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Unit History: Artillery Support Regiment

Artillery Support Regiment
During its history the 7th Armoured Division many Artillery Regiments units served with the Division and it’s Brigades. I have tried to include as many as possible with as much information as possible, but I apologise if I have omitted any.
This page will provide more details of the history of the various the Artillery Regiments that served with the Division.
Brief History Of Artillery
The story of artillery goes back to pre-Roman times when slings, catapults and ballistas were used to project missiles. Later, longbows propelled arrows both as direct and indirect fire.
The English first used guns in battle alongside longbows at Crecy in 1346. Since then the Army has used them in almost every war and campaign it has fought throughout the world, but it was almost four hundred years before a permanent force of artillery was formed.
In peacetime, guns were kept in castles and were looked after by Gunners, skilled in their manufacture and so most knowledgeable in their use. In wartime, men were recruited and trained into a Trayne of Artillery, until on 26 May 1716 the first two Companies of Artillery were formed by Royal Warrant at Woolwich.
The guns of the Royal Artillery are the Regiment’s Colours, in the same way that the flags and guidons of infantry regiments are theirs, leading them into battle.
The Colours represent pride in the Regiment, so the guns are protected and retained at all costs. If the situation demands that they are left behind they must be disabled or destroyed.
The gun depicted on the cap badge is a 9pdr Rifled Muzzle Loader of about 1871, and the rammer used to ram the charge into the muzzle is also seen, to the left of the carriage wheel.
"Ubique", surmounting the gun, means "Everywhere", and the Motto below Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt, "Where right and glory lead us".
Prior to 1900 artillery batteries were independent units, being attached to brigades and divisions as necessary, but early in the 1900’s Brigades of Artillery were formed consisting of 2 to 4 batteries. In the 1930’s these Brigades became the Regiments we now know.
Artillery Regiments, (including Anti-Tank and Anti-Aircraft)
For the following units, please read the information provided against each parent regiment. Each section will provide as much information as possible including regimental badges, associations, war diaries, museums, web sites and information available from the Army today.
The Regiments detailed are;
1st Royal Horse Artillery
2nd Royal Horse Artillery
3rd Royal Horse Artillery
4th Royal Horse Artillery
5th Royal Horse Artillery
102nd Royal Horse Artillery
106th Royal Horse Artillery
Royal Horse Artillery Batteries
57th Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery
65th Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery (Norfolk Yeomanry)
 69th Medium Regiment Royal Artillery
4th Field Regiment Royal Artillery
24th Field Regiment Royal Artillery
51st Field Regiment Royal Artillery
53rd Field Regiment Royal Artillery
60th Field Regiment Royal Artillery
97th Field Regiment Royal Artillery
146th Field Regiment Royal Artillery
1st Light Anti-aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
15th (Isle Of Man) Light Anti-aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
Royal Horse Artillery Regiments
Although part of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, the RHA wore their own cap badge in the Second World War as show above. The ’Grenade’ badge on the right is the one worn on the collar of the uniform by all RHA and RA units.
1st Royal Horse Artillery
2nd Royal Horse Artillery
3rd Royal Horse Artillery
4th Royal Horse Artillery
5th Royal Horse Artillery
RA Regimental Museum,
Old Royal Military Academy,
The 1st Regiment Royal Artillery is the senior Regiment in the British Army when on parade with its guns. The Regiment has a long and proud history stretching back over 200 years and fought in virtually every major action since its formation.
It served as part of the 1st Support Group for 1st Armoured Division, in the BEF, during the Fall of France, along side 2nd RHA, where it was ’lost’ at St. Valery, in May 1940, but later reformed back in the UK. In May 1941 it served in the Tobruk Garrison, during ’Operation Brevity’, along side M and J Batteries of 3rd RHA. Latter it served with 7th Armoured Division during the Gazala battles, having fought with 2nd Armoured Division, during Rommel’s first offensive in March 1941.
Short History;
The unit was formed in March 1901 as 5th Brigade Royal Horse Artillery, with A Bty in Meerut, India and BB Bty at Christchurch. In 1904 it was based at Woolwich. In October 1906 it was renamed 1st Brigade Royal Horse Artillery, serving in South Africa in 1911.
In 1920 it served in Iraq, returning to the UK in 1923. It the served in Egypt, in 1931, before being mechanised in Aldershot in 1936.
In November 1938 it was re-titled 1st Field Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.
It was in the UK as the start of the war and was mobilised in Bulford consisting of two eight gun batteries A/E and B/O. Although part of 1st Support Group of 1st Armoured Division, it deployed as an Army regiment because the armoured division was not ready. As such the Regiment, less A/E, joined 51st Highland Division, on the Saar Front in the French Sector in April 1940. In June 1940, the Regiment was captured with that Division at St Valery after severe fighting, whilst A/E Battery, also heavily engaged got out at Dunkirk. The Regiment reformed in North Wales around the survivors of A/E Battery  and many others who managed to escape from France and went to Egypt in October 1940. It was still organised as A/E and B/O Batteries until February 1942 when O Battery left it to join 6th RHA, at which time its was re-organised as A, B and E batteries.
It served with the 7th Armoured Division during the Gazala in April 1942, before joining 10th Armoured Division in October 1942, at El Alamein and later Syria/Iraq. After being re-equipped with US M7 Priest 105mm self propelled guns, it move to Italy in 1944 where it served until the end of the war.
After the war it returned to Egypt equipped in 1947, before briefly serving in the UK in 1951 and the moving to Munster, Germany, in 1952.
It was renamed 1st Medium Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (March 1964), 1st Light Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (September 1965) and 1st Field Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (June 1966).
In April 1993 O Headquarters Bty (The Rocket Troop) & L (Nery) Bty Joined the Regiment after the disbandment of 2nd Regiment Royal Artillery and November 1999 - N Bty (The Eagle Troop) moved from 3 RHA and amalgamates with L Bty to become L/N (Nery) Bty (The Eagle Troop).
2nd Regiment Royal Artillery; In 1939, 2nd Royal Horse Artillery Regiment, consisted of H/I, L/N Batteries and was based in England. It served in France in support of 1st Armoured Division, along side 1st RHA, and was evacuated at Dunkirk. It later served with 1st Armoured Division in Greece, in 1941. It the served with 7th Armoured Division during ’Operation Crusader’ in November 1941, before returning to 1st Armoured Division in April 1942. It remained with 1st Armoured Division until it was transferred to 8th Army from 1st Armoured Division in September 1944 in Italy.
Short History;
The unit was originally formed in March 1901 as the 6th Brigade Royal Horse Artillery, consisting of B Battery in Lucknow, India and C Battery in Mhow, India. In 1902 it returned to Ipswich, in Suffolk, moving to Woolwich, in 1902. In Oct 1906 it was re- titled 2nd Brigade Royal Horse Artillery.
In 1919 it consisted of C Battery in Risalpur, India, H Battery in Sialkot, India, & K Battery in Meerut, India, moving to Egypt in 1926.
In November 1938 it was re-titled 2nd Field Regiment Royal Horse Artillery and by September 1939 it consisted of H/I, L/N Batteries in support of 1st Armoured Division. It was later
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