Unit History: Royal Horse Artillery

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Royal Horse Artillery
The Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) is a regiment in the British Army. "A" and "B" Troops of the Royal Horse Artillery were raised in January 1793 at Goodwood in Sussex by the 3rd Duke of Richmond, who was Master-General of Ordnance, to provide fire support for the cavalry. They were joined by two more troops in November 1793. All RHA personnel were mounted - a departure from the prevailing British practice under which the guns were served and drawn by different groups, which restricted tactical mobility.
Today, the RHA is operationally part of the Royal Regiment of Artillery (Royal Artillery) order of battle; there are currently four separate regiments that wear the cypher (cap badge) of the RHA:
   * King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery is primarily a ceremonial unit and uses vintage 13-pounder guns for firing salutes. However, it also has an operational role as part of the territorial defence of the United Kingdom. The King’s Troop is located in St John’s Wood, convenient for firing gun salutes in Hyde Park.
   * 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
   * 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (The Liverpool and Manchester Gunners)
         o Both 1RHA and 3RHA are armed principally with the AS90 155-mm armoured self-propelled gun.
   * 7th (Parachute) Regiment Royal Horse Artillery - this was formed in 1962 from the 33rd Parachute Light Regiment Royal Artillery and served until 1977 as the artillery regiment of 16th Parachute Brigade. After a spell in Germany as a non-airborne unit, it returned to Aldershot where it joined 5th Airborne Brigade and once again assumed the airmobile role. It is currently part of 16th Air Assault Brigade based in Colchester, armed with the L118 105-mm light gun which is air-droppable from the C-130 Hercules.
Within the Royal Artillery structure, posting between the RA and the RHA is fairly common. However, the Royal Horse Artillery regiments are perceived as elite, and a posting to an RHA unit is regarded as a significant career advancement.
The Royal Horse Artillery has provided the Queen’s Guard on three occasions:
   * 1 RHA - January 1979
   * 7 RHA - March 1989
   * King’s Troop - April 2007
The King’s Troop provides the Queen’s Life Guard in Whitehall for three weeks in August each year while the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment goes away for summer training.

Memories of Royal Horse Artillery

(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)

Royal Horse Artillery, Salalah Oman G Troop (Radar) in 1971

Written by Brian Shepherd

It was around about May 1971, that we were told about going to Salalah in Oman,to help protect the Sultan of Oman and his people from the communists in the mountains trying to take over his town and his airstrip,we spent 6 months there with the lads from the R.A.F.and some of the Sultans own forces and other units.
We had one Radar and one Generator, and 3 Listening Posts (Hedgehogs)that were placed someway from the main camp and manned 24 hours aday, we were using 2 shift system, one day on one day off, Most days we would be attacked by Mortar or RPG7,not always hitting the main camp but the Hedgehogs, some as that happened we were warned by radio or by sound and the Air raid siren would be set off by the lads in the Command Post for everybody to moved to their nearest shelter.
Various injuries happened while I was their, from my troop and to other units and we were always on call for blood transfusion, we had a great Naafi, a medical centre,and a camp radio which played all day up to midnight,news songs etc.
As towards the winter months the mountain would change colour from sand and rocks to green, plants grass would appear making it better for the communists to move closer to the Hedgehogs to fire on our camp and to them, the RAF lads would fire back using Mortars, and on our camp the Sultan Forces would use their artillery guns and their airforce, we had one land very close to our Command Post and one person was injured,later they found out that a worker on the camp was seen pacing the distants from our equipment to the fence line for their mortars to fire on.

1 Royal Horse Artillery, in 1966

Written by Gunner Paul Smith

I arrived in Aden on a VC10 on Sept 15th 1965. The heat was unbelievable as we got off the plane at around midnight.Our base was BP Camp Little Aden. Across the road from 45 Royal Marines. ( A great bunch of men).When the wind blew off the land the stink from the refinery was foul. The only good thing about BP Camp was its nearness to the sea. (About 1/4 mile)
About 2 miles up the road past the cemetery "Silent Valley" was Falaise Camp. There was a bit more life there in the Pheonix Club and swimming pool. I remember the Irish and Welsh Guards were there. And possibly the DLI.
Our gun batteries spent most of their time up country. I'm sure that suited them better than being in BP Camp and the endless duties. When we could we'd get up to Aden and the Mermaid Club and really live it up. For one night anyway.
Sadly we left 7 of our mates our there, but like all the other lads, they will never be forgotten. It was a hard life but like most off us out there we were young and fit so we could take anything. Looking back they were happy days, we made some great mates, which alot of us keep to this day.
I left Aden on 16th June 1967 on a Brittania from Kormaksa. We broke down on the way and had a day in Istanbul. We stayed in the Hilton hotel. I should think the Hilton has got over it by now.
I've been back on Google earth. Obviously things have changed but you can still get your bearings from the Jebels. It would be nice to go back with some of the old mates and have a look. Especially to Silent Valley and pay our respects to all the lads there. Where have that 40 odd years gone?

Royal Horse Artillery, Homs Libya in 1957

Written by cec adams

Lt.Steel squiring Sophia Loren around Homs(Libya) in his two seater open Mercedes(was rumoured to be an ex Africa Corps staff car.At that time they were shooting the film Legend of the lost, John Wayne,Sophia Loren and other cast members were routinely dined at the officers mess.Later on his batman (borrowed)the car when he was on leave,-we were then stationed at Bulford-and he and I went on a pub crawl,managed to get it back undamaged no one the wiser.

Royal Horse Artillery, 1st Regt 1957-9 in 2010

Written by David Fowler

See my book "National Service, Elvis & Me" published 2009 foir many memroies of 1st RHA More details on: http://www.farthings-publishing.com

Royal Horse Artillery, in 1967

Written by patrick mcgloin

a bloke who kept pissing his matress was given a rubber matress cover.next qms inspection the same pissed matress.asked how it could have happend ,he said because the floor had been pollished he put rubber under the bed to save the floor for the inspection.in the end of a list of stupidity the checked and found the recrutment sgt had filled all his forms so he got his discharge poor sod.the photo is a photo of my son a serving solder.

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