelin series. It is operated as either a shoulder-launched weapon, in the Lightweight Multiple Launcher mode, or mounted on the Alvis Stormer armoured vehicle. The weapon is operated by 12th Regiment and 106 Regiment RA.


Close support artillery

The Royal Artillery field the following Close Support/Offensive Support weapons: *
MLRS A multiple rocket launcher (MRL) or multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) is a type of rocket artillery Rocket artillery is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far bey ...
– the Multiple Launch Rocket System provides a precision fire capability out to a range of 85 km. In 2014 the dedicated 39th Regiment RA was disbanded and today the system is integrated into 1st Regiment RHA, 19th Regiment RA and 26th Regiment RA. In the future 26th Regiment will take on a dedicated precision fires role and the system will be withdrawn from 19th Regiment RA and 1st Regiment RHA. *AS-90 – the AS-90 is a 155mm self-propelled gun and is utilised by 1st Regiment RHA, 19th Regiment RA and 26th Regiment RA. *L118 light gun – the Light Gun is a 105 mm gun. It is operated by 3rd Regiment RHA, 4th Regiment RA, 7th (Para) Regiment RHA, 29 (Commando) Regt RA, as well as three Army Reserve regiments – 103 Regt RA, 104 Regt RA and 105 Regt RA. *Exactor (Spike (missile), Spike NLOS) – a vehicle-mounted high-precision guided missile. It is currently operated by 1st RHA, 19 RA and 26 RA, with the capability passing solely to 26 RA by 2020.


Intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR)

*MAMBA (Mobile Artillery Monitoring Battlefield Array) uses radar to track enemy mortar and artillery shells out to a range of 40 km. It can be used to predict the point of impact, thereby giving a number of seconds warning, but is usually deployed to trace the point of origin of mortar/artillery rounds and then provide correction for counter-battery fire. It is operated by 5th Regiment RA. *ASP (Advanced Sound-ranging Program) is an acoustic triangulation system that used a series of sensor posts (microphones) to triangulate the point of origin and point of impact of enemy mortars and artillery. It is also operated by 5th Regiment RA along with 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers), 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery. *Thales Watchkeeper WK450 (UAV) is operated by 47th Regiment Royal Artillery. *Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk, Desert Hawk III UAV – the DH3 is a hand-launched UAV. It is operated by 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery.


Ceremonial

*Ordnance QF 13-pounder, 13 pounder – The
King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery is a ceremonial unit of the British Army, quartered at Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich. It is a mounted unit and all of its soldiers are trained to care for and drive teams of six horses pulling each o ...

King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery
retains six operational First World War-era QF 13 pounders for use as state saluting guns


List of obsolete weapon and equipment


Surface-to-air missiles

*Blowpipe (missile), Blowpipe *Javelin surface-to-air missile, Javelin *Starburst (missile), Starburst *Thunderbird (missile), Thunderbird *Rapier (missile), Rapier


Unmanned aerial vehicles

*BAE Systems Phoenix - Operated by the 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery from 1999 to 2008. *Canadair CL-89, Canadair Midge *Radioplane BTT


Nuclear weapons 1950s-1990s


Surface-to-surface tactical ballistic missiles

*MGM-5 Corporal, Corporal – In service with the 27th Regiment Royal Artillery, 27th and 47th Regiment Royal Artillery, 47th Guided Weapons Regiment RA from 1954 to 1966. See Project E *MGR-1 Honest John, Honest John – In service with the 24th Regiment Royal Artillery, 24th, 39th Regiment Royal Artillery, 39th, 47th Regiment Royal Artillery, 47th and 50th Missile Regiment Royal Artillery, 50 Missile Regiment Royal Artillery from 1960 to 1977. *MGM-52 Lance, Lance – In service with the 50th Missile Regiment Royal Artillery, 50 Missile Regiment Royal Artillery from 1976 to 1993.


Nuclear capable artillery

*155-mm M109 howitzer *203-mm (8-inch) M110 howitzer – See Project E *203-mm (8-inch) M115 howitzer


Nuclear artillery shells

*W33 (nuclear warhead), W33 – In service until 1992. See Project E *W48


Colonel Commandants

The Royal Artillery, due to its large size, has 11 Colonel Commandants and a Master Gunner concurrently. As of June 2021, these are: *Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory, Sir Andrew Gregory, KBE, CB (also Master Gunner, St James's Park) *Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, CB, CVO, CBE *Lieutenant General Stuart Skeates, CBE *Major General Neil Marshall, OBE *Major General Robert Weighill, CBE *Major General William Bramble, CBE *Major General Jeremy Bennett, CBE *Brigadier Ian Harrison, CBE *Brigadier Colin Tadier, CBE *Colonel Barry Jenkins *''Vacant''


Order of precedence

Royal Horse Artillery
Royal Artillery
In the British Army Order of Precedence, the Household Cavalry is always listed first and always parades at the extreme right of the line. However, when the
Royal Horse Artillery The Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) was formed in 1793 as a distinct arm of the (commonly termed ) to provide support to the cavalry units of the . (Although the cavalry link remained part of its defining character, as early as the the RHA was s ...
is on parade with its guns, (usually in the form of The Kings Troop, Royal Horse Artillery) it will replace the Household Cavalry at the extreme right of the line.


Museum

The Regimental museum, "Firepower – The Royal Artillery Museum, Firepower" located in the Royal Arsenal at
Woolwich Woolwich () is a district in southeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydros ...
closed in 2017.


Affiliations

* – Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery * – Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery * – Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery * – Regiment of Artillery (India), Regiment of Artillery * – Regiment of Artillery * – Sri Lanka Artillery * – Singapore Volunteer Corps, Singapore Volunteer Artillery * – Armed Forces of Malta * – Rejimen Artileri Diraja * – Royal Gibraltar Regiment, The Royal Gibraltar Regiment * – South African Army Artillery Formation, South African Artillery Formation The Royal Artillery have a traditional rivalry with the Royal Engineers (the Sappers).


See also

* List of Royal Artillery Batteries * Artillery * Honourable Artillery Company * Royal Artillery Mounted Band *
Royal Artillery Band The Royal Artillery Band was the first official, and permanent British military band (and former symphony orchestra) originating in 1557, but granted official status in 1762. Consisting of woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments (and until 20 ...
* Royal Artillery Memorial *
Royal Artillery Barracks Woolwich Garrison, also referred to as Woolwich Station or Woolwich Barracks, is a garrison Garrison (various spellings) (from the French ''garnison'', itself from the verb ''garnir'', "to equip") is the collective term for any body of t ...
*
Royal School of Artillery The Royal School of Artillery (RSA) 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 ...
* Firepower – The Royal Artillery Museum *
Bermuda Militia Artillery The Bermuda Militia Artillery was a unit of part-time soldiers organised in 1895 as a reserve for the Royal Garrison Artillery detachment of the British Army, Regular Army Bermuda Garrison, garrison in Bermuda. Militia Artillery units of the Unite ...
* Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery * Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery * Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery * 79th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery * Manx Regiment * List of equipment of the British Army#Vehicles, List of vehicles used by the British Army


Notes


References


Further reading

* *


External links


Royal Regiment of Artillery
{{British Army Artillery Regiments Royal Artillery, British administrative corps Military units and formations established in 1722 Military units and formations of Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War Organisations based in the United Kingdom with royal patronage Artillery units and formations of the British Army 1722 establishments in Great Britain